Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day Eight- Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Starting Point: Mweka Camp, ~10,000 ft. elevation
Ending Point: Mweka Gate, 4,921 ft. elevation
Total Climbing Time: ~5.5 hours

Today was the last day of my climb. I woke up around 6:30am with mixed emotions. One thing was for sure: I needed a shower!

 This bowl of water and soap had worked as my "shower" for the past eight days:

This was my bathroom during the climb (when I chose to get out of my tent and not pee in a cup☺)

Alo? Where is everyone?

It was great to eat breakfast outside!

My teammates were enjoying the weather as well:

This is what I heard every day after my climb: my team conversing in Swahili. I loved listening to them:

Speaking of my team, here we are! (Herman is taking the photo)

It was amazing to look back at the mountain and to think that I was just at the top the day before:

The following two photos highlight a situation which saddens and angers me:

Porters toilet

Tourists toilet
We started on the final portion of our descent. Unfortunately, my legs weren't much better.

Looking back at the beautiful mountain peak:

This is the other plant which is only found on Mt. Kilimanjaro (the "elephant trunk"):

Hooray for cool moss mounds on trees!

This was another cool plant which Herman introduced me to; I forget the specific name of the plant, but it acted like velcro (in this photo, it is sticking to my clothes):

Stairs! ARGH!

Toward the end of the trail Herman basically stated that we were not making adequate progress and that he was looking into the option for a ranger to come pick us up. I was fairly miffed by this as I wanted to complete the route in its entirety, but the idea of walking another hour and a half (per Herman), was not too enticing.

Herman won this argument, and a ranger picked us up. As it happened, it started to rain pretty hard right before the ranger picked us up, so I was happy for the ride. But get this: it only took about 5 to 10 minutes to drive to the final gate! I was like, "Herman, you totally lied about the distance. That would not have taken me 1.5 hours!" Oh well. What was done, was done.

We arrived at Mweka gate, signed out and enjoyed our final lunch together. Here is my concluding shot of the climb:


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