I am an American technology worker who just moved to Taiwan.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Last Shower

December 27, 2012: Day One

We met up with out climbing group at the Arusha Protea Lodge, a hotel about 30 minutes drive from the Machame gate, where the climb will begin. There is a total of 6 climbers plus the crew, no idea what the crew:climber ratio is but I expect it to be embarrassingly high. We hit the jackpot, people-wise,  especially considering that an Amy Winehouse wannabe and her entourage are at the hotel and they are leaving on the same day. So we quite possibly could have drawn that straw.

Steven, the Scottish guy, made and interesting observation that each of us in our climbing group lives outside of their respective home country. Steven works in the ore mines of western Australia. John & Cindy are a couple that teach in Dubai, John a Kiwi and Cindy a Canadian. They came along with their friend Chris who is also a teacher from England. Our guide, Elias, took a survey of our equipment and Steven was severely under equipped, by our standards. Whereas we all had daypacks plus a 15kg rucksack filled with multiple baselayers, socks, hats, sweaters and rainproof gear, Steven was able to fit everything he had in one small backpack. He didn't even have gloves but assured us, if it really get's that cold he can just stick his hands in his pockets! The guide seemed quite uncomfortable with Steven's preparedness but I don't think he has much to be concerned about. He can probably summit in a kilt, commando style.

We were supposed to leave the hotel @ 9:30AM to head for the car to the gate but it is already after 10. I think Elias is probably stil scraping together some gear and had to collect John & Cindy's lost luggage. They were on an Ethiopian Air flight and there gear didn't make it through the layover. Elias is going to stop at the airport to pick it up. They are really anxious about the luggage because they bought all kinds of new gear especially for this trip. Shirley and I just brought our normal ski clothes and will rent sleeping bags and mattresses from the tour company. Since we have to lug all of our stuff to Zanzibar afterwards we wanted to travel relatively lightly.

The water pressure at the hotel is amazingly high, which is great, because this will be our last shower for seven days, need to make it count! I think the toothbrush is most important hygiene product we will be taking up the mountain.

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