Climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

June 6, 2005

Photo courtesy of Jungle Photos

The die is cast! Now lets hope no one in the cast dies!

In January 2002 shortly after I went skydiving to celebrate my 30th birthday, Soyan and I saw the IMAX movie: Kilimanjaro - To the Roof of Africa. After seeing that “normal” people could summit Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro, I suggested that we should climb Kilimanjaro for Soyan’s 30th Birthday in December 2004.

She said that sounded nice, but she’d never been to an opera and that she’d like go for her 30th birthday. I explained that the two were not mutually exclusive, but when her birthday crept up last year, I got her a subscription to the Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) and we did not climb Kilimanjaro.

We enjoyed the BLO, but it some how failed to captivate Soyan to the same degree as her first opera, The Magic Flute. This is surprising because the BLO performances were live with a full orchestra in a theater. There were sets, costumes and lights at the BLO while the Magic Flute was a 3 cassette tape recording seen with the limited visual aids of a public school, in the late 1980’s, the “Ding - please advance to the next frame” filmstrip. I guess that is more evidence that a good score can carry a film, and of course that Mozart’s was a genius.

But I digress! The die is cast, we have paid our money and have our first firm date of the trip. We are booked for a trek up Kilimanjaro, starting December 26th, 2005 (the very day of Soyan’s 31st birthday). Soyan assures me that within the scientific community an error of plus or minus one is an acceptable margin of error, so in a sense we are still going to Tanzania for her 30th birthday. If all goes well we should be at the the summit for sunrise on new years day 2006!

I am incredibly excited for our climb, but a little scared. I know I need to get in shape before I go, and I know it will be hard. I take some solace in knowing that ultimately how I do will have to do more with how I handle the altitude than how in shape I am, but being in better shape certainly won’t hurt!

The Kilimanjaro trip is being organized by Donovan and the nice folks at Boots N All, a terrific resource and message board for backpackers travelling around the world. After Tanzania, we are planning to head south and west overland until we get to South Africa. Then we’ll see how we are feeling about Africa, because there will still be lots more to see, not the least of which is the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda.

1 Comment »

  1. Couple of tips for Tanzania: before you think about climbing Kili, you will need to get fit - it’s not a Sunday stroll in the park! But it’s an amazing place, and you’ll have a wonderful time. While you’re there, I’d recommend the Serengeti and the Ngorogoro Crater - no point going that far, and not seeing some of the most amazing landscapes such a fabulous continent has to offer! Safari njema!


    Comment by Hannah — June 28, 2005 @ 7:22 am

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