Friday, October 27, 2017

Ngorongoro Crater -- Goodbye Beautiful Crater

We are still sheltering in our flats as we await the results of the Kenya presidential election.  Some unrest in a few places so our mission president is not taking any chances on the safety of his missionaries.  So it's allowed me time to finish posting my pictures of the Ngorongoro Crater near the Serengeti in Tanzania.  See previous posts.

We had a great day in the Ngorongoro Crater with our guide Vincent and with Elder & Sister Munson.  Last pictures of a great day and two nights at the crater.

It was a great day in the crater.  From the hotel we can see the alkali lake in the crater.

And you can also see Lake Magadi which is inside the crater.

LeRon is paying Vincent the rest of what we owe.  In Tanzania the money is in multiples of 1000's.  For example, $100 US equals nearly 225,000 Tanzanian shillings.  The number of zeros boggles one's mind.  So even though we didn't owe Vincent that much, it was a LOT of Tanzanian shillings (or Tsh --"Tish" as we say).  I have a 10,000 Tsh bill as a souvenir and that is equivalent to almost $6 CDN.  Crazy.

Sister Munson is continuing our gospel conversation and is giving Vincent a pass along card.  She invited him for church on Sunday and he came!  I invite a lot of people to church, but so far, no one comes.  Oh well.  Someday.

Vincent felt like we were his grandparents!!

Or maybe his parents . . . he is the age of one of my sons.

The Serena Ngorongoro Lodge was lovely.  And the best part was that we didn't have to sleep under a mosquito net like we've had to in other parks.  Because of the elevation, there's no mosquitos here.  It was great!!  And . . . we've found that building standards are higher here in Tanzania than in Kenya.  There were no cracks where mosquitos could get in if there were mosquitos.  Other lodges we have stayed at had cracks everywhere.  You HAD to sleep under a mosquito net.  The lodge was very well built, as were other places we've stayed in Tanzania.  Very different from Kenya.

The bumpy wall was cool.

The pictures painted on the wall reminded me of native Americans (Indians as we used to call them -- or First Nations as we now call them in Canada).

Being at nearly 8000 feet, we felt very chilly at night.  So great to find hot water bottles in our bed!

Beautiful view of the crater from our room.

Interesting landscape around the lodge.  Rocks everywhere.

Imagine building with rocks like this!!

The lodge blends into the landscape really well.

More views of the lodge.

Flowering shrubs were pretty.

We're just south of the Equator and the altitude is about 7500 feet above sea level.  A good place to go for one whom mosquitos love.

Goodbye Ngorongoro Lodge

Lots of Masai live just outside of the crater.  We stopped to take a picture and these young boys ran toward us.  We knew they just wanted money, so we left very quickly.

Last of my lovely zebras.  These are well outside of the Crater.

The drive from the Crater to Arusha is just a little over 100 miles but it took 4 hours.  Fun to see baboons on the road.

Look closely and you'll see a baby clinging to its mother's tummy.

Tuk-tuks on the road with us.

A termite mound.

LeRon says that the mound feels like cement.  I read somewhere that they use termite mounds as a building material because it is so strong.  Maybe strong isn't the word.

Other termite mounds were big but this one is HUGE!

Elder Munson is a very tall man and the termite mound towers over him.

Now we're at Kilimanjaro airport again, ready for our flight home to Nairobi. 

Mt. Meru in the sunset.

Last look at Mt. Meru.  I caught a glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro too but it was evening and didn't turn out.