25 February 2017
We left Africa a week ago. On the Friday night, a troupe from the Ikoma tribe came to dance us farewell and safe trip. Their costumes were bright and colorful in blues and greens. Beaded jewelry and animal skins and feathers in their hair gave them a very festive air. One woman had a drum, another a flute, and another dancer a whistle.
Two of the dancers wore large metal rattles strapped to their legs. The rattles look for all the world like they are made from old tin cans. We sat outside around the fire pit and enjoyed the show.
In the night the lions and elephants, hyenas and zebras took turns to bid us farewell from the plain below our lodge. On Saturday we left Simba Serengeti at the leisurely hour of 9 for a short drive to the local airstrip, where we boarded a small aircraft for a flight to Arusha. The zebras and wildebeest and giraffes came out to bid us goodbye, and a small blue Eurasian roller, a migrant, posed for us as well.
In Arusha we visited a cultural center (read place to buy last-minute carvings, jewelry, and souvenirs) and then lunched at the African Tulip hotel. We had day rooms at the hotel, and I used the afternoon to post the last four entries of the blog. The others toured a charity that rescues and supports albino Tanzanians.
At 6 p.m. we were decanted from a small bus at Kilimanjaro International Airport for our flight to Amsterdam – it left at 9:45 p.m. The airport was hot and stuffy and had few amenities. That’s T.I.A. (Traveling in Africa) as our guides used to tell us.
Our big blue KLM aircraft eventually arrived, and we boarded up staircases for our flight. All went without incident. We connected for LAX in Amsterdam, and arrived just slightly late at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday. Passport control, customs, luggage, rental car … home just after 4 p.m.
We were too tired to cook dinner, so we microwaved ramen noodles (albeit the good kind that you get at the Asian market). It’s good to be home, but … I’m ready for the next trip already.