We almost missed the plane. That is a slight exaggeration – but we were the last boarding, at the back of the queue. We had a couple of beers in the airport bar and received a WhatsApp notification from one of the team taking a selfie in a business class seat. We checked the time and realised we were late.
The last few weeks have been surreal. This morning in shul (synagogue) two Rabbis visited our service, one read a letter from the Chief Rabbi wishing us well. I’ve been walking through my home town, Edgware, and people have walked up to me wishing us good luck. This is for Kilimanjaro – what must it be like for Everest, or the South Pole?
People have been so generous and kind. We’ve raised over £35,000 so far as a group, and I have received many texts and phone calls this week to wish us well. Friends have donated over £13,500 to our charity, helping vulnerable children in Israel.
I am not one for talking about equipment and packing and took quite a laissez–faire approach here. My kit weighs the most out of everyone’s, and yet I know I’ve forgotten at least one important item so far – my sleeping bag liner – which is like an internal blanket for my sleeping bag and apparently adds insulation equivalent to 15 degrees. Bummer.
Dinner was nice on Ethiopian Airways. I took the kosher option, which I had to send back at first because the main meal was still cold, and the chopped liver was frozen – Heston Blumenthal would be have been proud of the chopped liver ice cream.