Africa Expo 2002

Date: 21/07/2002 to 09/08/2002

Vulcan Expo 2002 to Africa

Day 1: Flight to Nairobi

The group flew to Nairobi in two groups - me & goody on the first flight and everyone else arriving later.

Clouds from the plane Clouds from the plane Sicily from the Plane Sicily from the Plane Sicily from the Plane Sicily from the Plane Another Island from the Plane Another Island from the Plane Crossing onto the Sahara Desert

Day 2: Bus to Moshi

Once everyone was back together, we got on a bus which took us all of the way to Moshi in Tanzania. Once there, we moved to the Coffee Tree campsite in Marangu, on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

First glimpse of Kilimanjaro Mount Kilimanjaro Mount Kilimanjaro Kilimanjaro and Mwenzi Sitting in the kitchen at the Coffee Tree Campsite

Day 3: Starting work on the School

In the morning we were taken around the school where we were to be doing some work, so we could decide what to do. We sent some people off to get materials, then began tidying it up and applying one coat of paint.

Looking down on clouds from the school View of Kilimanjaro from the school The school before we started work on it The group outside the school Inside the school before we started work on it Coffee Tree campsite Work begins Work begins Everyone working in the school Painting (the school and each other) begins More painting Aran seems to have been painted the most Rob, Aran, Goody and Colin A Lizard (with moth in mouth) lands on my arm

Day 4: More work on the School

Now that the emulsion had been applied, we started applying enamel paint on the walls and shutters. And each other. And enamel paint does not come off skin!

Inside the school at the start of the day Adding the line round the bottom of the wall Everyone at work Waterfall near the school Waterfall near the school Painting the shutters Painting the shutters Painting the shutters inside the school Everyone at work Colin cooking Sitting drinking in the kitchen Goody and Colin Aran got a bit more painted today Julia looking very happy Aran doesn't quite make it to the toilet Everyone in the kitchen Rob and Julia

Day 5: Adding the Letters & Numbers to the School

More painting of the school - the black strip round the bottom of the walls, and starting adding the letters and numbers to the top of the walls. Red paint makes you giggle!

Alice learns her alphabet badly Julia pencils in the letrters A few more letters are added The black line hasn't quite gone to plan The group learn to count The group learn to count More numbers are added The alphabet (almost) finished The outside finished Sitting around the fire Aran hides by the fridge Julia throttles the poor beer bottle The spankers Rob and Goody The fire Mr Non-Smoker Colin Looking through the fire Goody Rob and Julia Rob

Day 6: Finishing the School & moving to Springland

We spent the morning tidying up everything in the school, then in the afternoon packed all of our stuff up and headed for the Springlands hotel where we would spend a night before starting the climb in the morning

Inside the school after it has been finished View of Kilimanjaro from the school Inside the completed school View of Kilimanjaro from the school The outside of the completed school The group with the carpenter and his assistant Inside the completed school Going to the waterfall The waterfall The school from a distance Sitting by the pool in the Springlands Hotel

Day 7: Starting the climb

We were taken by bus from the Springlands hotel to Marangu Gate in the morning, which is an 1940m asl. From there, we gave our kit to our porters, met our head guide Bryson and assistant guide Victor, then set off at around midday. We were forced to work extremely slowly ("poli poli") so that we would get used to the pace, so a short walk took 3 hours with a break for lunch. We arrived at Mandara Hut to dump our stuff, then went for a walk to a nearby crater with excellent views out over Africa.

The group prepares for the climb Rob at the bottom Marangu Gate Aran and Victor at lunch Walking through the rainforest Colin and Victor Colin and Aran trying to be a porter Walking through the rainforest The path up through the rainforest Karl's kind arrive Karl's kind arrive Mandara Hut (2720m asl) Inside the creater Looking down from the crater Inside Mandara Hut View from the crater

Day 8: Second day of the climb

After waking up and realising that we were above the clouds, we had breakfast and started the climb to Horombo Huts. The weather started out really nice, but cloud soon moved in. We reached Horombo huts at 3720m asl and spent the night there.

Looking down on clouds at sunrise from Mandara Looking down on clouds at sunrise from Mandara Looking down on clouds at sunrise from Mandara A monkey in the trees Mt Mwenzi appearing ahead of the group Still looking down on clouds Kibo and Mwenzi obscured by clouds The group with our target in the background Walking over the shrubland Clouds close in Quick game of hack before lunch Picnic lunch prepared for us Goody and Aran Strange Trees Aran tries his hand at being a porter Horombo Huts (3720m asl) Rob's suntan washes off Walking up to Zebra rocks Karl realises what we are here for View through the clouds of the peaks Zebra Rocks Looking down on the clouds from Zebra rocks Game of hack at Zebra Rock Aran and Colin try on their salopets Moshi by night

Day 9: Climb to Kibo

Day 3 was the climb to the final hut, Kibo. The walk started out being fairly easy, but once we got to the Saddle (the area between Kibo and Mwenzi) it got very exposed and windy. There was no water after the morning huts either. As we got to lunch it was extremely windy and dusty, and everyone was walking with hoods. We reached Kibo mid afternoon, where we went straight to bed. We were woken for dinner, then went back to bed to rest for the summit climb. Many of us had headaches from the altitude.

