|Arusha National Park gate|
The next morning Mponjoli fetched me at the lodge and we took a dala-dala or two to go to Ben's house. There I prepared the mountain equipment I would need for the expedition with him. When that was done, I took off with Mponjoli and we went back to town for Internet, food and beers. We also found another cheap guesthouse for me, as Ben already had a group of 5 or 6 people staying at his place.
Once we get to the park gate, the driver (Eric) and Honest go to pay the entry fees. I wait a while and talk some to Frank. After a while they came back and we drove through the park to Momella gate. There, Frank and Honest get their stuff packed and ready for the trek. Then we only have to wait for the ranger who would guide and protect us. At Momella gate I met a married Irish couple, Catherine and Conor, who were on their second honeymoon. They originally had wanted to go on this trip one year earlier, but after their wedding, didn't have the funds. Another married couple, Laura and Javier, from Pampluna in Spain, were on their proper honeymoon. We each were on the trek with separate tour operators, and so each had our own guide and porters.
The first part was mostly flat and through bush. We saw a herd of buffalos nearby the road. Then it started getting forested and climbing somewhat. The forest looked quite humid. The whole vegetation had more water than its southern counterparts. We stopped to eat our lunch boxes at Fig Tree Arch. My lunch box had a quarter chicken, chips, an egg, an apple and a cookie in it. It was way too much so I kept the egg and the cookie for later.
|Before getting to Miriakamba hut|
|Sunrise from Miriakamba hut|
It took us about an hour to get to Rhino Point at about 3800m. Hiking in the dark is not so easy. And it's even less easy if you have a headlamp that doesn't light too much.
|View of Ash Cone and Saddle hut from Little Meru climb|
I finally made it anyway, and I was really happy about it. My highest summit so far (and probably forever).
|Ready for the conditions|
|Sunrise from the ridge close to summit|
|Honest on summit|
|Twiga in plain close to Momella gate|