When a lifelong dream becomes a reality, I believe that one of the best ways to preserve those precious memories is to put the experience down in words. A diary, a notepad, or in this case, a blog, are great tools for remembering, sharing and reliving those highs and lows that come with an extreme adventure, and as we share our Kilimanjaro Climb story over the coming days, we hope it encourages you to share your own.
Day 3 – Shira Camp
Our first night camping (ever) was not nearly as comfortable or successful as we had hoped! Not that our tent wasn’t adequately sized, it was, and we also had not one, but two mattresses, but the combination of zero temperatures and a super-warm, but rather constricting sleeping bag, didn’t make for a good night.
We both tossed and turned for what seemed like hours, and by the time the sun rose over the Machame campsite we were sitting up and laughing – mainly due to the fact that my eyes had swollen to twice their normal size during the night! Whether it was due to the hard sleeping surface, the cold, or simply the altitude, I do not know – but whatever the reason, I resembled a Cabbage Patch Doll!
However, everything looked much brighter once we stepped out of our tent, and were greeted with the most spectacular views of Mount Meru – just breathtaking!
Another bumper meal was served for breakfast, including warm porridge, pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages, toast and a platter of fresh fruits. Washed down with copious amounts of tea and coffee, our batteries were recharged and ready for another day of hiking.
The hike from Machame Camp to Shira Camp is no walk in the park and after 2-hours on the long, steep path we felt like we were finally climbing Africa’s highest mountain. While not technical, the route did require us to use our hands (some people preferred trekking sticks), and we took several more water and ‘snickers’ breaks than we did the previous day.
We reached our lunch station just 20 minutes or so behind the crew, and so we had plenty of time to take some pictures of the stunning scenery before tucking in to our next freshly cooked 3-course meal. Our lunch menu consisted of fresh broccoli soup, beef with pasta, and fresh mango and pineapple – delicious!
The afternoon climb was much easier than the morning ascent had been, and we began to witness vast changes in the plant life around us as we moved higher up into the moorlands of heather and shrubs. By the time we arrived at Shira camp, our crew had everything set up and waiting for us, and greeted us with a medley of songs and a cup of fruit juice.
After freshening up in our tents, and changing into our ‘evening attire’ we made our way towards the mess tent for yet more food! Our amazing chef Kelvin prepared fresh cucumber soup, chicken and vegetable kebabs, a carrot and green bean dish, mashed potatoes, and fresh watermelon. Washed down with around 5 cups of herbal tea, we were full, content, and ready for another night in the tent on Mount Kilimanjaro – whatever it may bring!