Kilimanjaro part 2 - A long trek
6.00am the porters came round to wake us up with tea, coffee and another bowl of warm water to freshen up in. Breakfast is something I don’t normally eat but I forced down some porridge, bacon and toast under Ake’s instruction. He explained how important it is to eat often and eat before you get hungry. Up the mountain you metabolism works up to 3 times faster and you can burn up to 6000 calories per day, so therefore no calories are bad calories.
After having our regular heart rate and oxygen level checks we top up our water bottles and hit the trail. Still walking through the forest we see some amazing views that photos just don’t do justice. Today was a long hike Ake and Gabriel told us about 7-8 of walking with an hour stopping for lunch. Most of this was uphill a lot of which was a 50° gradient.
All of a sudden without even noticing we were out of the forest and into a totally different landscape, zone 3 the heather and moorlands, this became a bit of a recurring theme as all of a sudden we were walking in the clouds and could only see a few feet in front of us, we didn’t even have time to even put on our waterproofs as the clouds move so fast without you noticing.
We finally got to camp at around 4.30pm, my feet were killing and calves were aching. I got a few coffees in me and was feeling pretty good. The altitude sickness was starting to kick in with Ash quite hard it was tough to watch as there was nothing we could do to help, all I kept thinking was I could be feeling like that next.
Before the sun went down the clouds just disappeared and we got our first proper look at Kibo (the highest peak on the mountain) it looked amazing, huge and still so far away from us. As the sun went down it seemed to just fall out of the sky, the temperature rapidly plummeted to 0°C giving the impression that it was colder than it was. We raced to our tents to layer up. It felt so much colder than 0°C.
After another amazing dinner cooked 3200 metres up we all hit the sack. No sooner was I tucked up in my sleeping bag than I was out of it poking my head out of the tent to gaze at the night sky. I was convinced by Paulo to check out the stars above us, it was so worth getting out of my warm sleeping bag as I had never seen anything quite like it. I can’t find the words to describe the beauty of the sky that night the stars filled the darkness and you could see the Milky Way swooping over us. It felt like you could pluck the stars out of the sky.
Ake told us we were in for a nice easy day tomorrow, 3-4 hours walking at most so I slept easy thinking tomorrow would be a walk in the park!!!!