DAY 6 / 19 JANUARY 2012 / THURSDAY
START: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2900m or 9500')
VIA: Shira I Camp (3500m or 11500')
END: Shira II Camp (3800m or 12500')
|Mareme and me, soon after leaving Mti Mkubwa camp. One of my fav pics from the trip.
|Me and Chris, near a stream, on Kilimanjaro!
After that stop, we regroup at a small boulder field where I pass out an entire bag of Reese’s peanut butter bells to whatever porters and tourists happen to be around. Chocolate needs no translation! We decide to hike about 30 minutes more and then stop for our lunch break. Peter has made a delicious assortment and each of our bags contains a cooked chicken leg, hard boiled eff, roll with butter, cheese triangle, potato chips, small banana, peanuts, pound-cake muffin, a piece of orange, and a mango juice box. What a spread! And the view isn't bad either. I eat everything except the peanuts, juice box, muffin, and orange, which I stash in my pockets for later.
|Post-lunch glamour shot with the mountain.
Along the way we cross a dirt road (don’t worry, I looked both ways before proceeding) which is used only by the Park Rangers for medical evacuations. This is a theme during our trip - it seems every camp has one or two routes for evacuations - either a helipad or a special access road. Each hut is armed with a crazy mountain stretcher that is part wheelbarrow, part stretcher, part mountain bike fork. The Park has taken a lot of time and effort to make sure their tourists are safe. Thankfully, we didn't need to test any of their plans.
|Chris gets his turn with the mountain after lunch.
|Take a moment of zen to gaze at this picture and contemplate silence. Go ahead. I'll wait.
After the trip we took an informal poll (2 voters, me and Chris). Shira II bathrooms won hands-down for best toilets on the mountain. There were men’s/women’s sides, tile glass block interiors, certain stalls had actual seats, and those things were CLEAN!I also take a video showing a brief tour of camp and you can meet Mchami! He is waiting for Chris to finish changing so he can use the wash water in the green bowl.
We have a quick snack after washing which is hot drink, popcorn, and shortbread cookies. We eat outside. The clouds clear out and BAM. There is the summit. It is tall. TALL. I am intimidated.
|View of the summit from Shira II. Dang.
|Dinner in the tent, first course of leek soup! Srsly...leek soup on a mountain?!
We have an hour or so before dinner, and the wind is picking up so we move inside the tent. Dinner is an amazing creamy leek soup, then pasta with tomatoes, cabbage, and carrot/pepper/meat sauce. Chris and I stuff ourselves and still only eat half of what Peter has cooked. After dinner, Godlisten and Mareme stop by to chat about tomorrow, another big day. I am exhausted by 8p so I just fall asleep, but wake up again at 9p with enough energy to finish my day’s writing. As I write, I listen to the camp sounds decrescendo back into the earlier silence, and I sleep.