Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro Part III

You still reading? HA. As you can see, it has been quite an adventure. It tested every bit of me both physically and mentally...but I did it! It amazes me how much more we are capable of than our minds make us think we are.

Summit Night/Day: It is almost 10pm and they just woke us up so that we can get moving. I am sitting outside on a rock with just the light of the moon shining on while I write this. So it might be messy and hopefully I can read this later. The stars down here are absolutely amazing and quite possibly the best I have ever seen. I have already seen 2 shooting stars. They are making us eat and I am going to do my best to do that even though I am not hungry. I have an awful headache. This camping at 15,000 feet isn’t the best. LOL.

I can see headlights everywhere heading up the mountain. There is a whole trail of people slowly walking up. What a freakin’ cool thing to see. Just a bunch of lights heading towards the sky.

I have my 323 layers of clothes on and I sure hope that they keep me warm. I feel like that kid on Christmas Story with the snowsuit that can’t hardly walk.

God, give me the strength to do this.

Signing off for now.

Next Morning: Did it!! I made a video of my feelings. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do (even though technically I didn’t HAVE to do this! ha). I pushed myself to the limit on what a person could accomplish with God on her side. Jed helped me a lot and so did the guides. I cried and almost gave up but I did not. 

Mt. Kili is a total turd. I got cerebral edema and thank God I brought my high dose of steroids with me in my backpack or else I would have had to go back down. I hallucinated badly! I don’t know how I remember it, but I do. Faces in rocks. Animals that weren’t there. People taking pictures of me that weren’t. Pizza boxes. I kept going. Saw the sun rise as I got to Stella Point. It was beautiful to see such a thing.

When I finally reached Stella Point, I got really mad!! It is at 18,800 feet and you reach it as soon as you get up after the steepest part of the ascent. Tiny baby steps over and over for hours and hours. When I got there, I was like, “Cool...only a few hundred more feet to the 19,347 of the top! Where is that?” and then they pointed to a location that was roughly another mile and a half away. It was so devastating to me at that moment. I wanted to give up.

I kept going and I summitted. 



Sunrise above the clouds






My very fake smile when I realized that I still had a good 1.5 hours left to go to only go like 400 feet higher.





If you have ever wondered what the top of Mt. Kili looks like...here ya go!

Oh hell yeah!

YAY!

More views from the top!







Right now, we have descended to the High Camp, which isa bout 4 miles away from the old camp we were at last night. My video I just made says it all. Thank God for dexamedrose (prolly spelled wrong). I still have a nasty headache. Today was definitely the biggest challenge I have had in my life. A true feat. We hiked for 13 hours straight and then came back to the camp, slept for an hour and then packed up our stuff and then walked another 2.5 hours to where we are now. It is pouring rain now, which is unusual, but it is nice now that I am in the tent. It sucked hiking in it though. I just got some hot chocolate and it is delish.


View from High Camp


Everyone is looking forward to the last stop tomorrow after a 5 hour hike down to the bottom. They have warned us that it is a straight hike down and that it is going to hurt. Lovely. Can’t wait.  Get to see the other side of the mountain though. Then we will have a picnic at the bottom and then head to a hotel where I can FINALLY take a shower and shave my legs.

Final Descent Day: Today was Kalista’s birthday and the porters woke her up with a birthday song (side note that I am interjecting in 2020...she found out later that she was PREGNANT during this trip!! Holy crap! Had a healthy baby girl.) It was really cool and put a big smile on everyone’s tired face. It was really cold last night and I kept on ending up at the bottom corner of my tent because I am on a stupid slope. 

We just descended about 14,000 feet through the rainforest - which was so beautiful. Needless to say though, my knees are killing me badly. I am pretty sure I am going to lose a few toenails. When we got down to the bottom, there was lunch for us and ice cream and Snickers. We ate the hell out of everything. Had a beer too! 

Ice cream is a rarity here. What a treat.

I am trying to decide what my first “meal” is going to be when I get to the hotel. Probably a cheeseburger.


YES!!!!! Jed on the left and Kalista is on my right and then at the end is April.

Small army of porters.


Later That Day: Oh heck yeah...I have clean hair and I got to shave. I was smart and waited a few hours when I got to the hotel...I learned that African water pressure sucks when more than one person at a hotel takes a shower. OMG I miss my shower at home...and my bed...and my dogs.

Just went to buffet and got food. They don’t have cheeseburgers here. Bummer.

Thank you mom for taking care of my puppies and thank you God for a safe ascent and descent. I have so many bumps and bruises that it is crazy!!

The next 6 days are safari time and I cannot wait!! Hotels, showers, animals and relaxing with everyone. Much deserved.

I gave all of everything I have (except for the clothes I need to wear in the next few days) to the porters. No more boots or gear or backpack or foam roller. They need it more than I do. The guy who got my boots cried. He had tire shoes before that.

I can’t wait to go on another adventure!!


Next Post.....The safari!

That’s all I got for today-

Jen

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