The last mountain-morning!
It’s hard to not get melancholic on the last morning on Mount Kilimanjaro!
After sleeping in the Crater Camp on 5790m the night before, we slept like babies at Mweka Camp on 3900m. 🙂 No more headache or coldness, but a beautiful sunny and warm morning welcomed us on our last day at the mountain.
Celebration times come on
After a last hearty breakfast in our mass tent, the crew packed our equipment for the very last time. To be honest, we were happy that we didn’t have to spend another night in the tent. Even we took good care, all our clothes and even the tent was somehow damp from the inside. 🙂
As a tradition, the climbers and the whole crew celebrates the summit access at that point. This is something we see very critical for the following points: On one hand, it is great to sing and dance with the guides and the whole crew, on the other hand there is mainly one purpose of this “event”: Tiping!
Already when booking your Kilimanjaro climb, you will be confronted with the so-called “Tiping Guidelines”. That means, that adding on to the amount you pay your tour operator, there is another amount of money “recommended” to be given to the crew members after the climb. Until now, we aren’t sure how much the team/crew relies on that money and how much they really get paid by the tour operators. But obviously it is normal to celebrate the payment of the tip in big manners. We found it awkward and missplaced to be told how much money we should give the chef, the toilet man or the assistant guide in the same breath as the remark, that the tip depends on your satisfaction. Be prepared for that!
–> Maybe we will write another blogpost several just about the tiping, as this really confuses everybody…
Nevertheless it was cool to sing the Kilimanjaro song for the very last time!
The last descent and Bye-Bye Kilimanjaro
The descent from Mweka Camp down to Mweka Gate took us about 1,5 hours instead of the regular 3-4 hours. Because we were nearly flying down the trail as a result of knowing that there were cold soft drinks waiting for us at the gate. 🙂 After eight days on the mountain you are tired of drinking water tasting like chlorine (from the purifying tablets) or isotonic grapefruit tablets. Nevertheless we captured a few shots on our way down, for example the coolest bakery transport ever.
When reaching Mweka Gate, it felt like a relief. Sad and happy at the same time, we signed out of Kilimanjaro Nationalpark and finally got rewarded with the cold drinks. 🙂 This was as well the time we realized, that we had an awful sunburn on our noses and how dirty our hands and fingernails were. But all that didn’t really matter to us, as we had achieved everything we had planned.
We had reached Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro on the 1st of January with our whole group and had the summit all to ourselves. We stayed in the crater for one night and were able to see the last remainings of the Furtwangler Glacier, which will be gone in less than a year and never come back.. We had good and “not-so-good” times, but thankfully never really bad ones – and we made unforgettable memories!
Cheers from Munich,
Maggy and Anja”
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