SAM_1659 (1)A good night’s rest and I have woken up feeling a little better, I think.  At least I managed to get some breakfast down and give Gordon his birthday card.  We opened the tent to a glorious sunrise….what more could you ask for on your birthday?  Or even before that, going for a nighttime comfort break to see the sky aglow with a million stars in the African sky, a sky littered with lights as I have never before experienced.

SAM_1681From Kikelewa Camp, we climbed, our aim of three to four hours of walking and a 750m climb to the next camp.  It was brutal on my post-nausea body; we walked upwards.  I couldn’t get why the guides weren’t allowing us more rests, as I certainly needed them. But Mussa explained, “It is too cold to stop on summit night, you have to keep going ‘pole,pole’.  So this is training.”

SAM_1684 (1)I accepted that explanation but it was tough.  I worked out the way of reducing this ‘tough’ to a conscious decision to breathe, sip, eat.  Every breath was a conscious decision (maybe this was my age, my fitness?) but I definitely had to concentrate on doing what should be natural; every easier step on the trail that meant I didn’t think about breathing resulted in the nausea resurfacing.

After four hours trekking we arrived at camp; it was so much busier than our previous ones where there had only been one or two groups; here there must have been 200 people.  It made it noisier, buzzing, but humming with a sense of purpose.   Kilimanjaro’s summit rose majestically ahead of us and we knew why we had come.

Arriving at Mawenzi Tarn Camp, 4303m

Rest was brief; a quick lunch and we were up again, climbing 200 m to acclimatize us. For the first time, I felt uneasy about the paths as we rose over a narrow trail onto the ridge beneath the Mawenzi peak.  But the effort of my body trying to work on limited oxygen kept those thoughts at bay.

SAM_1705 (1).JPG
There is no rest for us.  After lunch we went out for an acclimatization walk

In the evening, the chef had iced a cake for Gordon’s birthday and we shared it around, going to bed happy and acclimatising a little more.

Our acclimatization walk
SAM_1715 (2)
Enjoying the rest in the shadows of Mawenzi

SAM_1725 (1).JPG

Candles shine bright at Mawenzi Tarn Camp, 4303m