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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Back to Usa River

A night at "low" altitude in 10,000 ft Mweka Camp did us a world of good. The team showed up at 7 AM breakfast rested and ready for anything. What we got was more perfect weather. We did our "gratitude ceremony" with our 49 man staff just before setting out for our final walk. The lead guides made a few speeches, gratuities were distributed, hands got shaken and then we got to the good part... our staff sang, danced and clapped hands as we joined in. We got on the trail at 8:30 and instantly were back into the thick and shady forests. The trail was about as good as it could be, but there were still slippery and slick stretches on some steep inclines. We each navigated these obstacles with great care but invariably up to a dozen porters carrying heavy loads on their heads would come thundering down the wet trail at flank speed to pass as we slowed down. It only took us about 2 1/2 hours to drop the four thousand feet to the Mweka Gate. We were lucky enough to see a few black and white Colobus monkeys up in the big trees on the way. Our bus was ready and waiting to take the team a few minutes away from the gate for a fine picnic lunch before the big drive back to the Arumeru River Lodge. Each of us was happy to be finishing, but sad to be saying goodbye to the staff who’d helped us in immeasurable ways. After a few hours on the highway -studying Tanzania from the windows- we rolled into our lodge at 3 PM. Folks went straight for the showers and then stayed pretty busy for the rest of the first afternoon back in the comfortable world. We prepped a bit for Safari, some visited the mountain staff in their nearby homes, some went through e-mail and photos. We got together for a victory dinner outside on a patio under the stars. The hotel surprised us with a celebratory Kilimanjaro cake and some fine singing. Everybody is excited at the prospect of sleeping in a bed tonight... but we won’t be sleeping late in the morning. Our Safari begins bright and early. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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