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Published: June 18th 2010
Well there was no hiding the fact that the world cup had started in Nairobi on Friday night...... loud music was booming and people were cheering but we had an early night in preparation for our big climb the next day.
We drove off to the base of mount kenya, making a stop via our drivers' family where we were given fresh fruit and the mzungu were photographed! The roads were great - no potholes and our driver had a dvd player in his car so we got to watch cheesy kenyan music videos.
The base of the mountain is at the equator so we did the water experiment and it's true! - the water goes different directions down the plughole merely 20m either side of the equator and straight down when on it.
The first day's walk was easy, just 10k along a track past baboons, lots of elephant dung but no elephants and being overtaken by our porters carrying not one but two 60 litre ruckacks! we stayed in a hut at 3300m and were cooked a huge meal ready for the next day and able to dry off having got utterly soaked in the mere 10k we walked.
Day2 was a long day giving us the chance to get to know our adorable guide and take in the scenary. At the start of the day the mountain seemed miles away but 20k later we ended up at it's base fairly daunted by the prospect of the next day's walk. It was beautiful and so varied, walking for a lot of the day through an arizona like landscape (being the expert i am on arizona having never visited it in my life!) and past heaps of leopard poo.....but where were all the leopards!
Towards the end of the day we all started slowing down, the altitude no doubt taking it's toll but we made it to our hut at 4200m which was freezing! its a weird feeling with a tight chest and on the brink of headaches (and i didn't get it properly).
Day 3 or i should say night 2 (3am) we set off up the mountain being punished by a vertical scree slope which we fortunately took at a very slow pace due to a bout of altitude sickness from one of our group but none of us could have walked any faster. We were passed by a group of auzzies who were in the camp the previous night who said 'the english roses are down already' as they walked past......well if achievement alone wasn't enough to get u to the top then that was!
Most people make it to the top for sunrise but we got to the ridge and had a spectacular view - like to be unique! it was breathtaking - probably accentuated due to the lack of sleep and oxygen but the scenary was so varied - jagged peaks, valleys, gorges, glaciers and scree slopes. we made it to the top 4985m eventually and then had to go straight down the other side in search of breakfast.
Hah we could see the breakfast hut from the top but it was at the bottom of a vertical scree slope....as if we weren't tired enough already! we were treated to eggy toast and sausages at 10am, before continuing our downhill trek for another 4hours through a vertical bog with a break for pot noodles en route! We kipped in another hut and listened to buffalo outside the window = too tired/scared to go see them!
Last day we stretched our legs for 10k to the park gate, our porters choosing the lift option, to meet our vehicle to take us on safari.
am now sat in an internet cafe playing really cheesy music and getting rather emotional because it was just amazing 😊.
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