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Published: March 7th 2020
Up at 4:15am to pack & get breakfast in time to leave at 5:15am to hike the few kilometres up Point Lenana (4985m). Very steep and had to do a lot of scrambling over rocks with the help of steel cables – this is the highest via ferrata in the world! It was bitterly cold (our water bottles started freezing over!) but the stars were amazing! We made it to the summit after an hour arriving shortly before sunrise with a thin band of orange light along the eastern horizon. Watching the sun come up over Kenya was rather epic, it was even a clear enough day to spot Mt Kilimanjaro on the southern horizon!
From here we had a long hike down the Chogoria route
, starting with a stretch of rather nasty scree on which we all slipped a few times – I was very glad of the padding my extra layers gave me when I fell! (3 pairs of gloves, thermals, fleece, thick coat & waterproof trousers over my normal ones!) after this was a very pretty section of grass and rocks, although with some scrambling up and down, before finally getting to our breakfast spot around 9:30am. There
was some more up & down sections with spectacular views of Lake Michaelson and the Gorges Valley. We then dropped down through taller scrub, heathers and Protea (sadly much of it burnt & still recovering from the recent fire) to our lunch spot by a river. After this is was a gentle hike down the track dropping below the tree line into forests again before arriving at Meru Bandas camp 2800m at 4:30pm. Different but equally beautiful wildflowers this side of the mountain including scabious, pink everlasting flower, blue aquilegia and herbs. Also lots of butterflies and several locusts, which Chavaunne was not happy sharing a track with so I went in front! Over 20km hiking today taking just over 11hours – with stops for sunrise, breakfast & lunch! After sharing our popcorn with some of the local birds we chilled out until supper and bed. A bit of excitement during the night as some water buck decided to graze on the camp site & only their eye-shine was visible until I got my stronger torch out! On the way to the loo we also saw a couple of nightjars sitting on the ground. There were also hyena calling not
too far away from the camp so we were rather quick with our night-time loo trip!
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