After another bumpy journey we arrived in Moshi and found the backpackers hotel. Had a hot powerful shower which is a rarity in Africa and then looked up our trip itinary on the internet. We found out that we were very unprepared and had very little of the equiment suggested. We proceded to the market to try and find a torch and some warmer clothes but gave up pretty quick as it took long enough just to barter for some washing powder!
Next day we set off to our hotel the starting point for the Killi trip and the first person we bumped into was a guy from Wakefield, small world. We met the guys in our group later seemed like a good mix mostly English and some Welsh and two Americans. We borrowed some bateries off one of the guys to go with the head torch we hired this was the first of many things donated to us.
We started the mountain climb the next day at miday the first words we heard were pole pole words that would be repeated many times through out the walk. This means slowly slowly which turned out to be the best advice something we did not appreciate at the beginning as it felt like we were walking backwards. It turned out to be the only thing you would be able to do when you got to higher altitudes and something we were all truly conditioned in to doing by our guide Little Baboo.
The first day was a very easy walk. It was raining most of the day however we still did not use our hired waterproof trousers. At lunch a very bold raven stole someones pack lunch swooped in asnd carried it off in his beak. We arrived at our hut around 3.00 where we were greated by hot drinks and popcorn something that became a daily ritual. We shared a hut with the Welsh couple the first night Amy and Jamie. It was avery small confined space where we soon learnt lots about each other good and bad. That evening we went for a walk to the Maundi Crater, some nice flowers around the big crater I ran down to the middle of the crater do not think the guides were impressed. We saw a blue monkey on the way back to camp nice to see some wildlife, still like monkeys no matter how many we see.
The second day was another easy walk this time very hot and as we left the jungle very dusty. We would be covered in dust for the rest of the acent and decent. At Horombo hut we were joined by the two Americans Karen and Jordan in a six berth cabin. We all got on well played the obiligatory game of cards. Karen also had pillow spray to make the pillows smell nice only the best for us.
Third day we reached Kibo Hut at 4703 meters above sea level higher than Kinabulu our previos highest climb. Big baboo gave us a test that night to see who was feeling the effects of altitude sickness. I failed as did Jamie and Simon but we were all considered fit enough to go.
Day four set off at Midnight it was cold very cold. Before we set off Jamie threw up, still all ten of us set of together Porli Porli. After an hour the four boys headed of in one group and the rest of us in another. Keeley was really feeling cold and had walking socks on her hands and a gel pack that heated up with contact with the air another donation fom our fellow travellers. Everyone in the group was doing there best to keep everyone else going. It was at five thousand meters that things started to go wrong for me. It started with lack of energy and a headache. However I was soon just sleepwalking a few steps then stopping. I really felt I was not going to make it. As we got higher I was halucinating seeing animals and birds all over. We did not tell the guide how bad I was. If we had I feel he may not of let me proceed and I could have ended up in this big oxygen bag which looked pretty scary. At Gillmans point I remember being vividly relived and this was also the point in which Karen another person in our group was sick. However the hour and half to the top Uhuru peak is little more than a blur. Keeley was determined I was going to make it as my words "even if blood is coming from my eyes I am going to the top" echoed in her head. But somehow we had made it to the top of Africa. The views were amazing but I was not in much of a condition to appreciate them. Keeley tried to take lots of photos so I could appreciate them later including a group photo where I looked pretty much like a zombie. I started feeling better as we headed down and even enjoyed skiing down the srcee. Back at Kibo hut we had an hours sleep before setting off back down to Horombo hut. I was now feeling almost normal. Big Baboo as correct about the three people worst affected I was a Zombie, Jamie threw up several times and was still ill when we were off the mountian. Simon even with his anti-altitude drugs threw up 3 times. Big baboo said we were the ony GAP group where everyone had made it to the top a good group acheivement.
I woke up on the last day with a lip the size of a canoe aparently this is common due to the extreme weather up the mountain it proved very entertaining for the rest of them in the hut that morning. Our last day was a long walk eased by our sense of achievement. We could not of asked for a better group to climb the mountain with. We were helped by everyone in the group I think the most important thing we borrowed was delux tesco toilet paper from Amy and Jamie. Back in Moshi we went out for drinks and food with big baboo little baboo and two porters. Little baboo said that if he had of known how bad I was probably would of taken me off the mountain. The meal was a good way to end our trip and thank our guides.