Lakeshore waterfront at Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Shkoder, Albania on May 19th!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nice hike on the outskirts of Arusha. Beautiful scenery!

We met one of our porters yesterday. Abdallah is 24 years old and wants to work his way up to being a guide. He has taken the guide courses at the local college and is now beginning actual training. He is also learning Chinese because there are a growing number of Chinese tourists coming to Tanzania and there are no guides who can speak Chinese. 

Justin set things up so that Abdallah would spend the day with us doing a hike to a waterfall about 10 kms (6 miles) away from our apartment.

We set out at about 10:00am.

Ruth and Abdallah.

Scenery along the way.

Crossing a stream.

Everybody is so friendly. Almost everybody says hello, and welcome. We have already learned how to say hello, how are you, and when they say welcome (karibu), we can say thank you.

The children are really funny because some of them coming running up to us to say "hi" in English. 

Me, with some of the local kids.

Our entire walk was on roads and pathways like this.



Everything is so green!




A modern Maasai tribe house.

We hadn't brought any food with us (just lots of water) so we figured we would just buy some street snacks along the way. But I had also read of a restaurant at a private park called Themi River Leisure Park. We stopped in there along the way.

It's a really pretty spot with lots of flowers and gardens. 

There were no other tourists or customers around, and the place does look like it exists for the tourists, not the locals. I expect because it's along the main road that goes up to the waterfalls, some groups probably stop in there after seeing the falls. 

We spoke to the owner. He's a local, but because he's in the tourist business he speaks perfect English. He has even been to both Montreal and Ottawa in Canada! Anyhow, he was lamenting the fact that there are no tourists this year. He says he has never seen it like this in his whole life. 

We said we would stop in on our way back for some food.

We continued on to the entrance to the falls. It's on a government run recreation reserve. The entrance fee was priced at $10 USD (23,000 shillings, $12.75 CAD) per person.

We told the girl "no thanks"!

She was surprised and asked why. So we explained that we thought the price was ridiculous and that we have seen lots of waterfalls in our travels for free.

This caused a huge discussion in Swahili between her, and some official looking guy that joined in, and our guy Abdallah.

We have no idea what what said, but the girl eventually said one of us could go in for free. Abdallah was already free since he is our guide.

But by that point, Ruth and I were already turned off by the whole thing. We had wanted to get out for the walk, and we really enjoyed that. We didn't really care about the waterfall, and I had seen photos of it online and it wasn't that spectacular. Plus, we really didn't want to participate any more than we have to in these overpriced tourist activities.

We turned around and walked away.

Back at the restaurant, we got some food.

A big plate of lamb, a couple of things of french fries (they call them "chips" here) and a small salad that consisted of onions and tomatoes. Total cost for the three of us was 22,500 shillings ($12.50 CAD, $9.75 USD), tip included.

We were about to go for a little tour of the property and take some pictures when some rain clouds moved in. There had only been a 10% chance of rain in the forecast, but I guess that covers all the bases!

It poured buckets for about a half an hour.

Raining.

Abdallah and Ruth under the big umbrella.

The wind picked up just as the rain was stopping, and even thought it wasn't really that strong of a wind, we heard a snapping sound and then I saw the electrical wires across the road moving like something had touched them.

Sure enough, a tree had fallen across the road!

By this point, the rain looked like it was done, and we continued back downhill the same route we had come up on.

Scenery along the way.

Despite not seeing the waterfalls, we really enjoyed the hike. We had done 16.4 kms (10.2 miles) by the time we got back to the apartment, and the uphill part had been a decent aerobic workout.

Today, we will meet with our guide and cook for our Mt. Meru hike which starts Monday morning!

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And in Canada...



10 comments:

  1. That tropical greenery sure looks nice - there is a -29C (-20F) windchill here in Ottawa this morning.

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    1. It sure is nice tropical weather!

      Brrr...that is cold but I guess we will be experiencing those temperatures for a couple of days over the next two weeks but at least we know ours will only be for about 2 days.

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  2. Tourist traps are always overpriced. They probably figured that since you hiked that entire distance you would automatically pay.
    Glad you stayed Safe and Dry.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your first climb.

    It's about time.

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    1. Most of the time they certainly are, luckily we were quite happy just doing the hike and seeing the scenery and day to day lives of the locals. :-)

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  3. Love the lush scenery on that hike. I hope you’ll have good weather on your Mt. Meru trek. Good to see some inexpensive food at the restaurant.

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    1. It was such a pretty hike. So many flowers and various kinds of trees and plants to look at.

      We are really hoping for good weather on our Mt. Meru trek as well. They say when you are on the mountains here the weather is very unpredictable and there is nothing we can do about it so we will just take what we get and enjoy the experience.

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  4. I've enjoyed seeing this part of Africa through your eyes! I worry about your intestinal health since there are microbes you're not familiar with, despite your world travel. Wouldn't want anything like that to foil you plans! We had to worry about bilharzia, a fluke, when we were drinking tea with the locals - because so much of the water supply was supplemented with creek or river water where bilharzia lived. I'm sure you're careful - just remember your intestines are "tourists" in this part of the world. lol.

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    1. We are glad that you are enjoying our posts.

      We have done lots of traveling in Mexico and other countries where you need to be careful with the water, and have had to deal with a bit of intestinal issues from time to time so we are very familiar with it and just hope that we do fine here but also won't be surprised if at some point we have a problem. We drink only bottled water and I try to make our food most of the time although we have been having lunches out lately but they have been a popular/well recommended places.

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  5. Looks like a pretty hike, and I love the flowering trees in your last photo! I don't blame you for not going to the falls; that price is just crazy. Even when they said you could go in for free, I would have felt weird doing that as well. I don't want to take advantage of people, but I don't want to be taken advantage of either!

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    1. It was a very scenic hike and we really enjoyed walking through the local villages and seeing what day to day life is like here. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, many of them saying hello to us, with big smiles and waves.

      That is exactly how we felt about the cost. We really didn't mind not going in to see the falls, the hike itself was amazing, we really enjoyed it. :-)

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