The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

Leaving for Kilimajaro in a week

I am still without power as I write this, the storm that blew through last weekend proved too much for the power company alas. Thank goodness, no damage in my town. Meanwhile, my thoughts turn almost full time to flying to Tanzania, to meeting Alan Arnette and joining him up Kilimanjaro. He posted a nice blog today on his site about the climb, so no need to repeat what he said there. Tanzania, for me, is the most ancient of places, the place, or one of them , where early man arose. Olduvai Gorge, the “cradle of man” is nearby, to the west of this ancient Volcano, and further West, the Serengeti plain, Lake Victoria, and the Lake district-the sources of the Nile. The real place imagined (in some cases more than imagined I think) by ancient Egyptians and historians like Herodotus who in the fifth century BC wrote extensively about the sources of the Nile river. Tanzania, and Kili, then, carry a lot of meaning, and deep historical memory, for me. I haven’t thought about this for a very long time, but one of my fondest memories as a kid growing up in Chicago was going to Brookfield zoo and taking the small train around the the perimeter. It felt to me like being on safari. And I remember saying that I wanted to do a safari in East Africa one day. That come snow as a bonus after the climb, when well spend three days in the Serengeti. All of that as background to climbing Kili, one of the most prominent peaks in the world. I am certain it will take my breath away when I first catch a glimpse of it, and it may well as we start to climb.

My final gear check will happen to tomorrow, I expect a last minute dash to REI. I am hoping to get a few long rides in, and then rest the last few days before departing for JFK early on the 11th.

I’ll post up our itinerary soon.

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