Bright And Early
Day 2 of our Climbing Kilimanjaro adventure dawned early on Tuesday morning. The air was crisp and cool. I could hear people around us waking and packing up to head towards the next camp. Most of the other climbers were destined for Shira Camp 1 by the end of the day. However, we had opted to do the six day climb instead of the eight day climb so we had to make it to Shira Camp 2 by the end of the day.
We had our breakfast and aced our daily medical tests, something we were required to do every day. We started our second journey, towards Shira Camp 1 at 8am. This was to be our spot for lunch and rest.
The Walk To Shira Camp 1
The scenery was incredible. We went from a lush rain forest surrounded by trees older than 100 years and higher than three story buildings, to a kind of “fynbos” that you would find in the Western Cape, just on a much larger scale. My breath was taken away by the beauty of the nature. I adored the different types of plants every ten kilometres.
As we moved through the magnificent mountain landscapes, the higher and higher we climbed the plants became even smaller. Still beautiful but small. Once we moved out the rain forest, we moved into the Moorland which looks and feels similar to the Cape “Fynbos.”
We finally reached Shira Camp 1 at 3610m above sea level and made it in record time, arriving at 11:55. We were so fast we arrived before anything was prepared for us and we had to wait for lunch. The weather wasn’t the best and we already had a little rain.
The Mountains of the Mountain
While we were making our way to Shira Camp 1 I asked our guide questions about this mysterious mountain and he was happy to share his knowledge.
Three peaks were formed after volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and one of those peaks were called Shira. While we climbed the magnificent Roof of Africa I told our guide that Kilimanjaro had hidden agendas and she hides mountains inside the mountain. It was as if we had to conquer other mountains before we got to the bottom of the actual mountain. That is what it felt like to me. I kept thinking: “I wonder if we are now climbing Kilimanjaro,” and each time we were actually climbing some other peak with some other name. These little things I did not know before arriving at the mountain. I quickly realised I knew nothing about mountains.
Shira Camp 2
After lunch we continued our walk and it was a good walk. A nice walk through stunning scenery and fairly flat at the beginning. Our first half of the day was a 6km climb and the second half of the day was a 10km walk with some climbing towards the end.
Although the walk wasn’t hard, our weather conditions turned. We started walking in rain. At times it was so bad that it looked like an open tap running from the top of my cap. With rain comes cold, and I quickly felt it through my bones.
We experienced some snow and finished at Shira Camp 2 with gloves and freezing cold temperatures. Again we walked too fast and our crew wasn’t ready for us. I remember my hands feeling frozen and I remember feeling relieved and content when I finally got into my tent. I was so grateful for the end of the day and I felt confident that it was easy enough to continue.
Physically I was fine. I realised that I was definitely fit enough, and I had no problem with the route or with the speed at which we were climbing. On the other hand, the weather conditions were starting to become a concern to me. I was so cold. That left me worried for what was still to come.
We had a late supper and all my medicals were positive. I slept well and warm that night in my little tent on the mountain.
The next morning I woke up to a white frozen and icy world.
Reflections of Day 2, Climbing Kilimanjaro
I saw the most beautiful flowers. The scenery was absolutely spectacular and I enjoyed our walk. The weather started messing with my head but I was still 100% in control over my body and mind. In actual fact I think I was in a better place at the end of day two than I was at the beginning of my climb.
Overall my dad and I had a really good day. God was my rock each and every single moment of the day. I can’t really explain the exact feeling, but while you are climbing the mountain it is almost as if you just continue with one foot in front of the other and every now and again your eyes catch something so beautiful that you can’t help but thank God and know that He is real. His creation is just so perfect.