It all started with my mother wanting to go, so to support her we gave a slice of the trip as a 60th birthday present. Needless to say a lot of my family were not sure if this was something she wanted… I knew better. I will come back to the awesomeness of my mother another day.
My mom decided to go with one of her colleagues and one of her friends. I wasn’t that excited about it, but at the end I didn’t have a job (I was in the processes), so I had the time and though it would be a great experience with my mom as well as the last continent in the world I had not been to- Africa.
So off we went, to Tanzania for a weeks hike in the highest freestanding mountain in the world- Kilimanjaro.
We had two days before we started trekking up, and met the Danish crew that went with us, in addition to one English girl- all really great people!
For five days we hiked up, up, up and a little down again, to see how we could handle the altitude. Above 4000 meter there are no helicopters who can get you, so the sherpas have to bring you down if something happens. I felt it at 4200 meter where we had lunch one day, and believe me- that is an uncomfortable feeling!
My mother had brought with her small portions of oatmeal- a genius stroke on her part! The food was great, they really did all they could for us. It was a week of getting up at 6AM for sunrise, no sanitary luxuries, no showering (only washing), walking slowly, slowly to not exhaust yourself and force altitude sickness. Every day, the same- and at 9 ‘lights were out.
We got there in the end, after the last day which was grueling. Up at 6 AM to walk up to 4200 meters, got there at 12AM and then we ate some and were supposed to sleep from around 3PM until 11PM when we were supposed to start our last trek up to Uhuru peak through Stella Point.
We were warned that it would be very cold, so I layered on with two ski pants, one dune jacket and one ski jacket over…. it was waaaaay too much clothes, being from the north of Norway our perception of very cold is a bit different from the rest of the world…;)
Anyway, we succeeded, at 5895 meters above sea level the altitude sickness was fierce, but if I have a tangible goal… I get there!
SUCH an experience, watching the stars walking up there- insane! Watching the sun rise on the top- insane, the landscape- insane.