Diary excerpt: Day 2: Machame campsite to Shira huts
We woke up really early this morning and were greeted by the site of the heavily snowed peak of Kilimanjaro (only for a few minutes). After a breakfast of (again) egg white omelettes, toast and fresh fruit we got ready for quite a steep part of the walk. William told us that the path is short but steep today – it would only take around 3 hours. Pole pole (slowly but surely in Swahili) were the words that we heard for the next few hours. We stopped at lunch on a scenic ridge but unfortunately the scenic part was unseen as it was covered in clouds and mist, but beautiful nonetheless. I got some great silhouettes of tired bodies on the top. What William didn’t tell us was that after lunch we still had to walk further up another very steep part of the mountain in order to reach Shira. Once we did get there we realised how cold it was, man it was cold! Fleece and beanies were out everywhere.
Shira actually showed how many people were the climbing the mountain at the same time with us, which is quite a lot, but all in different groups of course. When we open our tent our view is spectacular: It’s all the peaks to west of Kilimanjaro. They’re so jagged and the way the clouds and light hit the peaks is amazing, just slicing through the cotton wool clouds.
It started raining in the afternoon so we spent most of that time sleeping (well me trying to, my Dad definitely was! Says his snoring). I took loads of photographs today and then had some dinner; there were banana fritters for desert which were pretty good…the rest of the food was not so good…I guess having the same thing time after time is starting to get to me and I’m not the greatest eater…
After dinner the clouds opened up for a few minutes and revealed the beast. It looks unsurpassable. It’s freezing at camp -1 C, so an early night it is, to get out of the cold.