Off to Zanzibar

Starting last part of our trip: Going east... Finally we left our second home in Arusha with first bus in the morning (starting at 6:00 am *argh*) and headed east to Zanzibar. Since everything seemed to be somehow related to Mt Kilimanjaro, we decided to take the Kilimanjaro Express although Dar Express goes at similar schedule and same price which was 30.000 TSH.

Whole trip took about 10h for us from Arusha via Moshi to Dar with half an hour of break in between...not counting 1.5h unplanned stop right after having lunch where our bus driver had to repair the brakes *hehe*. Actually we hoped for last ferry to Zanzibar around 16:00 but this was out of sight after last stop.

Thanks to Alexia we already had a B&B recommendation in Dar es Salaam, the Jambo Inn Hotel which was reasonable, in direct walking distance to the ferry landing, has a restaurant and most imortant had a free room.

Kilimanjaro via Machame route...

Juli and I made it again! Without having seen any mountain before (ok, I did climb up to 150m on famous Bungsberg in SH when I was a child ;-)) we did successfully reach Uhuru Peak - the highest point in Africa at 5.895m.

Decision for particular route

We actually started out in Tanzania without having agreed which route we wanna go. I was aware of several different routes but since I did not have any experience my only pre-requisites were:

  • route needs to provide chance to properly acclimatize,
  • route needs to be possible w/o extensive climbing experience.

Juliane was in favor of Shira/Lemosho route; I considered Machame route - both with a minimum of a 6-day hike in order to acclimatize and both routes not being #1 route chosen by everybody (which is Marangu aka Coca-Cola-Route).

Not telling yet that the rangers also sold Coca-Cola for 4$ each at Barafu camp ;-)...

In the end there was no discussion since we met two french guys in our hotel: Jean-Christophe and Damien already had decided & booked a tour with Tanzania Summit Adventures for 6-day Machame route hike. So, we simply jumped in, made a quick decision and joined them - and it was best that could have happened to us!

The Big 5

Brainstorming

Where to go? Night again, some red wine and a chat...ending up in weird brainstorming about possible places to travel to in 2011.

The Qingzang railway is a high-altitude railway that connects Xining, Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, in People's Republic of China. The total length of Qingzang railway is 1956 km: 815 km section between Xining and Golmud and 1142 km section between Golmud and Lhasa.

Lhasa is the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China and the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau, after Xining.

Mount Kailash (Elevation: 6,638 m (21,778 ft)) is a peak in the Gangdisê Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet. It is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs; Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 mi) long.

Paro Airport (IATA: PBH, ICAO: VQPR) is the only international airport of Bhutan. The airport  sits at an altitude of 7,300 feet (2,200 m) and is renowned as one of the world's most scary airport: "[...] only eight pilots in the world are qualified to fly into Paro [...]"