we did a kili hike a couple of weekends ago. just to the first hut which is about all you can do for a day hike. it started as a good idea - a way for a bunch of friends to get together for the day. the Marangu gate where we begin is about 45 minutes away so we start early 6:00am at 8:30 we are still in Moshi. it turns out our 'guide' has been up all night drinking and can barely speak. in the end we bail on the situation and walk away to have breakfast at one of cafes in town and call another guide to give it a go the next day.
everything goes according to plan which means a 45 minute wait at the gate for the office to process the paperwork before you can step foot onto the mountain.
we get impatient but i've been here before and i remember how slow it is. in 10 years they haven't figured out a better way to do it?. fortunately we are early and towards the front of the line so who knows how long it takes if you show up an hour later? it's such a beautiful hike up through an environment much like a jungle and we stop to enjoy the flowers, moss hanging everywhere and even spot a few monkeys.
this is a popular path and being the first day for groups planning to summit the porters are weighed down to the maximum allowable weights. still, they move quickly and we step aside we they move to pass us.
we have lunch at the huts and head back down to thicker and and warmer temperatures. on the way out of marangu we stop at one of the hotels for cold drink and enjoy a relaxing hour in the garden there which is a throw back to colonial times.