Kilimanjaro Diary: A day of two temperatures

The mess tent before dinner
The mess tent before dinner

It was cold last night. I went to sleep at 9 and woke up at 6 am. Other people didn’t have such a good night’s sleep and found today tough. I only had one sub-freezing loo break in the night and that was enough.

Aron packed his stuff away first, so I had the whole tent to put my stuff away. The outside of my sleeping bag was very cold – the inside was lovely and cosy. The tent was covered in frost.

Once packed we sat in the mess tent, but the frost was melting through into the tent, so we sat outside. By 7 am the sun had majestically risen over a clear Kilimanjaro and we were down to one or two layers – amazing.

Today’s walk was to the peak of the Shira Cathedral, and was my favourite walk so far – some scrambling up to 4,000 metres.

With no cloud, we all got a little burnt from the sun – within minutes. The sun was savage, and the cool wind drew us into a false sense of security.

After the Cathedral climb and descent, we had a packed lunch with soup. I had a tiny headache at lunch which subsided and reappeared. Most of the others have a mild headache and exhaustion from last night.

As we walked along talking and singing half the group were out of breath. I didn’t have a problem though and even started a brisk walk as a test today and I found it OK. I feel very lucky.

We had about seven hours between camps today and towards the end walked over a Helipad – very cool but I really don’t want to see it again.

Jeremy G and I have been signing each other into each campsite with funny occupations and ages. Our tour guide Richard came over to me after we’d settled into camp and said I’d been naughty signing myself in as a 16.5 year old female. I said it wasn’t me and then owned up to what childish banter Jeremy and I had been up to. Matthew started laughing, followed by Richard – it was a great windup.

I’ve had my first head to toe wash since the hotel this evening. I felt much better – back to human.

Another group in the camp asked to see our doctor, asking whether one of their group should start taking Diamox. The doctor helped him out. During last night our doctor was called to a single American girl travelling by herself with a handful of porters. She was in a bad state, with pneumonia and tummy problems. She went home at dawn today. I hope for many of my fiends sleep tonight that it will be warmer.

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