Back in March of 2009, I had the opportunity to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania with a group of vision impaired and blind people. This was a fundraising event known as the Highsight Expedition raising funds for Qld Eye Institute, South Brisbane. As the first time travelling out of Australia for me it was quite an experience!
Funny thing was that about a year prior I met with a tarot card reader who told me I would be travelling on several aircraft in the one trip. I mentioned to her a mate of mine and I were planning to cruise Route 66 in the US. She told me that that wouldn’t happen – and she was right!
What a trip. Leaving Brisbane at 2:45 am we flew to Singapore, on to Dubai, for a 14-hour layover and further on to Johannesburg. Then 15 of us on a 21 seater bus took a 7-hour bus trip to the Drakensberg Mountains for two nights to meet with the South African team and aclimitise. After that, there were 25 of us in the 21 seater bus!
Leaving at 12 midnight a 7-hour bus trip took us back to Johannesburg to fly to Nairobi, taking a smaller plane to land in Moshi, Tanzania followed by a 3-hour trip to our overnight stay. Our resort had 8-foot chain-wire fence with barbed wire on top. That kind of makes you feel you’re in a safe environment!!!
All up there were eight vision impaired people, four from Australia, one from Belgium, one from New Zealand and two from South Africa. The intention was to be the first large group of vision impaired people to summit the mountain on the one excursion.
What happened next? More next time.