I woke for the last time in a tent on Kilimanjaro and I had mixed feelings about this. It was Day 6 of Climbing Kilimanjaro. I was extremely happy but also sad to leave the mountain behind me. She had taken me to a place I’ve never been before on a personal level, and I will never forget her for that.
My toes felt a little better, the painkillers from the night before worked well. I didn’t take any chances and decided to finish with my size nine shoes. We started our last ten kilometres early and had such a nice walk. We found ourselves in the beautiful rainforest again and even on this day I was as amazed by the beauty as day one.
Absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t believe its the same Icy Rocky Mountain from the day before.
We had no heavy rain and I was thankful for that.
Arriving At The Last Gate – Mweka Gate
What a glorious feeling. Seeing that gate when we came over the hill, I can’t explain the feeling. It was probably the best feeling in life. We made it. It was the exit sign. We were finished. A car was actually waiting for us. No more tents. No more sleeping bags. No more funny long drops. No more ginger tea. No more bathing with less than 1 litre water. As much as all these things makes Kilimanjaro exciting, you are also happy to let it go … for good.
Before we even signed out at the gate my dad got us an ice cold Coke. It was the best Coke I’ve ever tasted. We signed out and had to walk a little further, it rained so much that the road was too wet for a vehicle. In my head I figured what’s an extra six hundred meters. We had to leave in a massive truck / bus, but it was good to ride with the team. Peter and Salim told us a little more about the villages at the bottom of the mountain and we got to see some of the coffee plantations, villages and universities.
Arriving At The Office
It was just over an hour when we arrived at the office. We got ourselves an ice cold Kilimanjaro beer and received our certificates. The vibe was incredible. The amazing feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming and I glowed. Literally and figuratively. I had bad sunburn from the snow reflection so my face was as red as a tomato.
We sang and celebrated and then the time came to say goodbye to our wonderful team. Our driver was waiting. It was sad to say our goodbyes. You spend so much time with these guys and get to hear their dreams and share such deep and emotional moments with them, only to never see them again. Driving away was sad, saying good-bye forever is not that easy.
Going Back To The Hotel
Driving away from her left me with mixed feelings but I was exhausted. We drove nearly two hours and finally arrived at our Hotel.. We went straight for lunch and ate like kings. We had to wait for our rooms as we insisted on a room with a bath and not a shower. We wanted to soak in the bath.
We had a meeting with the people from Climbing Kilimanjaro and spoke about our wonderful experience and super team. We spent the rest of the day shopping for souvenirs and lying next to the pool. My toes were very sensitive and my face burnt pretty bad, but I felt good otherwise. Those were the only “symptoms” I took home with me.
We had a wonderful dinner with a glass of Red Wine and before bed time I had a long bath. Washed my hair, soaked and relaxed. As I climbed into my king sized bed I grabbed the pillow and gave it a good squeeze. I plugged my phone into the wall and indulged in the cyber world I had been cut off from for the past six days. I was so grateful for all the little things and realised how blessed we really are.
I feel like I need to end this wonderful journey with a prayer. I know You know what was going on in my mind at all times, You saw me when I struggled and You saw my mom heart during difficult times. I could not have done this without You, so thank you. Thank you for holding my hand, even when I felt like I didn’t need it. You were always there. I felt safe and knew I was never alone. From the moment I decided to do this, you walked right beside me and carried me through some very difficult times. I’ve never been so close to you, I love your view, your creation is absolutely magnificent. I can see why You love everything You created so much. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for taking me on this nine month journey. I will never forget it.
Are You Considering Climbing Kilimanjaro?
This concludes my tales on the great mountain of Kilimanjaro. I hope you enjoyed the journey with me. I will have a Kilimanjaro marathon some time later this year where I will repost these posts in a row to follow for a week. Follow me on Facebook to read everything again if you have missed some, or head on to my older posts and find it there. You can look under categories and click on #marisclimbskili.
If this is something on your bucket list and something you really want to do, don’t wait. Go for it, she is something to see. From a financial point of view, you will need between R30 000 – R40 000 per person. This will include everything from your flights, your hotel accommodation to your six days on the mountain.
You can choose a different route and you can also choose eight days trip. We booked through Climbing Kilimanjaro and their service was great. Our team was exceptional and they really went the extra mile during the summit and the crazy Descent
I would recommend them over and over. They also provide a company where you can rent your gear to save you from spending unnecessary money on mountain climbing gear that you might never use again.
Thank you dad, I think this was the best way to spend time with you. You are my Hero.
Thank you Salim and Peter, our team leaders (guides) you guys were incredible and we will never forget you.
Thank you mom and Barry for taking care of the kids while we were gone. Thank you mom, Barry, Elke and Santie for making Nika’s birthday special while I wasn’t here.
Thank you Chan for spending hours on the road with me, so that I could prepare for the mountain.
Thank you Nandrie for everything you did and the massive role you played while I was busy preparing and while I was climbing the mountain with Nika.
Thank you to everyone that followed the #marisclimbskili adventures, all the love, gifts, support and prayers.
Finally I would like to thank God, He carried me and my strength and in Him I found the strength to finish the way I did.