Saturday, 4 September 2004

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Eight of the hardest days of my life were up this amazing mountain. We had chosen this as a family holiday even though we had never done anything remotely like this, but the mountain was kind to us and we all summitted. The memories i have of Kilimanjaro are never ending, except from the summit night, which i oddly have no memories off, due to Altitude however, these are just a few of the highlights of the trip.

The first night was spent in a rainforest, lush and green, it was something i had wanted to experience all of my life, mainly to hear the Dawn Chorus, which didnt disappoint.

The next few nights were spend on Featureless Rugged rocky terrain, with views of the Mountain itself। This was the Shira Plateau, and it was such a relief to walk on Flat land after two days of uphill drudgery. He we saw Elephant Droppings, Jerbals and Wild Dogs.

The best Camp of all was in Barranco Valley. It had a feeling of Everest Base Camp, with Dozens of Yellow North Face tents drotted amongst Gigantic Boulders. The Glaciers hung from the summit above and the Valley was cold and vegetated with Giant Lobelia, something that wouldn't look out of place on Dr. Who.
The last night was of course, the Best. We set off to summit at midnight. It was cold. So very very Cold. Unfortunately, i don't remember very much at all, however i was very Sick with altitude being sick twice in the process. The memory i do have is, looking up and seeing the outline of the Summit Post and then i knew i had achieved something fantastic.
On the way down i saw one of the most spectacular sights of my life. A sun rise at 5,895m. Unforgettable.