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
Monday 20th February 2012 Day Five
Got up this morning and spent a while apologizing, explaining and feeling more than a little embarrassed about my episode last night. Although amazingly Richard managed to sleep through the whole thing!
After breakfast and our first sighting of the white necked ravens.
We headed off for our next camp at Kikkelelwa Cave (3600m) and about three hours away. We were just approaching a cave with tunnels of 142 metres when it began to rain. After donning our waterproofs we took shelter in the cave and had a look around. It was obviously very dark but we used head torches to explore and found some stalactites inside.
We continued on in the rain and sometimes hail and made it to camp feeling rather soggy and damp. As we get higher the landscape is rapidly changing and we are now walking through Moorland where the shrubbery is quite dense but becoming shorter.
Our lunch was there ready with all our tents up (the porters really are amazing!) and after some hot carrot soup, chips and kebabs (they were supposed to be minced beef but we were a bit dubious) we all felt a lot warmer, drier and much more comfortable. Richard had a small problem with his unwaterproof boots and they were taken to the kitchen to see if they could dry them out. His washing he had pegged on his rucksack was also more than a little damp!
After a rest and a lot more rain we managed an acclimatization walk in the afternoon. They take us up roughly 200metres each time and back down again. The people we met at the hotel along with the rest of their group (14 altogether) arrived this evening. They had walked morning and afternoon in the rain and were a bit soggy but all in high spirits. Our camp site is also building up with many more people and we are expecting a lot more traffic from now on. ‘Washy washy’ then dinner of beef and noodles with green bean soup, which was quickly polished off by all of us. We are told our appetites will decrease as we get higher but there’s no sign of that happening yet!
Chaz came and gave us our briefing and shared an African beer with us of ginger tea. We are off to Mawenzi tomorrow which we can see clearly from here and it really is a beautiful looking mountain. He told us that at the millennium there were 6,000 people at the top of Kilimanjaro and over 10,000 porters!
Very chilly here tonight and we slept with our clothes on. It rained most of the night as well but we were warm, dry and cosy in our tents. It was quite nice to hear the rain drumming on the outside of the tent.
GO TO DAY SIX