View of the summit from Horombo Inside our hut at Horombo Our hut at Horombo Horombo Huts Me at Horombo Hut Walking up from Horombo The mountain tries to show through the clouds Getting there The clouds leave showing us the mountain The group at the saddle Mwenzi The summit from the saddle The group walking from the saddle Lunchtime on day 3 The group walking to Kibo Mwenzi Kibo The long walk The group Rob on top of a rock Path to the summit Looking back on where we had come from The Summit (with the scree slope visible) Clouds drift in behind us Another shot of the summit The cloud level comes up Kibo hut The summit from Kibo hut Me at Kibo hut Clods coming up Mwenzi at sunset Mwenzi at sunset Clouds at the sunset on Kilimanjaro Sunset at Kilimanjaro Panoramic shot of Kilimanjaro

Day 10: Summit Climb

The hardest day by far. We were woken up at 23:00 to prepare for leaving at midnight. Then we walked in the dark in a line. Some of the group started getting altitude sickness early on, and after half-way up the mountain we split the group into two. My group reached Gilmans point at 5685m at 06:00, then decided to proceed round the crater to Uhuru peak, the actual summit. This proved to be quite difficult as we were all tired and most of us were suffering from the altitude, but we finally made it at 08:00. Then we went back down for a rest at Kibo hut before walking back to Horombo hut to get away from the altitude!

Day 11: Down from the mountain

This day was just an easy walk down from Horombo to the bottom of the mountain, although a long walk downhill isn't the nicest on the feet! After waiting at the bottom for everyone, we got our certificates for climbing the mountain then went back to the Springlands hotel for a dip in the pool, some lunch and lots of beers.

Day 12: Journey to Zanzibar

After getting an early start, we caught a bus from Moshi to Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. From there we got a ferry to Unguja Island, Zanzibar. When we arrived a taxi driver tried to take us to a hotel for TSh2000, although others around were trying to tell us we should walk. The driver took us round a number of hotels that were full and wanted to take us on a longer ride to a hotel on the East coast (where he would get more commission) but we eventually found the Bottom's Up Inn, which was a very dodgy looking guest house. It was very high up and had superb views over the town. We went to "the Garden" for food, where there is stall after stall selling meat and fish. We then ended up in the bar below the guest house for a couple of drinks.

Day 13: Around Stone Town

After being woken up very early by extremely heavy rain on a tin roof and countless calls to prayer, we spent the day exploring Stone town and deciding what to do the day after. The evening was spent by getting food at the Garden again, then ending up in a bar until the early hours of the morning.

Day 14: Moving to Jambiani

We had another fairly early start, when we caught a taxi over to Jambiani, a town on the East coast with a 14km beack. The taxi ride took an hour and a half, and involved about 20 mins down a very bumpy unsurfaced road through Jambiani. We eventually found a nice hotel with small beachfront rooms, 30 seconds walk from the beach. Fantastic! In the afternoon we hired a boat and went snorkelling off the reef off the short. In the evening we had a fire on the beach and drank the hotel dry of just about all the alcohol they had. They had not been expecting us! :-)

Day 15: Dolphin Tour

We took another taxi all of the way to the south of the island to go on a Dolphin tour. Actually it was more of a dolphin chase - about 10 boats like ours all with people who wanted to swim with dolphins. Every time a fin appeared all of the boats closed in on it. We were waiting for ages before we actually got close enough. We also saw a whale while we were looking. When we got back we had arranged with someone we met the previous night to have dinner at a local's house, then a fire and drums on the beach. The dinner was probably the best we had had so far, as it was the only local food! Having the drums on the beach also made for a good last night in Jambiani

Day 16: Back to Stone Town

After breakfast in Jambiani we got a taxi back to Stone town, where we checked back into the Bottom's Up. After a bite of lunch we went snorkelling near Prison Island, which was a lot better than the snorkelling at Jambiani. Noone had any energy to do anything in the evening due to the previous late night.

Day 17: Around Stone Town

Our final whole day on Zanzibar was mostly spent shopping and sorting out the trip back. In the evening we had the expo meal at a restaurant that served local food, the Sambusa two tables restaurant, so called because it only had two tables. It was just a room in someone's house. The food was excellent, though they wouldn't tell us what it was before we got there! After that we went through a few bars, and ended up keeping a bar open for us.

Day 19: Journey back to Nairobi

The final whole day in Africa, we spent a couple of hours in the morning walking around the markets in Moshi looking for a bargain. Then it was time to sit on another bus for the day to get back to Nairobi for another stay in the Fairview hotel. We then ended up getting quite drunk playing drinking games and still going to bed early.

Day 20: Flight Home

The final day was the flight home. The main group had an early flight and had to be out of the hotel by 5:00, but when we got to the airport at 9:30, their flight hadn't even left yet! We were quite pleased with that outcome.