Wednesday, January 06, 2010

aJamaa goes a walking day 4

We woke up to some really nice blue skies and the peak seemed even closer. The weather had been good to us so far and we hoped that we would be equally lucky in the night when we attempted the dawn asent that had brought us all the way here.

Since we would start our summit at 11pm in the night, we only hiked 3 hours in the morning. I was delighted to find a banda at our next camp. At least we would not have to spend a night in the tent especially now that we were at an altitude of 4ooom and it was getting really cold. Our bodies were starting to get a real bitting from the altitude. People were complaining of headaches, loss of appetite and bad stomachs. I was lucky, I was getting a little light headed but nothing too serious. We were advised to take a nap after lunch since we would not be sleeping in the night.

We were woken up at 6 for dinner. The cook had made chapos and beef stew. After dinner we got our last briefing. The guides were very firm about the fact that if they decided that anyone of us was in no state to proceed then such a perso must turn back. They also reminded us that our bodies would feel worse as we got nearer to the top and we had to vumilia if we were to get to the top and so should not chicken out just because of a little vomiting, dizziness or difficulty in breathing.

We got back into our sleeping bags and woke up at 11 for a quick cup of tea. I was now wearing all my warm stuff. A t-shirt, sweat shirt, fleece and heavy jacket to keep my torso warm, a pair of heavy cotton track suit pants, cotton pants and water proof pants to keep the legs warm and most importantly two pairs of heavy stockings on my feet. We set out into the dark in a single file. Again the weather was on our side. The sky was clear and there was a full moon making torches unnecessary.

Although I did not have my rucksack, the hike was really hard. I hard to walk very slowly and even then I found myself getting out of breath every few steps. After walking for like 15 minutes, I started getting really hot under all the clothes I was wearing. I overcame the temptation to take anything off and just unzipped my jacket.

I knew the night would be long, the hike hard and my body would suffer. With this kind of situation, I needed motivation and I turned to my i-Pod. I called on the best of Zone out. The mixes that saw me through StanChart marathon - Ego, Hypnotize and Zone out. Kamikaze, you are a hero. I also kept my eyes on the ground to spare my self the depression that would obviously come from looking up and seeing how far we still had to go. As we went a long the group started breaking up. It would start with vomiting then a reduced pace and before you know it one or two members of the group would fall behind never to be seen again. At some point even one of the guides said enough was enough and turned back. With the benefit of hindsight maybe he did that to give people who were really suffering a respectable way out. Kama guide ameshindwa nani mimi?

It was really cold but I suffered most from the headache that seemed to get worse with every step. By some miracle we got to the second highest peak just before 6.30. Out of the 13 that started only five of us remained. After a little celebration, we started our 1.5 hour walk to point Uhuru - 5895m, highest point in Africa. To get to Uhuru we had to walk along the crater and when the sun started rising it was the most amazing site ever. We were so high up that their was a film of clouds spread out as far as the eye could see. The sun came up a horizon of clouds and showered us with its warm rays. With the sunlight, we could also enjoy the snow that must have fallen the night before and the majestic glaciers that will apparently fall victim to global warming in a few years.

I got to Point Uhuru at around 7.30.

Done Kili, attempted Ruwenzori now have Mt Kenya to go.


Blogger 0.5 said...

Dude. You love pain :-) Congratulations. It takes a strong man to do something like this. Start writing a memoir "The Adventures of aJamaa"... slowly ... a few pages a week ...Deadly serious, jokes aside. I will contribute a wacko foreword if you let me.

For me, the KQ flyby on the flight to coast is gonna have to do.

Monday, January 11, 2010 4:07:00 PM  

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