|The view behind us as we leave Shira II. You can barely see the camp hut, a light green splotch middle/upper left.|
We see 2 American gentlemen who are not strong like buffalo. They are descending (with their guide) due to altitude problems, and will be evacuated via the road we crossed yesterday. I feel sorry that they spent a lot of money to get here and only made it a little more than halfway up the mountain. I drink a few extra gulps of water as we pass, hoping it won't happen to me.
.....aahhhhh, no. After we take this video and start eating, Godlisten informs us that we will be descending Lava Tower the same way we went up. This news shuts down Chris' stomach and he can't eat. So we decide to pack up and climb down, and eat lunch at the base. I am a little concerned about the descent too, but surprisingly it's much easier than we think. Again Godlisten shows us where to "catch" and "switch foot" and soon we are walking again on the scree surrounding the Tower's base. We find a rock slab to shelter us from the wind and eat the rest of our lunch.
|Mareme, me, and Chris, in front of the Lava Tower.|
It's a good thing I brought so many tubes of nuun because from that point forward, I shared with Godlisten, Chris, Mareme, and a few porters every day. Every morning as we were filling our bottles, someone would come over to our tent and ask for "the no sugar". I had a selection of flavors (grape, lemon tea, lemon-lime, or tri-berry) so they would pick one and I'd pop the tabs into their bottles. We used 1 tab per 1 Liter of water, which is weaker than the recommended dose, but still tasted great. Grape and lemon-line were the most popular flavors. At the end of the trip, the tri-berry package was still unopened so we gave it to Godlisten with his tip. I have Godlisten's Tanzania address so I am hoping to send him a care package with all of the flavors.
|Backside of the Lava Tower. Definitely not a hiking trail.|
We eat snack, and I take a short video to make up for the fact that I left my camera in my duffel bag all day. (In the video I say we are on the eastern edge of the peak - that's not true, we're on the southern edge.) Dinner is at about 5.30p and it's hot drink, creamy butternut squash soup, chapati, rice, green beans, and veggie/meat sauce. The chapati are especially delicious and become a favorite for Chris and me. After dinner we just hang out at the tent, reviewing pictures, writing, drinking hot drink, it's the good life. As the sun is setting, the clouds roll out of camp and the peak is revealed. It's stunning. The stars also start to emerge as the sun's light diminishes, and Chris fires up the Google Sky app on his on phone to check things out. We see lots of familiar constellations, but they're backwards: Orion, the Pleiadies, Cassiopeia, Taurus, along with the planets Jupiter and Venus. We stay outside until it's too cold for comfort, and then go back to the tent to sleep.
|View of Uhuru Peak at dusk. One of my fav pics from the trip.|
Looking back on the trip, I think this day was my favorite. It had everything I appreciate about adventure: long hours, new challenges, good people, tasty food, and a happy ending. Pin It