Friday, February 8, 2013

"Pole Pole"

Sixteen countries later I'm back in the US. I'm not really experiencing culture shock, but Pensacola does feel oddly familiar for a place I've never been before. I'll be here with my brother for a few weeks before heading west. While here I'll mostly be working on future plans. It might take a couple weeks, but I should also be able to catch up on blog posts "slowly slowly" as they say on Kilimanjaro. Actually, it turns out I climb much faster than I am write...

The climb was completely different from any I have done before. The mountain wasn't different or more difficult, but being on a guided trek and sharing the trail/camps with 500 other people made it a unique experience. Tanzania requires climbers hire a guide and porters for all climbing expeditions. I guess it's a good way to create jobs, but our guide seemed a bit surprised when we gave him a single duffle weighing less than 25 pounds for the porters. On the other hand, we were completely shocked to discover that our booking included a guide, a cook and eight porters.

Kilimanjaro from the highway. It's definately the most prominent peak I've climbed.
The start of the Machame route. I'm wearing the long sleeve shirt because we were short on sunscreen and couldn't find any in Arusha.
When warm wash water was brought to our tent twice a day the number of porters started to make more sense.
Watching the clouds roll in from the second camp.
Even with a panoramic I couldn't get the whole second night's camp in one photo.

Tony and I on the edge of the third night's camp. 
Tony took this night shot of third camp at night with Moshi lit up down below.
In front of our tent at camp four. That's our dining tent in the back ground. I've never had one of those on a hike before...
The sunsetting on Kilimanjaro form Camp 4. 
Sunset over Mt Meru.
Last rays.
Starting for the summit. Our guide, Scoba, declared we were "good walkers" and delayed our start until 1 AM rather than starting between 11 and midnight like most groups did.
The first time I've seen the big dipper while south of the equator.
Sunrise from the roof of Africa. It's a good thing we started at 1 am or we would have been sitting on the top a long time waiting for the sun to come up. 
Tony taking a picture of the sunrise through his FiveFingers. Every day the guide said "you're going to wear shoes tomorrow right?" He finally put normal shoes on to go down hill and got his first blister... 
There is still a pretty impressive wall of ice just below the summit. 
At the peak with our guides. 
Starting back down again
All this just for the two of us? It was a great experience, but it really seemed a bit excessive. I think I prefer just running up some random mountain without a plan...  


  1. I see you learned a little Swahili. :) Nice to see pictures from my part of the world!

    1. Well I was better at saying "pole pole" than at walking up the mountain that way. :)

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