Kilimanjaro

In Tanzania we climbed the Kilimanjaro. With 5895 meters, it is the highest mountain of Africa. You don't need special equipement
to climb this mountain, only be in good shape. After we arranged the obligated guide and carriers we start with the Marangu route.
The first day goes over a easy trail to the Mandarra hut at 2700 m.

But there is not only one hut, there are dozens. It looks like a whole village. We take a bed
in the big dormitoria and our guide makes a nice spaghetti diner. The next morning we leave
at eight. The trail gets smaller and first we pass the rainforest, which end at a wide plain. From
here we see for the first time the snowcap of the "Kili". Wow, that summit is far away.....
do we have to go there all the way?????
Slowly we walk on and enjoy the nice views. After a 6 hour walk we arrive at the Horombo hut
at 3720 m.
There are many organized groups and all the cooks of the groups prepare the diners on a wood fire.
Therefore they chop all the trees and plants. The mountain is devastated and starts to erode. Ofcourse
as tourists we are also guilty of these, but we pay a lot of fee for the climb so the Tanzanian government
could invest a part of the money in gasburners so they can safe the ecology of the mountain.
The third day we stay at the Horombo hut to acclimatize.

 

 

 

 

 

It is a long way to the top

 

The weather is nice and  'Kili' smiles at us. We walk through a semi-desert and
after seven hours we reach Kibo hut at 4703 m. The temperature in the hut is 2
degrees centigrade and with all our clothes on we lay ourself in our sleeping bag.
Because of the hight we can not sleep and at midnight everybody gets up. We
start at the last and most difficult part of the climb. Outside it is -10 degrees
centigrade but because of the windchill it feels much colder. The track is made
of loose grid and goes steep up. Step by step we go higher. We pass somebody
who is throwing up. He climbed too fast and has altitude sickness.
''Pole, pole, slowly, slowly", says our guide. When I look down I see dozens of
lighted headlights crawling up the mountain. I think at myself these people are
stupid to climb a mountain at - 10 C in the middle of the night.......

 

 

 

Uhuru peak, 5895 m.

At six in the morning we arrive at Gilmanspoint at 5700 m. We walk over the snowcap and wait until the sunrise. This is beautiful. The sky colors orange-gold
and the ice picks at the glacier changes colors every time. I'm so impressed that I forgot that I took off my gloves for making photo's that my fingers starts to freeze.
We walk two hours more and then we reach the summit at 5895 m., Uhuru peak. Uhuru means freedom. And it feels free from up here....The view is breathtaking. We are standing at the highest point in Africa.


                                                                          sunrise from Uhuru peak

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