Half term Climbing Kili – Sade Bamgose

A diary extract from Sade Bambgose

Dearest Family & Friends,

I thought this diary extract would give you some idea of the life I am living during my 6 month stay teaching english in a Tanzanian school.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

With a weeks holiday for half term Laura (supposedly the elder and the smartest member of our group suggested climbing Kili, like a sheep I agreed!!). Standing an impressive 5895 ft tall it is the highest free standing mountain in the world, the highest non technical mountain in the world and is generally the highest thing exempting Everest!! We walk like 90km in 6 days!!(u know me and my fitness record!!)

Day One – Word of Day – PLEASANT

A scenic and beautiful walk with a slight uphill gradient through the tropical rainforest of Kilimanjaro’s national park. Tree monkeys and small deer feature. Climb to camp – a hut – with a toilet in the middle of the forest which meant you had to go in threes armed with a broom!

Day Two – Word of Day – CHALLENGING

Steeper uphill gradient across Tanzanian version of Dartmoor. No boulders, trees or rocks so when drinking the recommended 4 litres of water I had issues as after every 0.5 litres I have to wee……Horombo ho\ut 3,720km above sea level, above the clouds, and generally above everything!!  Awesome.

Day Three – Word of Day – DOABLE

Acclimatisation day – we climbed to a rock cunningly disguised as a zebra m- it had stripes!!

Day Four – Word of Day – TRAUMATISED

Some people will claim that this is ‘flat’, it is a LIE. the distant shacks (that never get any closer are not camps for sleep but long drops – dont ask u dont want to know….!!) Arrive at Kibo (I am partially dead by this point enthusiasm is waning) to be informed that we attempt to climb to the summit at 10.30 that evening – oh good 3 hours of sleep (have yet to spot the path up, but do not let this small fact worry me overly much)

10.30 – We now have to rely on other people as I was semi comatose by now – we headed towards Gilmans Peak. Cried, begged to be allowed to descend, but my hard core guide refused, he said I could make it to Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa.

Reached Stella Peak (on the way to Uhuru) once more begged to be free, shivered, stole clothes from the guide who was so hardcore he did not even wear gloves. lost feeling in much of body. snotty nose! was attractive sight.

8.05 REACHED SUMMIT!!!!- New word of day – HELL. All sense of achievement numbed by cold. Sod the pictures, lets get back to some central heating. Guide refuses to leave until we have taken pics. Pics are amazing look like I just strolled to the top in 5mins, rather than was unconscious and nearly fell off edge of snow crater and died. Excellent.

3pm – walked back to huts. Laugh at people going up. Was last person down and apparently due to how dangerous it has become no one else can climb to peak!!HA

Day 6 – Word of Day – OUCH

Long Walk downhill, am surprisingly sprightly. Note to self NEVER BE A SHEEP, never put self through such ridiculous pain again, EVER

Sade Bambgose