Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Running Out of Ground - Trekking to the Roof of Africa on Mt. Kilimanjaro - Part 2 - The Approach - Days One and Two

In spite of the inevitable delays on such a grand undertaking, we were trekking by about 4 PM on August 13. At first we walked on a 4X4 road, then a bonafide trail. Our route up the mountain would be the Lomosho Route.

Near the start of the trek, we travel through carrot and potato fields.

After entering the National Park, the forest is preserved and quite beautiful.

One of our porters carrying eggs for the trip.

Forest hiking.

Colubus monkeys were quite numerous in the trees overhead. The are colored just like skunks with long fur.

Camp was set up at Mti Mkubwa ("Big Tree" in the Swahili language) beginning about 6:30 PM. We mitigated a late start by walking fairly quickly.

August 14 and ready to go!

This proved to be one of the toughest days going from Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp. Lots of uphill and a very long way.

The man in the stripped shirt, Jeffer, carried my duffle the whole way and also served as our waiter in the dinner tent. One night I casually joked with him, "Tell us a story." He fumbled a little bit with his words and said, "Later." The next night, quite out of the blue, he announced, "story" - he had not forgotten and was likely practicing his English all day on the trail. The Tanzanian people are easy to laugh, gentle, and friendly. It was highlight to interact with them on this trip!

Helen hiking in the Kilimanjaro forest.

Note the trail snaking uphill on its way to Shira 1 camp.

Our group on the trail. We still have not seen many rocks because of the soil formed on the forest floor. But this would change soon enough.

Climbing upwards to Shira 1.

 Looking west (with ta elephoto lens) back to where we have come from.

 And looking east to the shrouded summit of Kili.

Note how the forest and heathlands have been left behind as we gain the surface of the Shira Plateau.

Everlasting flowers on the Shira Plateau with Kili in the background.

Shira 1 camp. This completed our two day approach to the mountain. Now we would walk beneath its sheer southern escarpment. Note the tiny looking black tower of rock at the base of the mountains slope. This is "Lava Tower" and would be the site of our fourth nights camp two days from now.

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