Climbing Kilimanjaro: Day One
The First Part Of Our Day
Waking up to the thought of what I was about to do was a strange feeling. Still tired from our trip to Tanzania I tried sleeping as late as I possibly could, but our driver was there to fetch us at 6am so there wasn’t much time to linger on that thought.
We began our journey, making our way towards Mount Kilimanjaro. We drove for nearly three hours before finally reaching the Kilimanjaro National Park. On arrival we had to register at the Londorsi Gate and this is where they weighed our bags and where we met up with the rest of the crew.
We Were Finally There. On The Mountain!
After registration we made our way to the starting point which was Lemosho Gate, we were booked on the Lemosho Six Day Route. We were there for about two hours sorting things out, and then having lunch before we were to start actual walking. We had a 7 kilometer hike ahead of us and started walking at exactly 2pm.
Normally you would start the first two days in hot conditions, but we hit cold weather from day one. I wasn’t prepared for this so I started our hike in my rain gear. It helped.
Within the first ten minutes I realised it was UP HILL. We took it slow and easy, a nice walk towards our first camp. The scenery was breathtaking. Massive trees, everything green and lushe, just like you would imagine a rain forest. We even saw white and black monkeys. There were no climbing, just a little path leading us up towards the top.
We finished long before we thought we would. We walked for two hours and fifteen minutes and arrived at Mkubwa Camp at 4:15 pm. I can’t explain how I felt. The first thing I said was “Thank you, Jesus!” I was relieved that it felt so easy, I was happy to feel good and excited that I didn’t even feel tired.
Day One Done
It was the end of the day for us, but not for the crew. We walked so fast that they weren’t finished with setting up camp. We enjoyed the last bit of sun for the day and appreciated the beauty that surrounded us. It was surreal.
Once the sun went down we got ready for supper.
Every night the routine was the same. Salim, our guide would come in, chat to us about how we are feeling, take our heart rate and oxygen, then we would eat followed by some ginger tea. We would get a small bowl of hot water to wash in our tents and just before lights out we would get a hot water bottle to keep us warm for the night.
We each had our own tent where we would spend a lot of time over the next few days. It became my little safe place where I was protected from bad weather which I was completely unaware of on that first night.
I was tired and when I went to bed that night I felt good. I felt positive about my journey ahead and was so thankful that I was sharing all of that with my dad. The no pillow factor was a big thing on the first night but I quickly eased into that. Eventually you get so tired, little things like that doesn’t really matter anymore.
Mental and Spiritual Preparedness
I guess in a way it’s all about making that decision. Once you know you are committed to climbing Kilimanjaro, “the mountain”, the only thing you can do is get there, put one foot in front of the other, and keep on going. It’s the only way to get to the top, and once you start walking you realise it’s not so bad and you actually start enjoying it. The thought behind the mountain is a lot harder than actually walking, once you start.
It’s all in the mind, Kilimanjaro is a head climb. You need to be mentally strong, as well as fit, but you climb her with your head mostly.
What a beautiful way to start our journey, I loved the stunning rain forest and everything that she had to offer. It took my soul to a peaceful place.
I can honestly say after the first day actually climbing Kilimanjaro I was ready to rock the next five days. I felt good.