Monday, 25 July 2011

Kilimanjaro Diaries Vol 1

Hello People, I just got back from Mt Kilimanjaro over the weekend and have been too knackered to write anything since I was recovering from the hike and should I say a near death experience...My face has the worst sunburn you can find on a black sister and physically/mentally/psychologically I am drained. I intend to take you on a journey with me. My experience. The highs. The lows. The snots. The Sweats and of course the tears. I am not a fan of epistles but I will be as direct and concise as possible.

When I started this 'craze' what I wanted was to climb Mt Kilimanjaro for self accomplishment....just to climb....honestly I didnt know what to expect. Hmmmmmm....see me see trouble. I chose the second hardest route (out of 5 routes), I chose the 6 Machame route also known as the Whiskey route. If only I had known...

I opted to climb with another person and we were assigned to a guide, an assistant guide and 2 porters and 1 cook each. My climbing parter was a 50 year old Australian name Graeme. The porters carried our tents and duffle bags containing our my gear etc. We registered at the Machame gate and began the hike slowly. We walked at snail's pace through the rainforest for 5 hours until we reached our first camp Shira. We were surprised at the quality of the meal we got on the mountain. Lunch was sauteed liver and a sandwich/tea/coffee and dinner was potatoes with fish in batter, of course they served us a nice steaming bown of soup first and fruits for dessert. Our tents were set up and we retired. First time i ever slept in a tent or a sleeping bag. Temperatures dropped drastically at night. I started to breathe heavily at the high altitude. I started taking Diamox to prevent altitude sickness. We were at 3000m, thats 9842 feet above sea level *What did i get myself into?*

We were woken up with a steaming bowl of porridge, eggs, toast and sausages. Tea/coffee. We set of at 8:30am. We hiked up steep rocks, out of the rain forest into the Moorlands. It was physically challenging. I was feeling stuffy. My chest became really heavy. I relied on my walking poles for support yet not forgetting i has a backpack on my tired back. Lunch was pasta and veggie sauce....... I felt a blister coming on. I was worried. We hiked a total of 4 hours today. I wasnt physically tired but my breathing was getting more and more unstable. I was getting short of breathe and it was only the second day. I started to lose my appetite. I also started feeling a tingly sensation in my feet which i later came to understand was called 'Pins and Needles'. I was suddenly feeling like blood was rushing into my head. My guide asked me how I was feeling. All i said was 'fine'. We ended the hike at 3800m, which is 12,467 feet. We slept at Shira 2 camp.

Pic- Is an amazing view of the rainforest as we proceeded up behind the clouds.

To be continued.....