Day 325,326 And 327: From Travel to Holiday

Thur. 4th to Sat. 6th July 2013

Arsusha monumentThursday is a quiet day exploring Arusha and then transferring to the start hotel for Dave’s trip where we will see Steve later. It is about a ten to fifteen minute walk into town along a very busy road. The shops are all very small local ones and the supermarket we found was smaller than a Tesco Express with much less selection. Dave contemplated buying another fleece for his climb but I was not convinced so he gave up the idea. I hope I am right!

Before lunch we caught a taxi the 7km out of town to the Moivaro Coffee Lodge and haggled the fare from 30USD to 20USD which still seemed a lot for the distance and compared with the quoted airport transfer rates. I will have to see if I can do better next time, as I will be transferring between these two hotels twice more.

Hidden home at coffee lodgeThe coffee lodge is in an idyllic setting of individual villas between the trees and a lawn around the swimming pool. We had a lazy lunch before sitting out and enjoying the sunshine. The afternoon dragged as we looked up every time a vehicle arrived to see if it was Steve and kept checking his flight progress on the internet.

Peaceful but cold poolFinally Steve arrives with the Exodus group and it is so good to catch up. I gatecrash the long briefing on climbing Kili and the following meal, meeting the other ten climbers in the group but I am not jealous of their task ahead. Packing mostly done, it is off to bed and luckily it is not an early start for them tomorrow.

After saying goodbye to Dave and Steve, I lazed around for the morning but the pool was too cold for a swim. My transfer back to the Outpost Lodge (where my trip leaves from) in Arusha was 20USD haggled down from 30 again, even though the driver initially did not know where he was going! Once we agreed on Serengeti Rd I had to navigate to the hotel.

The afternoon was spent rating the rest of the Amboseli photos and finishing my book. My tour does not start until tomorrow and so I eat in the hotel and it was a very tasty Indian dish, not what you would expect in Africa.

Centre of Africa - apparentlyNext morning I transfer to the room next door and meet Louise, my roommate for the week. Louise is an Aussie and younger than Steve, it turns out we are the only single females on the trip. We mooch around the hotel all day waiting for the remaining tour members to arrive, including Chris and Lucy. Chris and Lucy arrive on the same Ethiopian Airways flight as Steve was on two days earlier and again it is good to catch up.

After our briefing it is time for dinner with my extended family of Chris, Lucy and Louise and we all get on together so well. It is strange being without Dave as this is the longest we have been apart since we married over thirty years ago. At least I have good company around me. It is now our last two weeks away from the UK, as we embark on our two separate adventures with the boys and Lucy and feel more in holiday mode than travelling.

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