Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Day 1 - 18th February 2016

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh...

Day-1 started when we were picked up from the hotel at 8AM. We stayed at Sal Salinero Hotel at Moshi Town. The town is some 45 minutes away from Kilimanjaro Airport.

Our things are packed in 2 bags, 1 duffel bag that contains the whole that we will need throughout the climb, sleeping bag, clothes, socks, junk foods/ snacks, summit clothing and many others, max weight should not be more than 15 kg. We were given packing list right after we registered and I bought most of my items in US. Another bag is our day pack (back pack). This one should not exceed 5kg. It should contain things that we need during the day, such as water bottles, snacks, toilet papers (or wet wipes) and some other things.

Note: Include the picture that I laid out they whole things, prior to packing!

Danie fixing Sophie's water tube

We stopped by the warehouse as Robert and myself needs to rent the duffle bag and we did not advise the company that we hired earlier.

The collection of things that are up for rent is humongous! You can almost come sehelai sepinggang but just be ready to wear 'bundled' stuffs. Hehe.

After that the bus took us straight to Machame gate. This one of the few entrances to Kilimanjaro. At the gate, our things are being weigh. The porters and guides are all busy now loading and unloading our stuffs. Back in the old days, a porter can carry any amount of load, but due to health and safety reason, the park regulates that max load for a porter is 20 kg. So on top of our 15 kg duffel bag, the porter still needs to carry their own things.

Machame Gate

How far are we from the peak?
We finally started walking at 11AM, after all weigh in and registration is done. We have been told to take it slow, the guides and porters will keep reminding us to 'Pole-pole' which means, slow-slow. The estimated walking time for the first day is 7 hours to reach Machame Gate (10.7km).
Maybe the first hour of the walk into rain forest. 

It rained a little bit along the way. At around 1PM we stopped for lunch. I can't really ate anything solid. So I just finished the fruit juice from the lunch box.

Some moss, don't ask me the scientific name, I wouldn't know..hehehe..

Higher up the elevation
I got to the camp around 1630H. We made it within the expected timing which is good. First day was quite rough for me as I was having too many things in my back pack. I had all the 3L of water, which I only drank 0.5L of it. When I did Stong-Ayam back in 2001, I discovered that I could not drink a lot of water during the hike, I loose my breath rapidly. Found it the hard way. So for this climb, I didn't really drink much during the walk, but I make up once we get to the camp.
The middle one is the tent I shared with Sophie

Me, Sophie, Richard, Jac

Nelson (chief guide), Robert, Andy, Dingo, Arash
The chief guide, Nelson had a daily meeting with all of us, all climbers are monitored for O2 content (signs of dehydration) , max heart rate, and some other general health conditions. Due to the high altitude, we were also required to take Diamox, to prevent any altitude sickness. Even if you take the pills, there is no guarantee that you'll not get the sickness, but hey, its better than nothing.

The funny part is, we consulted the doctor in Shell IA, and he prescribed us 250mg tablet, take 2 tablets, twice a day. But when we consulted Nelson, the recommended dosage is 125mg twice a day which is actually consistent with Travel Doctor's advice. I took 250 mg tablet twice a day, and I do get the overdose symptom, which is tingling feeling (sort of numb, but not quite) on the figers. Luckily Nelson mentioned about it, else, I would have been really overdosed!

We went to sleep quite early, 8 PM~ish, but I could not really sleep. I always have issues with cold weather. I have a good sleeping bag, rated until -4 degC, but somehow my feet was cold. I tried putting on heating pad and sock, it didn't work. So ended up was awake every few hours due to the cold.

Before I end the post, here is how our toilet looks like. It took a little bit of skills to operate it, but I was fine with it. Till next post. 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kilimanjaro Trip: How it Happened...

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatuh...

I've yet to pen down my US journey, and then I'm off to another destination :) This one more challenging than any other journey that I've been through, physically and mentally as well.

Flashback few months back, towards end of year, there were loads of parties that was thrown by the expat communities in RA. One birthdays after another. During one of those, I overheard Sophie talking to Richard about their plan to hike Kilimanjaro. Somehow I was not my usual self, I asked to join. Haha.. I never really had a proper conversations with any of them, hence, by right I would not be inclined to jump in any kind of conversation with them. Best case, I would just listened by the side and when nobody realized, I will disappear into thin air..haha. :D But somehow the topic is way too interesting to be passed. I've been thinking about hiking Kili for quite sometime. Pretty sure I mentioned it to Kim sometime back, but he was not into it (though he is now somewhere is South America, hiking the Atacama dessert, Andes mountains).

Back to the hike, upon expressing my interest, Sophie sent me all the required information, dates were being discussed and I did told them, that my plan is conditional. If and only if my boss WK agrees to let me take leave. The plan is to go in Feb 2016. I will be away from final week December until first week Jan. And for me to apply another leave in the span of less than two months, may invite dissatisfaction from my boss point of view. :P Somehow luck is on my side, WK agrees to me taking leave again..hehehe. I clearly mentioned to him about all my leave plans, the short time span in between and also the fact that he will also be away for CNY in Feb. He said OK, he must have been in a very good mood..hehe.

So the rest as they say, is history :)

I will be jumping back and forth (and maybe backdate the entry as well) just so that I can properly capture the chronological sequence of our adventure. We'll see..hehehe.. I may not backdate my post, now that I have come to think of it..hehe.
Machame Gate - where we started the walk

How far to the top?

Point no 4 interests us very much, coming from Nigeria..hehehe
Here are some sneak peaks. Will try hard to write more for the day to day adventure. I gave up doing that in IG as I think it would be too much. Blog is a much more proper avenue for lengthy sharing like this :)

Till next time, wassalam.