Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The Rooftop Of Africa

Let the final leg of this african adventure begin...
Matt and I are now safe and sound at the base of Kilimanjaro, we start climbing tomorrow morning.
We left the team last night at Nairobi airport, and it was really then that life began to get a wee bit hectic.
I checked in with my confirmation number and found out I was bumped from the flight. Needless to say I wasn't impressed.
After a little bit of prayer from both Matt and I, the Kenya Airways rep came back and said he could put me on a flight from Nairobi to Mumbasa and then down to Kili.
I would arrive an hour later then Matt...not ideal but the best we could do...and I only had 15 minutes to catch it.
Matt and I relucantly and frantically parted ways and I hustled to catch the flight.
I arrived in Mumbasa at 12:15AM...my conecting flight was at 9:30AM, it was time to hunker down again.
The airport is almost completely outdoors and at 12:30 in the morning everything was closed, safe one cafe.
I grabbed my bags, and lay down in the corner of the outdoor cafe.
I was awoke many times by staff, "The mosiquitos will bite you," they would say.
At 3 in the morning I woke to a security guard offering to buy me food, it was shift break and a bunch of them stood around chuckling at the 'fuchio muzugu' (crazy muzungu).
I thanked him but opted for some more sleep.
The airport began to come alive around 5:30AM with many people standing in cue for a flight to London.
The cafe owner woke me again to check if this was my flight, and when I said no she instead bought me breakfast...I was very grateful as the ATM's were broken.
I checked in and went upstairs to the lounge, hopped on the internet awhile and waited for my flight.
At 9AM, half an hour before my flight was suppose to leave, a Kenya Airways rep came in and told me they had cancelled my flight.
They instead gave me more tickets, I would reach Kilimanjaro International Airport by 3:30PM...but Matt was expecting me at 10AM.
I had them call for him in Kili and inform him of the change of plans.
I now boarded a flight bound, first for Zanzibar then Dar Es Salam before changing flight to bounce up to Kilimanjaro.
5 Airports in 24 hours...just a small feat.
Upon ariving in Kilimanjaro Internation Airport I frantically searched for Matt, asked if anyone knew if the message had been passed along, or if there was a message for me...Nothing.
Should I go to Moshi? Or Should I stay and see if Matt would show?
I opted for the first option and headed out to the car park for the free shuttle.
A taxi driver spotted me and asked why I looked so worried.
I told him the story and he had just so happened been at thye ifo desk when Matt asked for our company.
He took me to the place where he was staying.
After about 45mins of driving, I arrived, was informed that yes indeed Matt was there.
We were both very happy to see each other, all he was told is that my flight was cancelled.
At 5 we sat down for a briefing on the Mountain, went and grabbed some gear and here we sit now.
7:30, dinner time.
We climb tomorrow at 8:30AM.
The mountain look gorgeous and we are both very much excited, but almost ready for home.
6 days on the mountain and a couple of flights later we will be in Vancouver at 3:30 on the 12th.
For now,
Grace, Peace and Blessings,
Brent (& Matt)


peace said...

Thanks for the great update. So glad you are together again and on this last leg of the journey. Enjoy!

Jamie (and Judy)

Jack said...

Glad you made it safe and sound all be it a bit haggard, I don't think you'll get this before you climb but just in case, always keep at least 1 foot on the ground at a time. You can also pass this valuable information on to Matt because I'm sure his family wants him home in one piece as well.
Enjoy the view, your both in my prayers, see you next week.
oh, did I mention how proud I am of you!

Katie Marie said...

Hey Brent!
Katie here (Matt's girlfriend). I'm at Ang Haugo's place in Honolulu right now, just reading your blog. What an amazing trip you guys had. I'm glad to hear you arrived in Kili safely, finally! What an adventure. I am praying for you and Matt as you climb, and hoping for the best experience. Hope you guys had a great time, and depended on each other when you needed to. Please say hello to Matt for me, and tell him I am doing well, having a great time, and that I love him. Thanks, Brent. Can't wait to meet you and hear all about your trip...next year.

Take care, Katie