Went on a waterfall hike last Sunday with two of my new African friends…grueling uphill but worth the 7 hour round trip excursion!
A few days ago I went on a beautiful waterfall hike with my two friends, Maglan and Samson. It was a Sunday and we left the house in the morning for our 7 hour round trip journey. Mama Kisiri made us fresh chipati for our “safari”.
Little did I know we would be going straight up a long hill, the foothill to Mt. Meru which looms over the village. It was a good workout and I needed to stop many times to catch my breath. We found a young boy to take our photo. Samson said, “do you know the word omen?” “Maybe this boy will someday become a great photographer because you let him use your camera!” I like how this guy thinks!
We walked through beautiful maize fields and had some expansive views of Arusha below, although it was a hazy day. We passed some small Maasai compounds with their round wood and mud huts, goats and cows grazing, people waving and calling out greetings.
One family asked us to stop and come into their yard to sit for a moment. They offered us water but because I wasn’t sure about the water quality, I passed and drank from my own water jug while the guys took a cup.
We were on our way, up the hill some more and I realized that these people come and go from this steep mountain and hand carry their goods to town to the market most days. They actually carry the bundles on their heads which always amazes me what heavy loads they can balance. We’re talking huge stalks of bananas, giant bundles of greens wrapped in plastic grain sacks, 5 gallon water buckets filled with water. My neck hurts just watching them!
We passed by a tree farm of pines, the forest floor laden with bright green ferns, beautiful potato fields in full bloom with views of the rainforest ahead.
We had to stop in at a pay station where a few guys were laying around on the grass waiting for hikers so they could register them and collect their fees to pass through this government owned land to the waterfall. An older, one eyed man with a big scar slashed across his nose, (Horrible to think what happened to this guy!), came in and let us write our names in his official register and took our money. The local guys I was hiking with paid a mere .50 cents while I had to pay $10! That’s the way it goes around here. The tourists get gouged.
We headed out and soon came to the edge of the rain forest where we walked down a steep hill through the big lush tropical vegetation, greeted by some boys on the trail. The river below was a welcomed sight and the water was crystal clear.
There were some teenagers hanging around and we passed a group of young folks from Denmark and stopped to talk a bit. Always a shock to see other Caucasians! We soon came to the most spectacular 100+ foot waterfall in a small gorge where there were many young adults and kids playing and some splashing in the water. I took some shots and Sam urged me to go a bit further and climb up the rocks to get a view from behind the waterfall looking down. I was super tired by then but decided it would be worth the shot.
After a few minutes hanging out we ventured off, up another hill and then rested on a grassy lawn and ate our chipati and mangoes we brought along. We probably rested about an hour, and listened to a Colobus monkey calling from across the valley.
We were lucky enough to hitch a ride down the mountain in a van and headed home, back to the farm, exhausted but fulfilled from a day well spent.