POOLEWOOD MACHINERY - PETT FARM - STOCKBURY VALLEY - Nr. SITTINGBOURNE - KENT ME9 7RJ

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CLIMBING KILIMANJARO IN AID OF BATTERSEA DOGS HOME

 THE RONGAI ROUTE

 

Sunday 19th February 2012    Day Four

Ha ha, first nights sleep, Terry and I hardly slept at all!  I think I was awake until 2am and Terry says he remembers it being 4am.  We were woken at 7.30am but were both awake before then and although we had only slept a few hours we didn’t feel too bad.  After a cup of tea and ‘washy washy’ we made our way to breakfast.  Porridge was the main feature, no one had had it for years but everyone tried it except me (Yuk!) and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I relied on bread and peanut butter until they brought out the eggs and bacon which made everyone happy.

 8.30am sharp we left camp for our second days hike, around three hours walk to the second cave camp.  The going was steeper and rockier today but nobody had any real difficulties.  Slowly, slowly (pole pole) is the best way!

 

 Morning seems the best time to see Kili as it’s always very clear, as the day goes on the cloud builds and blocks the view.  As we climb up the glimpses of the mountain get more and more impressive. 

Even the scenery behind of the plains of Kenya and Tanzania improves so you win from both sides.

 

 The walk eventually took us four hours, we had lots of stops and I think the guides were holding us up so the porters could get organized at camp. 

They all have mobile phones and know where the good places are for signal so they can easily keep in touch with each other.

 We saw an eagle soaring around.   He had a white underbelly and red on his back and kept flying around us. 

Apparently the male lives on one side of the mountain and the female on the other. 

Charles our head guide told us there are also white necked ravens further on that are quite humanized and come into camp looking for food. 

We came to the first cave  which was huge and even had a chimney hole.  Years ago these caves were used for the climbers to camp in but is now prohibited as the buffalo use them to shelter in. 

We saw buffalo dung and tracks and at the second cave we found buffalo bones and a skull.   We also see evidence of bush fires where the poachers have been careless with their fires. 

These devastate the countryside but do appear to recover extremely quickly.

 On arrival at camp  we were served lunch.  Another nice soup, which turned out to be courgette along with an avocado salad.  There was also banana cake and good old dry bread. 

They are very good at feeding us!

After a little rest we went for an acclimatization walk which was quite rocky and steep and then back down for tea and peanuts.  Another rest and it was dinner time. 

Chicken and rice tonight, and a new one on me, ginger tea.  It was lovely, tasted good, is supposed to benefit you in lots of ways and seemed to have a very soothing effect on my stomach. 

We will definitely be using this back home!

After dinner and a briefing from Charles about the following days trek, he told us some stories from the mountain.  Apparently there is a guide still working on the mountain at 81! 

We may well be lucky enough to meet him on our travels.  A young 14 year old boy he guided up the mountain with only one leg and a midget who climbed successfully too! 

This gave us great inspiration and confidence that we would be successful too!

 Off to bed around 8 and although I had little sleep the night before I wasn’t feeling very tired.  After reading for a while and listening to Johns snoring, I was amazed how quickly he went to sleep,

I managed to drop off.  No more than an hour or to later I woke with a start having a massive panic attack!  I felt terrified of the dark and even after switching the head lamp on I was still getting wave after wave of panic. 

I woke Terry and we went and sat in the mess tent.  This helped a little but not much and we both thought it must be something to do with the altitude.  Eventually we woke Charles. 

To cut a long story short Chaz looked in our tent and realized we were sleeping with our heads downhill.  This was causing all the blood to rush to my head and my body was objecting big time! 

We turned around the other way and problem solved, I was fine after that and slept much better for the rest of the night.

GO TO DAY FIVE