This day was a VERY special day! I woke up one year older! On 8/11/2017 I turned 29! Which means I have 365 days left in my twenties! I have big plans but more on that later!
Mangu, our waiter woke us up 7am on the dot! I washed up inside our tent and shaved my legs (YES SHAVED). I am that weirdo that has to shave no matter the circumstances! How you might ask? Well let me tell you! I used my pressurized Geigerrig bladder that I use for drinking/hiking. All I did was pump the bladder, squeeze the head and spray a little water on my legs with a tiny bit of soap and wa-la!
Breakfast was amazing! We had omelets with fresh avocados, porridge (oatmeal), fresh fruit and tasty local tea! Ron and I were impressed that they carry all the supplies plus cook fresh meals three times a day for us! We had NO IDEA it was going to be this legit!We started our hike at an altitude of 12,795 ft from Shira 2 Camp. This was a climb high sleep low kinda day. It helps your body acclimate to the altitude much better allowing for a greater chance making it to the top. The porters broke down the gear and we started our climb.These boots were made for walkin and thats just what i’ll do! Click here, for my favorite hiking boots that helped me climb 19,431ft and many more adventures!
We walked much slower then yesterday! Chi-chi, our guide set the pace at like 2-3mph if that! I was glad because, WOW, I out of breath! You could really feel the altitude change. The slow pace aloud our heart rates to stay low which made it easy, though it was hard to force yourself to go that slow when your usually a fast walker, ESPECIALLY for Ron! Some parts felt as if we were on another planet.
It took us four hours to get to the Lave Tower. It was the highest point of the day. Talk about an epic spot for lunch right! For lunch we had zucchini soup, fresh veggie grilled cheese, fried potato and banana fritters, fresh fruit and hot tea! We laughed questioning how the heck they were frying things on this trek! We were pumped about it!We rested almost two hours here. It started to rain/snow but only lasted an hour. We got lucky with weather this whole trip. It was cold but not wet. July through September is the busy season but recommended since its the driest season. We wore four layers at all times with a light waterproof jacket in our day packs just incase it got warm, rained or snowed like this. I wore a sports bra, tank, thin long sleeve base layer and a warmer base layer at all times.
Check out how awesome this confetti rock looked! If you know me by now, I LOVE looking/collecting rocks.
Somehow we always leave before the porters and they always catch up and pass us! They are the true champs!
It warmed up again so we took a break and shed some layers under these Dendrosencio Kilimanjari trees! These cactus, tree, weed looking things can only be found on Kilimanjaro and a handful of other East African mountains. You will only find them above 14,000ft also! Be sure to scroll down for some really cool shots!We were amungst 100’s of them!About another 20 minutes or so we saw our Barranco Camp in the distance!
We arrived and our stuff was already set up! Check out our Mt. Kilimanjaro view!Haji, our guide said we were the first ones he’s had that did not have a headache, feel nauseous or vomit on this day since we climbed high and low. So, be aware you can get a little altitude sickness on this day or you may luck out like us!
We checked in like we do at every base camp. It’s fun to read where everyone is from and what they do!Ron and I seem to be always on some sort of adventure for my birthday. We’ve been doing the finger raising thing for a few years now so may as well keep it up, hah! We decided to go for a walk back up where all the funky trees were. It was about a 10-15 minute walk.Just some birthday kisses amongst these incredible weeds! I was super pumped when I found out the rarity of these things! The views around us were amazing! I wonder how much longer this glacier will last here.
The lighting was amazing! The sun was going down shining light on the peaks!Clouds move/leave very fast on the mountains.
The sun lit up this face of the mountain bright orange. It only lasted a couple minutes.We got back to our camp site and it was all fog! The base camps we stayed at were busy but it didn’t bother us at all. It was awesome to meet people from all over the world! We ran into a family that was hiking with their 13 year old kids! Talk about impressive! Speaking of that, the youngest female to ever to hike Kilimanjaro happened this past July! Her name is Roxy Getter from Florida at the age of EIGHT!
Since it was my 29th Birthday, the whole crew surprised me by baking me a cake! They all came out singing and clapping! A memory that I will forever cherish. These guys truly are awesome!
Its tough to try and bake a cake at 12,700ft. Chef said it usually takes three hours but he only had an hour! Whatever he did, he did it right! It was delicious! We all celebrated together and had a piece! It was the perfect cap to my 29th birthday night. Now for our nightly medical check of oxygen, BP and how we feel then off to bed in our North Face tent and luxury 3 inch pads! Stuffed some ear plugs in and we were out in minutes!
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TRAVEL COMPANY: Altezza climbing and Safari
CHANGE IN ELEVATION: Shira 2 Camp (3,900m) – Lava Tower (4,650m) – Barranco Camp (3,960m)
HIKING DISTANCE: 12km
HIKING TIME: 6-8 hours
WEATHER: August 60-40F expect- cold, warm, dry, rain, snow/slush.
TIPS: Wear several layers since it can get cold/warm/rain/snow at any moment. At all times I wore a sports bra, tank, thin long sleeve base layer and a thicker long sleeve base layer. Kept a warm waterproof jacket in day pack just in case it got really cold or wet.
- Expect to walk at a slow pace because of higher altitude
- Squatting toilets at base camp
- Drinks lots of water 4-6 liters per day. Highly recommend this bladder! Click here!
- Eat, even if you don’t feel hungry.
- Take altitude sickness pill
- Expect to get a headache, nauseous, vomiting from altitude sickness. (not everyone gets it but it can happen)
- You get hot water to wash up every morning and night
- Three hot meals a day + snack
- You get two daily medical checks.