It was an early start and my appetite had returned however worrying I still hadn’t had a movement, those Imodium tablets are super effective! After breakfast we all had a group photograph with the porters and they performed a song for us.
The group had all put in money for tips and shared them out to the porters and cooks. I then gave some extra dollars to Moses as a personal thank you. The porters would be taking our gear to the coach and then making their way the ‘Machame Gate’ to start their services with a new group undertaking Kilimanjaro.
The walk to Mweka gate was very pleasant, passing through the jungle, listening to the birds chirping and spying the monkeys in the canopy. After signing out of the national park we walked to ‘Mweka’ village passing through farms with children waving and watching us walk by.
We stopped at a café to have dinner of banana stew, which didn’t taste like I expected. We said bye to our guides giving them some gifts. I had some unused thermals that I handed out. We left to board the coach to be greeted by the children from the village, we decided to hand out sweets and other snacks we still had left in our packs.
I watched the country fly by as we made our way back to ‘Arusha’. It was bittersweet that the climb was over. I enjoyed the whole experience and certainly had plenty of stories to tell on my return home, but I was tired. As soon as I got to my hut at the same hotel I stopped at on the first night, I jumped into the shower.
Once feeling civilised again, I went to the hotel bar where I had a few drinks with Tim (the group member who had to return due to the chest infection). He was recovering well and had colour back in his cheeks; he had been prescribed a course of anti-biotics. After resting up for a day, he went on a safari in the Serengeti and explored Arusha thus made the most of his time in Tanzania.
After dinner, some of the group went into Arusha with William to hit a few clubs, however I was too exhausted and remained at the hotel bar for a couple more beers, then retired to bed. I fell asleep to the bush babies squawking into the night.
A magical end to my Kilimanjaro adventure.
For those who maybe interested about my stomach issues. Despite not having another Imodium since the start of the final ascent, I still hadn’t had a bowel movement. When it finally did, it was somewhere over north Africa. It was a new low; an airplane toilet is one of the worst places to have to take a dump, and the walk of shame back to your seat made me wish I had a parachute so I could jump out the nearest hatch!