January 21st, 2003

Woke twice in night. View over crater lovely. Woke again before dawn. Jim went up to balcony to take pics while I showered.

On way to balcony, stopped in TV lounge. Forgot was MLK day yesterday. Still, by US times. CNN broadcasting "I have a dream". Whole thing, not just highlights. V. moving, especially since am in Africa.

Got to balcony to see sunrise. Crater floor shrouded in mist V. mythical, like lost world.

Today going to Arusha, slowly. Mist now starting to burn off crater. May be gone before we leave.

Breakfast good. Packed & ready to go by 9. Picked out lunches.

Read v. bumpy. Passed roadworkers stopping for smoke break. Probably marijuana. Is illegal, but common.

Roads being improved - foreign grants, mainly Japanese.

Onto good road. Feels weird to be on paved road. Stopped at same place to picnic, then shop. Bought lots, including Tanzanite. V. nice to be able to take time.

Passed local market. Buy/sell/trade fruits, cloth, Masai blankets, bead, etc. V. colorful.

At Hoopoe, found out our flight confirmed, but Hoopoe unable to give us cash in case of being charged more at borders, etc. So had to go find Visa hq, on v. small sidestreet, w/serious construction. Then had to endure hucksters at exchange, but finally got all clear.

Arrived Ilboru Lodge. Is nice. Too nice. Manicured w/hedges. Rooms are half round brick "hut". Seem to be only guests. A re many staff. Feel like have strayed into David Lynch movie.

Dinner even moreso. Are told more guests arriving from airport late tonight. Everything at dinner just a big off. V. odd. Not right. Waitresses v. fussy with trays. Everything stiff, formal.

If Kyle MacLachlan or dwarf in other party, am running.