Thursday, March 25, 2010

Marangu Waterfalls

Saturday was a relaxing day in Moshi…I did not do much besides lay around the hostel and go to the pool for a quick swim. It started to pour while I was in the water though and it was the first time that I was shivering cold since arriving in Africa.
Sunday, I went to Marangu to see the waterfalls with some of the people from the hostel. We took a dalladalla there and one of the guys that I was with said at one point he counted 25 people crowded in this one van. I don’t know how many people were in there because I couldn’t see past the people in front of me. It took about an hour to get there and once we arrived we met with our guide who is a friend of a friends. He took us to the ‘caves’ that the Chagga tribe used to hide from the Masaai. It reminded me of the ChuChi tunnels in Vietnam but it also reminded me of the touch tunnel at the statue of liberty which are two totally different things….anyway….it was still cool to climb through it. I couldn’t see anything at one point and also couldn’t stand up because I knew I would hit my head but continued to crawl forward in this underground tunnel of mud until we made it out again.
After that he took us to a waterfall for jumping. He got two local boys to jump off of the cliff (about a 15 foot fall) first and then they climbed up the side and jumped off from atleast two or three times that height. I was so scared watching them jump off the higher one and held my breath until I saw their heads come up out of the water. Then some of the people from the hostel jumped from the 15 foot ledge.
We walked to the next waterfall down a steep hill using steps that had been built in the mud. The mud steps had bamboo hand-rails that were there to use as support. When we got down to the bottom of the second waterfall I was ready to swim. As soon as I put my foot in I changed my mind because the water was frigid!! The rocks under my foot were extremely slippery and although I had changed my mind about swimming I slipped on the slime of the rock and landed in the ice cold water. It basically made my body numb and after a few seconds I got used to it. It was really cool to be swimming in a waterfall because I never have before.
As soon as we started walking up from the waterfall I was no longer cold but started sweating again. I can still feel it in my thighs (three days later), which is pretty pathetic and should encourage me to get some more exercise.
After seeing some of the falls we went to a mini coffee plantation where our guide showed us how coffee was made. It was pretty neat to see. They pick the beans off of bushes and put it in a hand-cranked machine to peel the skin off the bean. The beans are then roasted and crushed and then filered into hot water with milk and sugar. I didn’t really like the coffee that much but I think it is because it had chunks in it which I am not used to.
Before getting on the daladala to head back to Moshi we tried some banana beer (a local beer) which was very strange tasting. The waterfalls were gorgeous and it was definitely a great day trip!

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