In the Shadows of Meru

Apologies to all Twin Peak followers, family members and friends for this lapse in current  updates..our server in the good old US of A had been having technical problems and only as of now 25th got it sorted!! oh how i love technical stuff (not) so although the updates are a little older than planed, there still as fresh as the buffalo dung i slipped in whilst trying to be cool, calm and collected whilst re-telling my story of climbing Meru some 10 years earlier.. without further ado or poo, you can now move with the ‘Twin Peaks Team’ since they stepped foot on Mt Meru.

After park formalities and the impressive form of ranger ‘Dickson’ with his 280 magnum rifle being appointed to us, we headed off across the grassy plains looking at the rain forest clad lower slopes of Meru as our team of  8 strong  porters slowly got smaller and smaller as they steamed on ahead. The famous trio with myself and Ingrid were not in any hurry with a whole day ahead of us so we soaked in the impressive views and took in some wildlife of the open grassy plains.

Happy for ranger 'Dickson' and Mr magnum !!

Happy for ranger 'Dickson' and Mr magnum to accompany us though !!

Well after passing safely through the buff: and a sighting a few distant giraffe we hit the lowland forest, the trekking itself was not too hard but the day was sunny with broken cloud and when that sun popped out..phew!! it was like being caught in a heat wave, the shadows and the trees were welcomed by all.  A picnic lunch packet was consumed furiously with ‘The Brad’ showing that although small in stature his appetite belittled that of Stuart who in a former life stood at a few club doors in his time and although i am 6’4″ I’m completely happy to be his friend.  Now as to Stuart progress although he had not said anything to anyone, we started to keep an eye on him as he sat for a full minute in the shade of a tree with views across to Momela Lakes with Kili as backdrop baffled by a juice packet!! put it down to heat, altitude or is it that all juice packets in the UK are rectangular?? but he was certainly puzzled as where to insert the straw, bingo the silver dot.  We crank started our bodies into an upward motion and continued for another 1.5 hrs to Mariakamba Hut, the forest was as magical as i remembered it all those years before with “Old man’s Beard” a form of  hanging moss clinging off of every tree to give the darkening forest that mystical fantasy feeling, the silence was  bliss and far removed from the buzz of Arusha town. I was personally re-leaved that we had arrived to the hut, legs were heavy and did have too much go go juice left in me.  For those who do not know Meru as a hike,  it is all very civil with good supplies of running water and private mountain cabins, 2 x double bunks to a lockable room, you couldn’t ask really for much more!! although more was to come. A small knock at the door and Gody, head porter appeared with his beaming smile  holding bowls of steaming hot water to freshen ourselves. Oh what a delight – we all congregated around the mess cabin and between the five of us ,what seemed like an impossible task managed to polish off two huge serving plates worth of pop corn, before the 3 course meal had even arrived!!

A relatively early and necessary escape was executed by the Twin Peaks Team as a bunch of noisy Germans who had hit the  summit the previous day started getting vocal with no respect or etiquette  for other climbers, so we left them as the first song was launched onto the other dinners who had not yet finished.  Day 1 of Mount Meru came to an end with the rustling of  sleeping bags and the distant sound of Stuart snoring in the next room.

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