Posted by: Laura Hartstone | 15 January, 2010

Solar Friday

Mount Kenya

– Update from the Team  –

Would you believe that the best place to view a full solar eclipse is on the equator – and guess where we were yesterday morning as it occurred! – it was amazing though some of us (Jess and Harvey) are still suffering blind spots for accidently staring straight at the sun.

Total Annular Eclipse

So…..The team endured a 12 hour bus ride from Nanyuki to Arusha stopping at an awesome Ethiopian restaurant in Nairobi for Lunch. Despite not being forced fed by Simba we were all conditioned to ‘eat, eat, eat’ and we all returned to the bus feeling well overfed but enthusiastic and excited (rookie error) for the road trip ahead.

The team was delighted to learn that major road works were underway on both sides of the boarder which gave us extra (extra extra) time to admire the scenery and soak up our surroundings.

The Americans had the honor of paying twice that of everyone else for their transit visa to Tanzania. The rest of us cheered and the good price of $50US! – though we all concluded afterwards that we could have probably just snuck across the boarder as security was minimal. Still it was exciting to get an extra stamp in our passports and we continued on the over the boarder and into our new challenge.

On our bus ride through Tanzania’s incredibly beautiful (and green) country side the bus driver Mohammad pointed out Kili to us (most of us had conniptions but some remained calm and optimistic). We were also amazed to see Mt Meru and at this point the bus fell silent with the reality of our next challenge.

As a result of our rush of nervous energy we all decided that the only way to cope was to indulge in anything sweet and sugary that we could find. Thankfully Niamh, Jeanne and Heather were to the rescue supply us all with Peanut M&M’s and Laura had packed Macadamia’s and Popcorn to stave off our nerves. We focused on the sugar hit and forgot all about the magnitude of Mt Meru and Kili.

Boo kept us entertained as she belted out tunes on her iPod – the rest of the team attempted to join in but sounded more like a pack of hyenas. It was funny all the same and now Boo has a great song list to pump us up before Meru summit night.

We arrived at our new hotel which is like a little suburb on its own. We were lodged on the same street and had just enough time to settle in quickly before dinner. None of the team were able to decipher the menu as it was in Swahili but it was a banquet style meal so all just ate what was put in front of us and toasted Simba for our excess eating (Stockholm syndrome of sorts).

Sarah won the Bandana award from Amy for keeping us all entertained, enthralled and at times shocked with her stories of personal experience and life. She kept us all going when we ran out of things to say and kept us all thoroughly amused – those of you out there that know her will know what we are talking about…..


  1. Hope your eyes are better now, Halfie. Love mother Dear

  2. Keep belting them out Boo! We know you can sing.
    Keep enjoying yourselves.

  3. For those of us that know Sarah…
    You are absolutely right, we know exactly what you are talking about and we wouldn’t have it any other way!!
    We miss you Sarah!!


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