Blogs from Mount Kilimanjaro, North, Tanzania, Africa

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Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro June 24th 2019

Is there an upper age limit to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro--a cutoff point when the physical body is tapped out and refuses to haul itself one more step up a 19,340-foot mountainside? Is there an age when you hit the wall on such high-altitude stunts? The question was on my mind recently—in May 2019--as I prepared, at age 71, to test myself on the mountain via the popular Machame route. If all went well and I reached the summit, I could check off another big adventure on my bucket list. Surely, I thought, there would be kindred company on the mountain, other baby boomers hoping to check that box on their lists, and they would leave a record (name, nationality, age) at each camp site register en route. But my unscientific perusal of such records surprised me: ... read more
Uhuru Peak
On the Trail

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro October 28th 2018

I kneaded the dough, between my fingers at first, and eventually palm to palm as the flour whitened my hands. I felt it giving way to assertive wrists and succumbing to pressure-- growing in its value with every "thunk" on the wooden surface. Bread: the edible representation of tough love-- what appears cumbersome, almost violent in its making, comes out full, malleable, and desired by all. Last week, I baked the honey yeast loaf with hints of cardamom. Still warm from its makeshift charcoal oven, I concealed it in a satchel with a jar of jam in preparation for my unassuming traipse to the village square. There, in her little shop, mama Enni weighs out portions of sugar, nails, and other small scale goods for eager customers returning from the farm. Working sun up to sun ... read more
Venessa with her rice, beans, and bread!
The Oven!
Project update- our Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato school-garden

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro September 28th 2018

“It would be better if you had a family here in Tanzania..” the customs officer’s rotten teeth show even through his secondary school English, a source of his pride, I’m sure, considering I’ve been using Swahili for the duration of our unfortunate encounter. “I have a husband. No, I do not need two families. Maybe I’ll return with my husband to visit, but yes, I have a husband.” In this strange power dynamic that is the life of women, I cannot be rude to this man without risking the cost to send this package home. Inside are the ornaments made by the Mama’s Group, who will receive all the profits—less if this man feels I have not satisfied his need for authority. I was grateful when I arrived to the post office during his lunch break, ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro August 31st 2018

I honestly don't remember when I bathed last. I run my fingers through my hair and determine it's less than 7 days. Definitely more than 4. My bed's not really made.. I felt a little guilty when I crawled under the covers last night and poor Theodore was face down, all crumpled up. The hamsters are off the wheel. Here's the thing.. other than Theodore's comfort.. I don't care. I don't care that the kids walked all over my floor mat in their shoes when we were baking cookies together. I don't care that there might be a new species of tree growing under my armpits. I don't care that I didn't count my macros today or that my run was 4.9 miles instead of 5. I don't care that my walls aren't perfectly primed and ... read more
An average house in the ville. Gorgeous views
Can't go on a run without crossing 5 waterfalls
"When are we baking Cakie again, Dada Keti?!"

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro July 15th 2018

Joy. Pure, effervescent, blanketed warmth radiating from the core and filtering through open mouthed smiles and closed eyes, shining straight from the soul. Have you felt it? I'm not sure I really, truly had. Charlie had been lingering around this morning. He was worried he wouldn't be allowed to go to school.. his uniform hadn't dried in the damp air. He watched me pick weeds from the garden, an open yard intersected by a mountain path for neighbors to go up and down. Kneeling down to wash my hands, I helped him wash his too. Soap is a commodity-- I wasn't sure when he'd used It last. Music rang from my phone that I'd propped up in a pitcher for amplification. In our deep, hand washing squat, we started bouncing to the music, waving our soapy ... read more
The view from my ville
Ever seen Orange bananas?
Oliva bakes a cake for the first time!

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro February 6th 2018

Monday 5 February - Day 8: Barafu Camp (4640m) to UHURU PEAK (5895m) & down to Millennium Camp (3790m) Several of us had a couple of hours sleep (me) and some had no sleep (Adam). We were woken by the waiter and so dressed very quickly. Most of us had the majority of our clothes on as we slept in them. All I had to do was to put my snow pants on. We were given hot water to wash our faces. Fortunately, we didn’t have to pack our tent up which was one less thing to do. We knew we would be back for brunch. We all met in the tent to have our hearty breakfast – porridge, coffee or milo, egg pancakes and fruit. There was certainly a buzz amongst us. We got ourselves ... read more
Yes we made it - emotional - exhilerating - buggered top - achievement - new friends - top of Africa SUCCESS (34)
0. Barafa Camp 4640m (1)
1 Sunrise from Uhuru Peak 5895m (5)

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro February 6th 2018

THE DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TREKKER UP MT KILIMANJARO I thought some might be interested in what our day looked like whilst climbing Kili. We were woken by Fadhili, our waiter at around 6.30am. He popped his head in with a tray full of tea, coffee, milo, sugar and powdered milk in one hand and hot water in the other. We then sat in our sleeping bag which was on 2 mattresses, and slowly woke up with every sip of coffee. Next was starting to pack up our sleeping bag, pack our day pack and pack our back pack which was carried by porters. I was so please that my back pack was under 8kgs, however the porter’s loads were all weighed so they had to share the weight. Before breakfast we had to ... read more
Bowl of hot water each morning and sometimes the night
Breakfast time
Chunga Massu Daud our guides giving dailt briefing

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro February 4th 2018

Sunday 4 February - Day 7: Karanga Camp (3963) to Barafu Camp (4640m) After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Barafu camp at 4640m. The climb took us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation around us at all. It was a tough steep walk made more difficult by the altitude. Adam was feeling better, with the extra Diamox helping. Altitude sickness is so unpredictable. I noticed Kerry had a very moist cough – damn! I was so disappointed for he but knew she was on a mission and she was one, very determined lady. Love that!! On arriving at camp, we eat and spend the afternoon resting as we prepare for a long night and day ahead. It was always important to keep hydrated and ... read more
Karanga to Barafu Camp 4640m (9)
Karanga to Barafu Camp 4640m (3)
Karanga to Barafu Camp 4640m (22)

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro February 3rd 2018

Friday 2 February - Day 5: Shira 2 Camp (3900m) to Barranco Camp (3960m) Our trek today started with an ascent with far-reaching panoramic views, walking into the climatic zone of the upland desert and on the lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. There were ample boulders we had to scramble over, rocks and some level surface (the latter being very rare!). The views were amazing. How can I possibly describe the views to you. You will just have to go – or find a film taken by a drone!!! I’m sure my photos won’t do it justice. I was still feeling good but Jane from Denmark was battling a headache and that damn cold of Kerry’s – such a nuisance for her, but she quietly put one foot in front of the ... read more
Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower  (13)
Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower  (1)
Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower  (5)

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro January 28th 2018

Our journey to Africa departing 22.30 on Saturday 27 January 2018 Tom dropped 2 excited people off at the Brisbane International Airport and came into the terminal to wave us goodbye. I wished he was coming with us, but it was great to have Adam with me. We found a bar to have a ‘departure drink’. The plane was on time and we were on our way. I was a little excited and we were both hoping we had done enough training and preparation for the Kilimanjaro climb. Adam was certainly fit but as I was not running any more I was unsure of the amount of training I had done. We had both had 6 sessions over 2 weeks in the altitude training chamber in Milton, Brisbane. We were taken to a maximum of 5400m ... read more
Lemosho Gate 2250m - our 7 intrepid trekkers
Lemosho Gate 2250m (6)
Flying to Abu Dabe




Tot: 2.669s; Tpl: 0.058s; cc: 7; qc: 74; dbt: 0.0959s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb