Day 4 on Kilimanjaro
Day 4 provided a spectacular sunrise across the cloud horizon while the moon was setting near a clear view of Mawenzi Peak. The birds (streaky-headed seedeaters and alpine chats) were chirping, the three-striped field mice were scurrying, as we stepped out into the CHILLY! morning. But the clear morning meant that cell and data reception were fully available, and this would be the last day for it, so we checked email, texted our families, and posted a couple of pictures on Facebook.
By the time breakfast was served, it had already warmed up significantly, so we changed into shorts, and had a lovely breakfast outdoors with views of Kibo in the background.
We had a fantastic hike up and through a canyon-like landscape, with the clouds coming and going all day. We had one last bit of cell phone coverage for Will to check in with his (very) pregnant wife, Brandy, for the last time for a couple of days.
We reached the Mawenzi Tarn Hut Camp at 13,800′.
As we sat down to lunch, Will exclaimed ‘Nerts!’… he just wanted to say it one time since he hadn’t yet gotten to do so as the winner of a hand. 🙂 Mark was experiencing a bit of altitude sickness, mouth-watering and not much appetite.
Pendael explained to us that this would be our last camp with ‘water for washing’, which would be available tonight and tomorrow morning. This was the last place that had water nearby. Some of our porters would be spending their afternoon carrying water to the next camp, Kibo Hut, for drinking, cooking and washing dishes, and coming back yet today. With that news, I felt lucky that there was a bit of sun out, and Anne-Marie helped me wash my hair for the first and last time on the trek.
had a great afternoon hike about 500 feet up the ridge above camp closer to Mawenzi Peak, where we took some time for reflection and pictures at the top.
We were thankful that the weather had held through our hike this morning: no rain, and great views of Mawenzi Peak and down towards Tanzania. And for the spell of sun and warmth that made hair-washing pleasant after lunch. Maybe the altitude was getting to me, but I experienced tears of happiness and gratitude while hiking today… I felt very small walking on this powerful, spectacular behemoth of a mountain; and overwhelmed by the beauty, the nature, the special moments, the camaraderie… this epic experience. It had been one of my best 24 hours ever.
Our Kili Outfitter: Nature Discovery