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Saturday 18th February 2012    Day Three 

Up at 8am and straight down to breakfast after a quick look at the mountain through the binoculars. 


Buffet style this morning as many more people at the hotel, leaving arriving and setting off for the mountain.  An exhilarating cold shower (we accidentally switched the hot water off!) the last one in seven days and then down to reception with all our gear to meet the others and Godson.

We set off around 9.30am  and with a last minute stop at the shops for water and batteries and being hassled by the locals to buy their wares we headed for the Nalemoru Gate and the start of the Rongai Route.  This took a couple of hours and then we were delayed a while as they only had four permits instead of five.  Our first experience of African time where a few minutes can easily become a few hours!  We ate our lunch here (a buttered roll, biscuits, carrot, banana, crisps and chocolate) and actually began our ascent around 1.30pm.


The weather was fine, warm and sunny and we set off through maize fields and pine trees on a very gentle slope.



On the way we met some locals who had set up a stall on the route.  The children were begging for chocolate


and luckily Terry had saved his from lunchtime and we tried to share it out as equally as possible.

The going was easy and we walked for around three hours before reaching our first camp.


 Luckily we reached Simba camp (2700m)  just before the rain and after a short rest the rain had stopped and we had a short acclimatization walk of about half an hour up 200 metres and back down.  After a quick ‘washy washy’, a cup of tea and popcorn in the mess tent we went for a wander before dinner.  We found the porters enjoying themselves singing and dancing and attracting a large crowd of other trekkers  and encouraging them to join in.  They have a large repertoire of songs relevant to the mountain and have a great time showing off their dancing skills. 

On our way back to dinner we spoke to one of the Rangers who was carrying a hunting rifle.  He told us this was to protect us from the wild buffalo and elephant that were sometime known to pass around the camp!

Another briefing after dinner of which we were all impressed by the carrot soup, informed us of our schedule for tomorrow and advice on how to keep warm.  When the sun is out it is lovely and warm but once the sun goes down it gets chilly very quickly and the nights are definitely cold!  Charles said as from tomorrow we may start feeling some mild signs of altitude sickness as in mild headaches, nausea and dizziness.  On that note it was back to our tents

at around 8pm on a very very dark night and time for our first nights sleep on the mountain.