Travel: NgoroNgoro Crater

Lovely Friends,

Have you heard of the Ngorongoro Crater? Located in Tanzania, exploring this magical place was Part III of our Africa Adventure. The crate looks like a painting, an optical allusion.  When you drive into the crater you quickly understand this is a thriving ecosystem. I was awe stuck.

Part I: Getting to Africa via Istanbul
Part II: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Ngoro Ngoro means Gift of life, named by the Maasai.  Part of the Great Migrations, and our final stop before visiting the Serengeti.

We stayed at the Serena Lodge, and highly recommend this company.  We arrived in Arusha, greeted by a host and our guide, Gregory.  Gregory was our personal guide, driving us on the well know desert roads (they were rough). We spent three days exploring the Crater with picnics and learning so much about this wonderful place.

Adventure: meet me at the Summit!

Earlier this week I shared the physical/fitness part to climbing Kilimanjaro, today I'm sharing the experience.

I loved writing this post! Reflecting on my experience, sharing it with you.  There is a photo link at the bottom of this post for those looking for more ~ enjoy!

Setting the stage: We hiked in the dry season, winter.  The high temps around 35 degrees, low 10. We had two VERY windy days.  One long hike day, about seven hours... and summit day.

The higher the elevation, the less oxygen in the air.  Windy days make breathing a challenge, trying to get a full breath AND not take in dust.

Let's get started!

Fitness: I can't believe I did that

It's hard to share my Kili story in one post, with this being fitness day... it seems like a good day to share my emotions behind this accomplishment (I will post an experience recap later this week, with photos).

I have spent months preparing, planning, scheduling, never doubting, just wondering, anticipating.

Since returning from my trip I have felt off my game and today I realized why - I haven't let myself feel a sense of accomplishment for reaching the summit.

I'm struggling to process the following: 

Instant gratification: a nine day journey, with no communication didn't let friends and family celebrate our achievement real time - darn it social media and cell phones!

Travel: Tanzania from my eyes

I may have traveled to Africa to climb a mountain but what I saw before and after has left me wondering what role fate and karma play in our lives.  How might my life be different if...

~ Market Day ~

I'm left wondering how I can help, or if I'm honest... I'm really wondering 'can I help'. I wasn't expecting to see the poverty we did, slums, and squatter settlements.  My husband and I found a way to help during our visit but we need to focus this energy and continue help now that we have settled back into our daily routine.

Observations from my recent visit to Tanzania: This is important to share before my summit story, most was experienced from the time we landed, to the drive where our adventure would begin.... 

Life: vacation hangover...

I have a hangover - a sensory/experience hangover. I have only been home for six days, from an experience that I have been planning in my head for decades.

I know several of you are anxious for me to share my Kili story, it's coming.  I did journal so I just need to take time to translate my notes into a post. I promise to share this in the next few days.

While you wait, here's a story for you.

Trekking story: WT was just talking to a good friend, bonding over the British Open when I overheard him share a story that I hadn't thought to share.  He was talking about how hard the hike was (it wasn't hard physically)... one day we hiked for eight hours, starting at 13,000 feet, climbing to 15,000 and ending the day back at 13,000.  We were walking around the mountain, while acclimatizing!

Fitness: a dancing duel on the mountain?

I missed you guys! Reading blogs, following my fitness friends embracing summer. Joy hosts Reader's workouts, feel free to join us.

A dancing duel on the mountain? Calvin is a trek guide, a person with a spirit rarely found these days. He is happy, the life of the party... and he likes to sing and dance.

We quickly bonded, laughing, giggling, singing. We challenged each other to 'dance move duel's' often while standing on a rock during a water stop.  I miss this guy.

Kili reflections: I am thrilled to tell you the physical part of the mountain was a breeze for me! Fellow trekkers commented on stiffness, sore muscles, aches... I had none of this. People seemed shocked that I actually trained towards the 60 miles distance vs hours on a stair stepper.

Once I have time to narrow down a thousand photos to a dozen... I will share my Kili story with you.

Life: a retreat on the Bosporus

Today is my birthday!

I woke up just after sunrise, in my own bed - looking around and exhaling, feeling my home hug me.

After 3 1/2 weeks of travel, we couldn't have planned this any better. Greeted with cards and a few gifts to open later today, we will BBQ and have a glass of wine for dinner as we adjust to life.

There's a lot to do today... unpack six bags, laundry, baking, settling back in.  I have so much to share with you but find myself overwhelmed by the events of the last month so I will let the photo's tell the story.

Today let's start with part one... Istanbul.

Istanbul highlights:

Have you been to Istanbul? WT told me I would love it, he was right! This was the perfect way to begin our adventure.  A few days to adjust to the time zone while decompressing before heading to Tanzania.

14 million people, second largest city in the world, filled with religion, history... click here to learn more

Latest Instagrams

© Mari Partyka | Bookworm with a View. Design by Fearne.