DAY 1: After a pretty ‘pole pole’ (slow) morning, with A LOT of pissing around we were on our way. Our group which was originally 9 was now 19 and with the guides, porters and other members of staff we had a village ready to summit this mountain! Day 1 was the most stressful day because of all the politics to get into the park, a lot of paper work, and lots of nonsense bureaucracy. It took a couple of hours to get us signed in, so we had time for our box lunches, final bathroom breaks, and chatted a lot since it was our first time all together as a group.
Once we began, the rainforest section of the mountain was beautiful, with lush green trees and plants, and the occasional blue monkey or black and white Colobus monkey. We had to walk very slowly, in a single line the entire trek. This was so the guides could spot easily who was struggling along the way but for the first day we found it super frustrating as I don’t think anyone in our group expected it.
Arriving at our campsite 4 hours later and now 7pm (very behind schedule) we found out tents and made a wee nest for the night. Our tents were just spacious enough for two people plus our duffel and day packs, an area for our dirty shoes, and warm water tubs for ‘’washy washy’’ before meals . The porters carry the duffel bags and deserve a bloody medal every day as well as setting up the tents which was amazing to arrive into.
We ate around 10pm and were served a feast of pasta, cucumber soup, salad and some fruit before everyone in the group scattered to their tents for night 1’s sleep.
Sleep: Slept from 11.30pm – 6am.
Walked: 7kms taking 5 hours
Today was a 17km hike day. That is all. No, I am joking, it was 17km’s but it was awesome so I will write a little more about it. We woke at 6am, had our quick ‘’washy washy’’ bird bath shower, beautiful breaky of porridge, crepes, fruit, tea and coffee before hitting the road at 8.30am. Today was broken into 2 parts – 1st part was to Shira 1 camp where we would stop for lunch and then Shira 2 camp where we would stay for the night. It was a 10-11 hour hiking day which we were seriously not looking forward to but off we went! We had monkeys at our camp when we woke up and the first few hours of the walk were simply beautiful – hot, yet beautiful! After 7km of climbing uphill in the heat we reached Shira 1 and inhaled lunch before hitting the track again for the final 10kms.
We arrived late again at 7pm but were welcomed with the first sighting of the Summit which was amazing, daunting yet empowering. Everyone in the group had a headache by this point and were pretty spent after the long day. I have to give a shout out here to the chefs on our trip as each and every day they surprise us with truly delicious food. It has to be very carb heavy to prevent Altitude sickness, but they vary it up each meal and it’s always DELICIOUS!
Sleep: Slept from 11pm – 6am.
CBD Oil for sleep
Walked: 17kms taking 11 hours
After a shit nights sleep, we woke this morning to find our tent had leaked through the night and our sleeping bags were soaking. We were ok inside but with a headache, icy cold temperatures I was ready to throw in the towel. The group helped immensely and instantly my spirits were lifted…after a coffee sat in the sun outside appreciating what was happening and manning the F up!
Next stop was Lava Wall – another 7km uphill to higher altitude and it was cold this morning. The views were incredible but we had bad news about some of our porters who had caught pneumonia and were sent back. With a smaller staffing, meant extra work but we powered through, but today was hard. It was a very difficult climb, hard to breathe, intense headaches and general exhaustion. Lunch kept us going that day as it was so good, they made us beef pies with vegetables and soup which soothed the soul and gave us all the energy to power through.
We read that our body would be burning 4000 calories a day. So on this hike it was normal to lose between 1-2 kgs and it was so important to eat whenever possible…even when you weren’t hungry! It was like me dream week.
We hiked for another 4 hours but this time down hill in order to acclimatise and let our bodies rest at the third camp. When we arrived Remi our guide let us know it was an early to bed night and a late wake up – this was the best news ever. I have never been so excited to go sleep on the group before in my life!
Sleep: Slept from 9.30pm – 7am.
1 x Diazepam
CBD Oil for sleep
Walked: 6kms taking 5-6 hours
Keep reading for the next few days of this adventure...