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False Start

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

2:30 am and we are ready to go…. I guess we should have taken that melatonin last night.  Plus we have been up 3-4 times to pee already.  In these early hours we are second-guessing the new route proposed by our guide.  Does he have our best interests in mind, or some other motivation?  Juli, we wish you were here, too, but hopefully thoughts of you rushing us up the mountain will keep us going when it starts to get tough.

Well, I guess we will try to go back to sleep if we can get our minds to quiet down (and Jill’s incessant chatter.)

Last preparations

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

We are in bed.  It has been a busy day and I have to say I’ve been amazed at Jill’s energy; after such a horribly long trip, I expected today to be more filled with siestas than sightseeing but we didn’t take a nap at all.  No wonder, I guess, that upon exiting the shower, I found Jill asleep over the laptop instead of completing the photo uploads.   I woke her up long enough to properly get into bed, now she’s already slumbering while I post the last real update for a few days.

The briefing with the guide was good and to his quiz of: “do you have….?”, we were able to consistently provide positive responses, so we’re feeling well equipped.  Whether or not we’re ready is another question altogether!  He informed us that we’ll have to slightly change our route to avoid spending 2 nights at a high camp – there has been a lot of precipitation and temperatures are well below zero so he’s worried too long up high is unnecessarily taxing. We also received confirmation that summit day will be between 12 – 14 hours with very short stops (3-5 min) at Gillman’s Point and Uhuru, then a longer break on our way down again to enjoy a hot breakfast.  After the briefing, we came back and started packing (and re-packing – everything now sealed in Ziploc bags to avoid getting drenched in the downpours they’ve been having); Jill suddenly mid-seal looks at me and says, “Wow. I just really got bungy-stomach!”  And she is right; this is definitely reminiscent of pre-Bloukrans Bridge!

We won’t have the computer with us on the mountain, so the updates during the coming 7 days will be brief (typed in with the phone when we have a signal).  But keep your comments coming!  We will be avidly reading them for motivation at each camp!

P.S. Reader poll: what to do with long hair for a 7-day hike and no washing opportunities? 

P.S. 2   A big “Thank you!” to all our equipment helpers – esp Lou for the sleeping bags, waterproof bag, drink bottles, etc.  and Achim for the high-tech goodies and power gel!


Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
The Coffee Shop, Moshi, Tanzania:  nice outdoor courtyard and sitting area, seems to be the standard place to take tourists.  Not sure why - food was a bit strange (tasteless grilled bacon and cheese sandwich and salad of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Hakuna Matata

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
And yes, they do actually say that here, so now we know 5 words! Today is a great day.   We are finally getting our traveling legs back, I think.  This morning  we woke up before our alarm went off, thanks ... [Continue reading this entry]

Moshi, Tanzania – trying to complete another posting before Jill passes out (again…)

Monday, December 28th, 2009
Wrapping up our first day in Tanzania, and the end of a very long travel day, we’re eating chocolate and trying to stay awake just a bit longer.   The flight of delirious giggling from Nairobi to ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, December 27th, 2009
We are sipping hot cappuccinos in the humid jomo kenyatta airport in nairobi, kenya after a very long travel itinerary with just 1 more short flight to go (to kilimanjaro).  The sun is just now coming up.  Our travel was ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luggage overflow and insomnia

Saturday, December 26th, 2009
So while everything was listed in my excel planning file, it seemed harmless enough: sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, hiking boots, sticks, 2 hiking pants, 2 fleeces.... etc.  Now that I've tried to cram it all into suitcases, I am feeling ... [Continue reading this entry]

Final itinerary

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
The countdown has been on for the past 6 weeks, and we are now only days away from the start of this adventure.  I have now banned myself from reading any more blogs about Kili climbs (a couple days ... [Continue reading this entry]