Journal - Travel

We all gathered at Susan's house for a limo ride to the airport. This was my first time meeting Susan and Dr. Redwood. Doc gave us some final instructions, such as be safe, don't get killed, all that fun stuff. Limo to airport was cool and fancy. Nice touch. Getting through the airport was a breeze. No lines for tickets or security. It was a very light travel day; breezed through the airport. Economy seating on long flights stinks. No other words for it. Same goes for Delta planes. We flew KLM plane from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro, but, flew Delta from Atlanta to Amsterdam and back. Very cramped, very little sleep. They do serve you a lot of food though. Seems like every other hour or so they were either serving some type of dinner, snack or drink. Emily and I were stuffed. Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro was about the same. Two hour layover in airport then onto the jet. Nothing fancy, economy stinks, tight seating, but, we made it. Emily and I had a free seat between us so it made things a little easier. All three of us slept well on this flight. We were all very tired.

Amsterdam is where Susan's baggage struggles begin. Before boarding the flight to Kilimanjaro KLM rent-a-cops came around gathering bags they considered a little too large. Susan had one that fit into that category. They took her bag with all her hiking gear with a promise that the bag would be fine, no worries, and would show up at the airport in Kilimanjaro. Bad idea, it never showed. We arrive at Kilimanjaro airport, deplane, and start gathering our bags. We wait, and wait, and wait. Susan's bag never comes. We ask around; it's gone. They (airport folks), of course, have no idea what happened. So, we start the trip off with Susan losing all her gear. Not a good start.

We meet Ernest for the first time where we loaded up into a jeep for transport to Arumeru River Lodge. Very dark at night, no outside street lights. Small, two lane road, very bumpy, very dark. Was a fun drive and exciting to finally be in Africa. The staff is waiting around for us to arrive before locking up for the night. Very nice looking lodge; nice rooms, but, no internet access. I have no way of contacting home to let anyone know I'm good on arrival. I was a little peeved about this, but would get with the front desk tomorrow about this. Food was also eh, so so (no cheese in lasagna?), but, nice enough place to stay for a day or so. Room was comfortable, large bed, mosquito net, quiet. I watched a little TV on IPad before getting to sleep. In morning I fussed about the internet a bit. Of course it did no good, they have no idea, but, they were nice enough to let me sit behind the counter and send email / chat using their booking computer. I was able to contact family and let them know everything was good. Now, of course, they billed me $5.00USD for use of internet service. Wow. I didn't argue. On to the Safari.