Freezing cold and ice covered the ground all around us.
Waking up on the morning of day 3 of climbing Kilimanjaro I was blown away by the beauty that surrounded us. We arrived in snow and rain the previous day, and this prevents you from seeing everything clearly. It was breathtaking, but it was cold. I had my ginger tea while looking out over the mountain and just felt, so thankful to be there and to be surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. We didn’t wait long, I actually just wanted to get on with it and start walking.
We left Shira Camp 2 at 7:45am and arranged with our crew not to wait for us at the first camp, but to rather prepare lunch at our final destination. By now we knew we were fast walkers and wanted to get on with things. They took a shortcut to the Baranco Camp while we had to walk to Lava Rock and then back down to Baranco Camp where we stayed for the night.
The climb to Lava Rock was exactly what it says. The scenery changed completely and we were suddenly surrounded by rocks and for the first time I felt like I was really on a mountain.We covered kilometres on a lava rock landscape and it was a steep climb to 4600m above sea level. It wasn’t the easiest climb but completely manageable. Slippery and rocky, but my biggest struggle was an insane headache towards the altitude of 4600m. You can’t imagine that a headache can creep up like that and then just get worse and worse. I wasn’t allowed to take anything for it until we started our descent. We arrived at Lava Rock at 10:45.
In this picture above I am pointing at Mount Menu, another beautiful mountain to climb.
I don’t think I realised how happy I would be arriving at a camp when we got to Lava Rock. My head wanted to burst. The tea was absolutely wonderful. As I looked around me I realised how everything had changed. We were surrounded by rock, tired people and we were being blasted by icy wind. Plants, trees and bushes changed into rocks and sand. The weather continued to change during the day from hot to cold and then back to warm with occasional rain all day long. We changed into our rain suites more than what I would have liked too. Walking in the rain wasn’t the best feeling.
I had one thing to look forward to and that was that I might be able to call the kids at our final camp. I was told there will be signal and this was the one thing I couldn’t wait for. We left Lava Rock at 11:15.
We had to descend from Lava Rock to Baranco Camp where we were to spend the night. Going down was a lot harder than climbing. Well for me that is. I felt it in my knees, one of the things as a result of running for so many years I think.
After about an hour of walking I was able to drink something for my headache and it worked wonders. I felt better. The descent was incredibly beautiful. We passed a small waterfall and saw the most beautiful trees. Before we knew it we were back in the moorland landscapes.
We arrived at Baranco Camp at 13:00. Although we were tired, we were happy to be finished. The crew welcomed us when we arrived in camp. They were so proud that we had made such good time.
It started raining not long after we arrived and it rained the entire afternoon. After I rested for a while my headache was gone completely and I couldn’t wait for the rain to finish so that I could go call the kids. Baranco Camp sits at 3900m. All our vitals tested good and positive.
I Really Missed Them
It was a tough day. Physically I was fine, except for my knees on the descent. But my heart was heavy. I really started missing the kids and for some reason my phone stopped playing music. I don’t know if it was due to the altitude but without the distraction of the music I was left with my thoughts and absolute silence. The only thing I could think of was the kids. Not being able to speak to them for so many days started having an affect on me. It could also be due to the fact that it was one day before my eldest daughter’s birthday and I knew how much I would have loved being with her. This was really hard for her too, and I knew it.
We finally called home around 6pm that night and it was so good to hear their voices. It was the best feeling in the world and I missed them so much.
Reflections of Day 3, Climbing Kilimanjaro
Climbing Kilimanjaro on day 3 I had to dig deeper than I had on day one and day two. Mentally I had to stay positive and rise above my circumstances like the head ache and the sore knees. If you don’t stay positive and in the right frame of mind, the climb to the top won’t be easy. I learned a lot about myself and how important self love really is. I also learned that we can if we have to. We can do anything through Christ who gives us strength. This was the one thing I held on to, God was my strength every step of the way. It was a good day to get to know myself a little better.