West Usambara trek – update from team Alpha two

7th December 2014

Ben trekking

In this blog, we hear how our intrepid trekkers from team Alpha Two are getting on, in the West Usambara Mountains near Lushoto. Christine, our Volunteer Administrator, supplies the photos, having met up to trek with the team at their half-way point. One of the venturers, Ben, has written this update about their experience so far. Over to Ben...

Ben trekking

"The call from the day leader to wake up stirs you from your slumber. The pitter-patter from outside tells you it’s still raining. We’ve been in Tanga for ten days now, and yes, it is still raining though spirits couldn’t be higher.

Group trekking up hill

Backs of group trekking

We’ve walked over 60km so far, through lush valleys and over hills – up steep mountain sides and down again to reach our various campsites. Mission Gare’s monastery was a favourite campsite, where we were treated to a meal made by the local nuns in the midst of stunning mountain views all around.

scenery

Team passing houses

Each venturer has found their own particular role in Alpha two. Chai (spicy milk tea) and mandazis (a kind of African donut) are replacing afternoon tea whenever Theo can source them. Kate has emerged as the dominant pool player, with games in every kind of location from cliff top huts to pine logging towns. Taking down and setting up camp has become second nature to the group, with Dickson and Gerald being able to assemble a tent blindfolded. Alex has developed a talent for being able to create a tippy tap in any location, even if sticks can’t easily be found. Fadhilla and Georgi have been working somewhat in tandem, Fadhilla with her amazing cooking and Georgi with her willingness to wash up by licking the bowl clean. Tally’s vast knowledge of trekking has been invaluable and Olivia has been impressing us with her resolve and determination to complete the route.

Team having brief stop

Team mingle with locals

Having already passed the halfway mark quicker than expected, we are starting to head off the beaten track. We have our strong will to triumph over any adversities on route to the finish line, a clifftop with a view over Kilimanjaro which will not only be a fitting end to our trek, but also to our amazing time at Raleigh as a whole.

Who’s up for a hill-sprint people?!"