These are some of our tents outside of the Chimanimani Hotel. The Chimanimani Hotel was quite nice. I would tend to bet that it’s the very best hotel in Chimanimani. I’d probably even go further and say that it was the only hotel in the town. It had very nice landscaping and gardens. It was a great place to pitch our tents. Most of the group went on a hike that was about twelve miles long. That was farther than I wanted to go with a bunch of twenty-somethings. I opted to go hiking with Dave, one of the tour drivers who was much closer to may age, and a few others who did not need a long hike, but did want to do the shorter hike to the local waterfall. Note that the largest dimension available for this picture is 1024 X 768 as it was uploaded at a very slow bandwidth from a remote location in Africa.
It’s Colin and Simeon. They wanted to go swimming at the pool where we stopped to camp. It was at the Maungu Hotel, a very nice hotel that also has a lot of campsites. The hotel is located close to Mt. Kilimanjaro and serves as a point where a lot of hikers go to stay and gather the necessary equipment, supplies and assistance to do the 5-7 day ascension of the mountain. This pool got a good workout. Several of our group went down there to swim at various times during our stay..
This is Pete’s Bar, the bar at the Marangu Hotel. It was the watering hole for the group while we stayed at the campground located on the hotel grounds. They had this wonderful concoction, Castle’s Milk Stout, that was simply delicious. While I’m a Guinness drinker, I’m not a Guinness drinker outside of Ireland. Guinness simply does not travel well. But, since I like the taste of a proper pint of Guinness, I try to find a good substitute if I can, wherever I can and I found the Castle’s Milk Stout while making my rounds through the list of beers at the Snake Camp in Arusha. This is a perfect example of why I kept telling my children how very important it is to be proactive.
Yes, we had plenty of hot water in Tanzania at the Marangu Hotel campsite. The only problem was that you needed to make sure that someone had put some wood on the fire in the last few hours. If not you might have to wait an hour or two until the water got hot. It’s surprising to me that so many campgrounds in Africa used the same method to heat the water. It worked, though.
It was a great hotel. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t up to the stadards of the the Hilton or Intercontinental chains, but it was a great place as far as the average hotel in Tanzania was concerned. The rooms were reasonably appointed. The coffee was free. They had a pool. The staff was really nice. A single was $65 and a double was $100. A camp site was $5. We had the camp sites. They were good. The water was hot in the showers. The toilets flushed and had toilet paper. There were sinks to do laundry and a place to hang the laundry. It had a nice lighted pavilion where we had our meals. We even made a campfire.
This is our hotel at the beach in Zanzibar. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t wonderful either. It had a really good ceiling fan that made me reach for a cover at night. I roomed with Dave, one of the drivers. That was good. Dave’s a very interesting guy who has done all kinds of strange work in places outside of the continental U.S. Dave was from Ohio and close enough to my age that we shared similar life experiences growing up. That’s better than rooming with someone young enough to be my grandson.
Tune Hotel – Kuching
I arrived in Vientiane and had no hotel reservation. Everyone told me I didn’t need one. I went to the tourist information center. The people were really great about helping me try and find a room. They called around to the places I asked them to call and found out what rooms were available and the prices for the rooms. This hotel was my budget choice. I should have paid more, but the next cheapest room was twice as much. This room was $11. I used the toilet, but I wasn’t going to shower there. As far as the bed, well, I carry my own sheets for a reason.
This is a picture of the lake palace from the roof-top restaurant in my hotel in Udaipur. This palace was the one used in the Octopussy film of the James Bond series of movies. It looked pretty nice sitting on the water. I understand that it’s still in use. The only way to get there is by boat. Unless the lake goes dry, which I’ve read has happened. It’s a fairly shallow lake.
This is the Jodphur Fort from the balcony of my hotel room. I went to Jodhpur just to see the fort. I had been traveling around India, looking at forts for a couple of weeks. While I was visiting forts in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Jaisalmer I had people ask me "Have you seen the fort at Jodhpur?" when we were talking forts. I considered that something of a "tell" about the fort in Jodhpur. No one really came out and said that it was the best fort in India. Each one is, on their own merits, special. But the fort at Jodhpur, well, it’s a fort a fighting man can appreciate. It just seems impregnable when you are inside. The walls are so tall as to make me dizzy looking over them from inside. It costs $5 to get inside. There is a great audio tour included.