25 October 2017 Wednesday - ~ Day 16 - Drive to Kilimanjaro Airport

Today was mostly just a lot of driving. We drove from Karatu all the way back to Arusha, to Kilimanjaro airport, where we fly back home.

Since we forgot the mat yesterday, we had to stop and drop it off at the lady’s home. She was all smiles and thanked us, but only the person who bought the rug actually got off the land rover to give her a hug.

So we drove. Before we got far, we saw a local market, so we decided to stop. We saw a lumber yard.

The market was crowded with people, so we didn’t wander far. Just enough to get a taste. We saw people selling fresh vegetables: bell peppers, eggplants, onions, and tomatoes.

A man was sharpening knives and machetes.

Another person was selling cookware, apparently used.

Another lady had baskets.

Of course, Kathy was attracted to the fabrics, but we didn’t take the time to buy any.

There were also fruits, onions and sweet potatoes or yams.

And sugarcane.

Another guy was selling buckets of potatoes.

Food vendors were selling food, like these fried bananas.

When we got back to the land rover we realized: We had not seen it clean for several days. It was always so dusty and dirty in the wildlife parks.

For lunch, they took us to a luxurious lodge that was just beautiful. The food was very good.

When we finished eating, we had some free time to explore. Next to the lodge was a place where disabled people made and sold crafts. I didn’t buy anything, but I was most interested in the glass blowing. These guys were very good at what they did. I watched them make a large glass pitcher. What amazed me was that they were using their bare hands and rags to shape the glass.

Kathy was more interested in the beads, of course.

There were also weavers.

Inspirational messages

And a wide variety of pretty flowers, although not many of my photos were good.

They also had big trees.

We got back in the land rover and drove on. As we drove through Karatu, we kept looking for the “Bill and Hillary Clinton Shop” that we saw yesterday. We looked and looked, but never found it again. Our guides said maybe it was a mobile shop and had changed locations. I think it just disappeared “under mysterious circumstances!”

We drove on for hours. We were amused to see a “shoe shine.” It seemed out of place because it was surrounded by dirt, so we wondered how long before someone’s clean shoes got all dirty again.

We saw a furniture shop with some of their wares sitting out in the dirt. It’s just so different from what we’re used to seeing.

And, of course, women with piles of things on their heads.

After a long time, we saw it: the proverbial “Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro.” We knew we were close to the airport.

We got to the airport at about sunset, bade Eki and our driver goodbye. The only thing left was a long, miserable flight home. Our plane had a problem in Amsterdam, which meant we were late for our flight to Minneapolis. That meant we missed our flight to Brainerd. Since there are only two flights a day to Brainerd, we had to wait until the late flight. By then we were incredibly tired and cranky. But all in all, it was a great trip.