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Paul Foster

Kilimanjaro part 4 - The wall

Posted on 27 Nov 2013 at 03:07

Day 5 started early as per normal, but even earlier for Ashley. With Ashley’s fear of heights Ake thought it best he leave early to climb what’s known as the Barranco wall. It meant Ashley could go at his own pace without feeling the pressure of the rest of the group or other teams of climbers.

The wall was steep and took about an hour to climb 100 meters up. Although it wasn’t a technical climb it still required concentration, strength and endurance to pull yourself up the rock face and manoeuvre around the ledges with the big drops below them.

I really enjoyed this, and as someone who isn’t a scared of heights there were a few twitchy moments up there. It was amazing to get to the top and see Ashley there waiting for us, he showed great mental strength to get past his fears and climb up the wall. We hung around at the top and got some nice shots on the cliff ledge with the chaga planes and villages behind us under the clouds. The rest of the trek this day was very long with lots of uphill and downhill. We got into Karanga camp about 2pm and chilled out to conserve energy.

At the camp Ake invited us to go and see the chefs in the “kitchen” that had been cooking us 3 meals a day. We were all blown away by the standard and variety of the food we were given throughout the trip so wanted to go and thank the guys personally. I couldn’t believe it when I saw how they produced the food (I will never moan about my kitchen again) from a 5ft high tent. Inside there were 2 guys sat on stools with chopping boards on their laps, and gas burners at their feet preparing us steak and hand cut chips, sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) and homemade soup.

Ake and his team at Summits Africa have the most amazing personal touch and attention to detail that would rival great hotels and restaurants in this country. This was proved to us on day five when Ake had arranged second supplies to arrive up the other side of the mountain with fresh meat fish and vegetables. Also in this pack was a beanie hat for me, some bottles of coke, and a big tub of nuttella. What we realised is that Ake and his team had heard me saying how I was fed up of the taste of water and missed coke and Paulo missing diving into nuttella. This is the kind of personal service we in the restaurant game strive for every day. I never expected this level of anticipating a guests needs 4000 metres up a mountain. That is truly great service.

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