I was sore and disheveled but happy:
Time to wash our hands before we eat:
High Camp had a very eerie atmosphere:
We started on our way again. The multitude of rocks created lots of opportunities for sprained ankles:
The later it got, the more I just wanted to stop and sleep. You can tell from this photo that I'm getting increasingly tired:
As Herman and I spent a lot of time together, especially during this descent, we got into many interesting conversations. Here's a journal segment highlighting one such conversation:
"I jokingly told Herman that I hadn't gone pee since the night previous and that I didn't want to go during our 13-hour walk because I couldn't bend down/crouch enough to pee. I told Herman that I was just going to pee in my pants, standing up. He was like, "What? No way." I think he thought that it was both ridiculous and funny. I played along and acted as if I was totally serious.
He then asked me why I would tell anyone. I explained to him that it's like writing a book. Would you either write, 'I climbed a mountain' or 'I had this adventure where these guys danced for me on my birthday and where I also peed in my pants.' I told him that I would choose the latter. I explained to Herman that I am open and honest, almost to a fault.
My legs are SO SORE. I kept telling Herman that I felt like an 80 year-old. He said that he thought I was in my twenties. No no. When I'm not super sore, perhaps."
This part of the route looks easy, right? Try doing it when your legs have been replaced by pain and every single step kills.
The white building in the distance is Mweka Camp. I started praising God when Herman told me this. Time check: 4:07pm.
Here's another journal segment:
"Herman asked me on the trail: 'Do you want a fun photo?' My initial thought was that he was going to put my camera in his pants and take a photo of his dick. I'm so dirty, as it turned out that my friend was just building an artistic cactus man/hiker/climber ☺"
We entered Mweka Camp around 6pm. Contrary to all of our other campsites, this one was large and full of other climbing outfits. All eyes were on me when Herman and I stumbled into camp and headed toward the Ranger Station to sign in. Here I was, this 6ft tall white American, walking like a pregnant 80 year-old and spewing random things in Swahili.
And of course there had to be four or five stairs into the Ranger Station. That provided a nice little show for my audience.
After we signed in and declined Kilimanjaro beers, we walked down the path toward our specific campsite. All of our teammates were in the large tent, so they didn't see us arrive. I suggested to Herman that he pretend to be me and tell our team that we arrived (he does a very good female voice, and he has fooled them before).
I tried to get this attempt on camera, but I couldn't pick up his voice. Bummer. I think it's still cute to watch him, though:
About an hour after we arrived, it was birthday dinner time! Yum, yum, yum.