Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exploring Tanzania

Hello there good friends! Things have been busy here at It's Kili Time. We have been busy showing Grandma and Grandpa Phillips the sights around and outside of town and indoctrinating them about the joys and endless pleasure of computer solitaire (we have two more converts!).

But let's rewind to mid September when the three of us made the short-on-paper/long-in-reality journey to the coastal town of Pangani. It's about 250 miles from Arusha, with the majority on tarmac (only about 25 miles on dirt track) yet it took nearly 9 hours to get there. But what a sight for sore eyes the Indian Ocean and Tulia Beach Lodge was! Millie was an absolute trooper on the long drive and really perked up upon seeing the sea for the first time. Reminds us how much of life she is yet to discover. We spent three nights and two days enjoying the serene beach with our friends Katie & Ollie (and their UK friend Mimi), catching up on the headlines (UK celebrity tabloids) and watching Millie model the latest in infant beach wear.

Then it was back to the daily grind, but with a refreshing addition of our good friends Mike & Lori from Denver. They were in Arusha for 1 week, but spent 4 days on safari. It was so great to have a little life-in-Denver here in Arusha and introduce them to some of Tanzania's greatest pleasures like Kili beer, Amarula, unpredictable power cuts and the blossoming jacaranda trees.

Shortly after their departure, we welcomed Grandma & Grandpa Phillips. They have about one week left in Arusha and perhaps after they leave we can impose upon them to write a guest post about their visit here (whaddaya say, G & G??). The troupe loaded up in our current vehicle (another Land Rover, but this time with awesome power!) and we headed to Ndarakwai Tented Camp in West Kili. But before you think us hard core parents camping with an infant, this was anything but roughing it. We were living high on the hog in the shadows of The Mountain minus cement walls and running water (bucket baths, water pitchers, etc). The food and accommodations were outstanding as were the remote surroundings.

The following weekend we took off for our Triple Threat Safari to the main parks of Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara. What an awesome experience to see so many animals up close and the contrasting landscapes and ecosystems all within one park! Our superb guide, David, from Massai Wanderings was an expert at locating animals like lions which are virtually camouflaged in the brown, dry surroundings. The elephants, zebras, giraffes, wildebeasts, all kinds of antelopes and monkeys and warthogs were out in full force and did not disappoint.

Check out the pictures on the right-hand side of all our adventures! Next up, staying put for a while, exposing Millie to exciting foods like yogurt, beans and melon, awaiting the arrival from Japan of the Toyota 4-Runner we just bought (yes, we bought a car!), seeing who can finish Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol first and trying to master this whole Swahili business. Oh yeah, and getting better about blog posting!

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