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February 12, 2002

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(Hiking time: 5 hours) In Moshi we rented sleeping bags and heavy jackets for $5 apiece, and then rode in a bus with our guide and porters to the Machame gate. We signed into the park and began our hike in the tropical rainforest that sits at Kilimanjaro's base. Black monkeys disturbed the trees above us. Then it rained. We hid in a lean-to outhouse for an hour until our porters caught up to us. We sheepishly retrieved our raingear from the backpacks. Who would think you'd need raingear in a rainforest? We know how to make a good first impression on our guides and porters.
It's always rain season here.
Too much attention. To support us we have a seven man team: two guides (William and Daniel), four porters (William, Samuel, Benjamin, Halid), and one cook (Halifa). Daniel is a Masai, everyone else is from Tanzania's major tribe, the Chagga.