The sublime to the ridiculous!

The Sublime

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I promised I would tell more about Kilimamoja Lodge. 

Approaching the lodge up a rutted, bummpy dirt track we passed typical small, mud built houses. Local women were carrying buckets and bags of grain on their heads and an ox cart headed down to the village at the main road. rounding the last corner, we came up to a rock built wall with wooden gates. The guard opened the gates and we drove in to the lodge grounds.

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Passing manicured lawns, formal flower beds and statues, we finally pulled up in the entrance porch where we were greeted by the lodge staff and some Masai women “singing” a welcome.

The lodge is a massive, thatched building with looong thatch covered walkways between wings. After checking in, we were taken to the main building with restaurant to one end and the bar at the other. The entire building is furnished with antiques, beautiful leather upholstered chairs and sofas. Wildlife photos,   African weaving  and carvings decorate the wall. Chandeliers on 10m chains hung from the roof.

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We were led out to the verandah where we were to have lunch. In the garden was an infinity pool looking out over the escarpment into the Rift Valley. Jaw dropping!

Our room (small villa) was equally opulent. A queen bed looked out over our private verandah which in turn looked out over the Rift. A twin shower and basins, tactfully screened from the bedroom with a stone wall formed the bathroom. The third, (outdoor) shower was off to the side with a wall, just high enough for modesty but low enough to look out over the valley. Decoration mirrored the main house. 

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Dinner (silver service of course) was excellent with pre starter (Light creamy tomato soup was our choice), Starter (shrimp cocktail), Main (Grilled pepper steak - a toss up against Coconut chicken Zanzibar style) and Desert (chocolate mousse). As it was our last night, we all ate together. Giovanni treated the adults to a bottle of wine (Chianti of course) and Sija came over from the staff quarters to chat and wish us a great meal. 

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And it was.

The Ridiculous

After lunch back in Arusha the following day, we travelled out to the KIA Lodge near the airport.

Greeted at reception as always, we checked in and were shown to our room. A (make it yourself - the sheets left in folded piles on top) double bed in a small villa. The painted concrete floors were clean but looked “tired”. No tea/coffee facilities in the room and "borrow the hair drier from reception”. Insect screens on the windows to keep mozzies out,  but with  a gap under the door that a wart hog could probably get through! Still, we only wanted somewhere to rest while waiting for the 'plane home the next day. 

Dinner was a barbecue (beef or chicken I think - difficult to see in the dark) with salads or vegetables. We selected a quiet table for two and the waitress brought over a candle - tastefully stuck onto a saucer. 

To be fair, the members of the staff team were all great and, as always, wanted to do everything for us. The lodge has potential, but is in dire need of a complete refurbishment  (they were painting a little wooden bridge while we were there). 

After lounging near the swimming pool (which hadn’t got a circulation pump running and was home to a range of water boatmen and other “bugs”, we were driven the 2Km back to the airport ready for the 19hrs (Oh joy!!!) flight home.

And would we do it again? Oh yeah!

  © Richard Miles 2019