June 26. Thornton Falls..

8am: Chai = Chapati, banana and eggs
John drove us up through the clouds along the winding mountain road higher into the South Pares to the beginning of the descent to Thornton Falls. One of the highest waterfalls in Africa.

We trekked our way down along a route of farms and houses. Around the falls there are traditional superstitious caves where skulls of the dead have been preserved in pots for prayers by descendants and which are still there today. We weren’t privy to these however. There was certainly an awesome feeling as we cautiously climbed our way out on the limbs of an overhanging tree, cliff side, to get the best view over the falls! Ample supplies for our picnic and fresh sugar cane for chasers!Yum!

Meeting one of the local mountain rustas. He has been growing his dreads for 10 years!! You can see that they go all the way down to his feet!! Wow the weight must be great!

On our trek down to the waterfalls we heard some locals yelling and as we rounded the corner John acted quickly to give his help and succeeded in killing the snake which had terrorised them !

  A steep climb back up where we gratefully squatted over the open fronted choo (toilet) with an exhilarating view down of the mountain range. Definitely a room with a view!!

Susan’s long time friend, Gertrude, met us back at Tona and walked us high into the hilltop to her home which her husband had built. Gertrude proudly showed us the buildings she had built. A sturdy chicken coup and cow shed. She then showed us how to make the traditional Tz meal of maize and beans (mkundi) over her jiko which uses minimal fuel. Chooks cat and kids wandered in and out as we laughed and shared then ate together. A saying in Tz is “return your visitors before the sun sets” as it is good charma! We were grateful to be heading off in the light as it was a steep descent with water crossings. We made our way down through the mountain villages and homes passing cultured gardens and lush vegetation! Their lives are very healthy, people are friendly and the children suffer very little malaria or colds. The soil is rich and productive, rain and sun aplenty. Their lifestyle involves plenty of exercise. They are relatively wealthy in their simple lives. Basic needs are being met by most.
Looking down over Tona Lodge as we climbed the hillside to Gertrude's home.

Sundowners was tangawizi chai (ginger tea) and kahawa (coffee) whilst we watched yet another amazing sunset. Hamna umeme…headlights to eat,wash and settle in again…no charging phones or batteries!!

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