Thursday, 11 March 2010

Kilimanjaro Diary - Day 4

The tent didn't leak and I was warm enough in my sleeping bay. The two main concerns about the first night under canvas were unfounded. We were woken by one of the porters doing an astounding impression of a rooster, at around about 6am. It was drizzling which was not a fantastic start to the day but a table loaded with porridge (later referred to as gruel due to the decline in quality), toast, eggs, sausages, tea, Africafe and Milo awaited so there was every reason to get "dressed" and up.

Almost everything out there is Kilimanjaro branded. Tea, beer, anything you care to think of really. I got a real taste for the beer once we were back down and also Milo, a hot chocolate drink which I know you can get over here so I intend to source it next time I'm out shopping.

Where as the day before we'd covered about 16km in 6 or 7 hours, today we were covering a mere 8km in the same time. This was due to the change in terrain, which was now quite rocky. The vegetation changed dramatically and the sun was beating down until about lunchtime at which point we had a downpour. The tent leaked and we almost had to swim out, I swear. Lunch was cucmber soup, as I recall, and masses and masses of pasta and coleslaw. These lads really know how to cook up decent food on a mountain. I don't think I lost a single bit of weight while I was up there, despite burning off about three times as many calories as usual.

We got into a bit of scrambling after lunch, heading ever upwards, now having to traverse waterfalls too. The weather changes to quickly as the clouds sweep across. It continually took me by surprise. We weren't too worn out when we got to camp two but still ready for tea and popcorn (yes popcorn). This camp was more spread out. The thing that got tedious was all the waiting around. Once you got to camp you had to wait for tea, then you had to wait for dinner and then you had to wait until it wasn't too early to go to bed. There was very little to do. So we entertained ourselves with the Doc's heart rate and blood oxygen level monitor. Couldn't make much sense of the results but it passed the time. I also spent a bit of time looking at the clouds and chasing the white collared crows that were about the place. Maybe I should have taken a book...

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