Part three and Day two of a bloody long walk.
Leaving the Mandara Huts, 2700m ASL (above sea level), this day took us to the Horombo Huts, 3700m ASL. This day was extreme for me. I’m not sure why but it just seemed to be never-ending. The path was rougher with larger rocks on the path to navigate (as mentioned previously the path is not concrete or smooth) added to this were timber bridges, gutters, rocks and the fact I put on the wrong clothing.
The occasional light rain showers didn’t help! The altitude started to play a role and with the little sight I had it all seemed to be very bleak. Thinking back – I may have been dehydrated. Keep in mind that I was trying to stay in arms-reach of my guide, therefore holding my arm up to keep in contact while we were walking. Believe me – this gets painful after several hours! Try holding your arm out in front of you in the one position for an hour, walking, and see how you go. Added to that was the concentration of traversing the gutters and rocks of all sizes and shapes!
From our guides, I’m told of what the terrain looks like around us – valleys and more shrubs, the plant life mostly low ground cover. There was apparently a bird similar to a crow at the Horombo camp. Only one though. I really don’t remember hearing any other bird life up there!
I distinctly remember the feeling of humidity possibly because we were walking through a cloud and lots of greenery. Note to self for next expedition; Don’t wear the thermal undershirt too early. Just makes the job harder!
We were able to fill our water bottles in streams on the way, always asking the porters which were safe to drink as some are poison to us due to vegetation rot tainting the water. Arriving at Horombo Huts it was possible to see the summit of Kilimanjaro, or, Kibo Summit as it is known in Tanzania. We were encouraged to drink an extra litre of water through the night preparing for the major walk to come just two nights away.
I will be back with the next days walk in the New Year. Please have a most lovely Christmas and New Year period.