Saturday, October 5th Didn’t have much time to savour the moment. In the evening we had our certificates and our beers and warm meals and a shower. Up at stupid o’clock to get to the Kilimanjaro Int’l airport that was about 1.5-2 hours away. When we got there and when I tried to get into the airport the security guard started to say that my passport was fake. FAKE!! It must have been a bit of travel drowsiness and it being very very early in the morning but I just couldn’t comprehend what was going on.
Friday, October 4th The descent from Kili was done very quickly. Not sure if the guides were worried I might not make it down but two of them grabbed me by my arms and almost carried me downhill. When we got back to the base camp at Kibo we were given about an hour to rest and have a warm meal. After that we had to pack all our stuff and head to Horombo.
Thursday, 3 October Elevation: 5,895 m (Uhuru peak), alpine desert This post was written months after I actually did the climb. There were so many emotions surrounding this day I needed time to process them. So as I procrastinated the post I ended just forgetting about it. Putting it to words and posting it onto this blog was of secondary importance to me. The thoughts and memories will be mine forever.
Wednesday, 2 October Elevation: 4,703 m (Kibo Hut), alpine desert Today’s hike was supposed to be 5h long to the Marangu route’s basecamp at Kibo hut. Somewhere along the 11 kilometres we hiked we left the marshland and entered what could be best described as rocky desert, a lunar landscape that has been plonked down on top of an African mountain. This is also where some in the group started to feel the altitude problems.
Tuesday, 1 October Elevation: 2,700 m (Horombo Hut) / 4310 m (Mawenzi Hut), moorland / alpine terrain A slightly different day today. Planned to be an acclimatisation day but difficult to acclimatise at 2,700 metres. Didn’t really seem high enough. None of us had any sorts of problems even at the upper end of the hike just above Zebra rocks. The interesting bit was the snow storm we hiked through. And this is when we had a lovely sunny morning.
Monday, 30 September Elevation: 3,720 m, moorland terrain Spirits very high we started our mountain hut routine. Woken up by one of the porter for coffee and tea and then the “wishy washy” was brought which was basically a small bucket of warm water each and some soap. This was the same in the evenings and allowed us a little bit of hygiene. This bit of “luxury” was omitted at the highest - Kibo hut.
Sunday, 29 September Elevation: 2,700 m, forest terrain We had a quick meeting at reception and we were given water, we also gave the 9kg luggage to the porters by putting them in special numbered green bags. I had one numbered no. 10 and it was “mine” for the rest of the trip. I would always have the same porter, his name was Jaffa and I think he also carried another hiker’s green bag.
Saturday, 28 September Elevation: 1,860 m, forest terrain (Marangu gate) Leaving Mto Wan Mbu and hitting the road, dropped off a group at Arusha airport and some us at a hotel in Arusha. The rest heading towards Nairobi. Had a weird interaction with the driver who when we asked him for a toilet stop dismissed the option flat out. We were taken aback a little but he soon realised that this might not be the right course of action and stopped at a petrol station.
Friday, 27 September Just woke up going to the loo only to realise there is a large herd of zebras right besides the tents. I pitched up on the outside edge of the other tents so at one point they were only a metre or so away. Today we changed vehicles and switched to 4x4 Toyota Land cruisers. We had 4 but one of them had a problem so their passengers had to get into the other three.
Thursday, 26 September Another interesting night in regards to the local wildlife but this time we knew what to expect. Again hienas trashed our rubbish bins, one of or fellow hikers got kinda chased round the toilet block by a hiena. It might have happened slightly differently but this is how I’m serving it and I suggest you believe it. 😉 Also the lion roars and zebras giving out weird sounds were the repeat repertoire.