So what are they doing sitting in a tented camp in the middle of the Serengeti?
The first (and only?!) real snag in our trip was of our own making.
The most important items to a successful climb up Kili are our boots — so we were determined not to let them out of our sight. We wore them on the plane and packed them with us on our safari rather than leave them at the Springlands hotel outside of Moshi with other gear.
Unfortunately, when we were packing up our bags to leave the tented camp, David’s boots got left behind. He didn’t notice until the following morning when were at the Highview Hotel several hundred kilometres away. To say we started to panic would be an understatement. (To be fair, I should also point out I left a shirt in the tent as well — blame it on the lack of lighting, maybe.)
While David was trying not to be sick to his stomach, I ran down to the hotel parking lot to find Papu. He immediately contacted Freddy at the camp, who said his staff had found the boots shortly after we’d left and he had been trying to reach us to let us know.
Both men began making calls to find a way to get David his boots, while we tried to enjoy our last day of safari at Lake Manyara.
By the time we reached Moshi in mid-afternoon, a plan was in place. Another jeep with safari-goers would bring the boots (and the shirt) as far as Arusha and Papu would drive out to get them and bring them to our hotel.
He bid us goodbye with a promise to return either later that night or first thing the following morning, before we left for Kilimanjaro at 9 a.m. All through dinner, we kept an eye on the gate. No sign of Papu. Neither one of us slept well that night.
We woke early and watched the gate and our watches: 6:30, 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30. While I was checking out, our young hero found David. “I think you’ll be happy to see these…” he said.
Again, an understatement. Many thank-yous and handshakes later, he wished us luck on the climb and we found Sylvester and climbed into the jeep headed to the start of the Lemosho route.
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