To the ends of the earth…and back!

Day 2 on Kili: Hole in my Tent, Stars in the Night, and several thousand more feet

Closing of Day 1: Climbing up to Machame Camp, it was suggested, jokingly I had thought, that I would share a tent with Mark, the other person who was solo for a tent buddy. Since the other woman on the trail had come with her boyfriend, that left Mark and me as singles. I should clarify, it was mostly Mark who proposed the idea!! Anyway, much to my surprise, his words seemed prophetic as I arrived at my tent only to find a hole in the top! After dinner, which I must say had incredibly delicious tasting food like hotdogs, toast, tomatoes and soup, which was a delicacy only for the first few days, I shifted to Mark’s tent and all was quite for several hours, until the snoring began! As I awoke to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, tears nearly fell upon my cheeks as I gazed up at the sky. Instead of appearing to be speckled with stars, it was as though tiny specks of darkness were placed between the many stars.

Day 2: Leaving Machame Camp for Shira Camp We hiked about 6-7 hours to get to Shira camp. The day began with an uphill climb on rock, which at first sight made my knees hurt! The colors were just as rich as they had been the day prior, though the sun was much hotter and less forgiving, as we saw no rain during the morning. The climb was quite grueling and I remember feeling as though my heart beat was in my mouth. The laughter and carrying-on continued as we distracted ourselves from the intensity of it all. The team stopped briefly to snap some shots…

Packing up…

Mount up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing to get above the clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack and Tom


Mark and me

Sheri and Brad

Chris (with Carroll, Cal, and Dave) taken by the view

I specifically recall this day being the first (with several more to follow) that I was actually standing above the clouds. While I had flown many a times above the clouds to gaze down at the land/people below, I’d never been outside looking down at the clouds. It was simply, spectacular. One of the many amazing things about climbing Kilimanjaro is the speed at which the weather changes. Within moments you go from sweating in the sun, squinting your eyes to not be blinded by the hot equatorial sun, to having goosebumps on your body as the fog sets in and you cannot get on another layer fast enough! The quick change in weather thankfully didn’t involve the downpour we experienced in the rain forest, though visibility was significantly less.

Just finished lunch and waiting to continue on (Jim and Carl)

Shira Camp

There was some additional excitement amongst the Regulators, as our camp wasn’t too far from the Leomoshu group who left one day before our departure. By the end of the day, we had successfully made it to Shira and Rick and Matt stopped by to see us. Rick owns/operates Pack Paddle Ski, an outdoor adventure company that does Kili climbs in addition to crazy adventures in/out of the US. http://www.packpaddleski.com. Matt works at American Cancer Society up in Rochester and if you chat with him long enough, he will have convinced you to join him at ACS. Simply, these two men are rock stars. We excitedly recounted the two days of adventure to Rick and Matt, like small children telling their parents about the first day of school! Rick admitted, he knew we were getting a down pour through the Rain Forest, just by looking at the clouds above the area. The two also reported that their crew was feeling great and looking forward to seeing us the following day as we all climbed towards Barranco camp.

Perhaps it’s the child, or romantic in me, but I couldn’t help also notice the beautiful flowers that grew between rocks in some odd places. At times one could certainly miss the delicate petals or even worse, harpoon then with a trekking pole. I did not experience any of this, as we Regulators climbed. After dinner I ended the night by looking at the stars again and chatting with some of my fellow Regulators. Stan, one of our beloved guides invited me to join him and some of the other guides for a card game in their tent but as I was journaling that night I fell asleep before taking him up on the offer.

Stan

 

Again, many thanks to Tom for some photos 🙂

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