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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Mt. Kenya Summit Day 3 #MtKenyaChallenge2017

Mt Kenya Point Lenana

The sun peeping on the Mt. Kenya Slopes, just before we could summit

Just when the sleeping bag has got warm enough it was 2 am! “Guys wake up!” Peterson came to the dorms waking us up. It felt more like a nap than sleep. We all jump up, the day of Reckoning was finally here, the day we’d all been waiting, the summit was so near yet so far. It was expected we should summit before sunrise and get a glimpse of the magical rays at dawn. You could tell people were on sleep mode autopilot because we took a whooping one hour to prepare and pack our bags. We have some black tea and biscuits to reduce the probability of throwing up so I heard. The real breakfast would await us after the summit. About 3.30 we all go outside and Duncan tells us to make a single file, with the people who were susceptible to altitude sickness and crying being put in front. I was near the back with Abraham infront and Brian and Ken behind. Our headlamps glowed in the moonlit night, this was it. Peter came out to wish us well, this gent is used to this lifestyle clearly, because were I him, I’d be seriously zipped in my bag, wait, maybe he is one of those light sleepers who the lightest noise makes them wake. I would still sleep through the racket….

We start our ascend slowly up, we can only see a few metres ahead, which I later realise is a pretty good strategy to keep people going without them thinking about the steep challenge right in front. My toes are cold so are the fingertips but as we walk, the circulation helps. After about one hour Nnena and Rachel start having altitude sickness, Duncan, Habbakuk, Peterson and Ken stay behind with them to help out, true teamwork ey? I know. So up we continue and Charles is telling me how we are about to get it easier because I was starting to lag. Kuna tambarare pale halafu utaona tu Lenana tupande. My legs are completely beat Brian would be telling Kel twende tu, let’s go. Whenever someone saw my frustrated face and they ask you okay? And I tell them my legs are beat, they would be like keep pushing and go on. We all knew what to do when you got altitude sickness, drink lots of water, puke if you feel it, let the gas out, but no one had a clue about what to do with beat legs, that seemed not to have any solution. The mountain was telling me how my weekend preparations were not shit, they weren’t enough I needed more endurance, if we were batteries it seems I would be some Chinese variety when everyone else was Duracell they seemed to last and last and laaasssst haha. I’m trying to paint a picture here, anyway I think you get it. Then it happened, the sun started peeping on the eastern slope, the first rays kissed Batian giving it this beautiful amazing golden hue, absolutely breathtaking.

Mt. Kenya Batian Peak

Sun kissed Batian Peak

The guys who were ahead started to hasten up remember the sun should have found us at the summit. So it was me and Kendi and Charles. At this point it was clear that Rachel was having a tough time, but one thing I really give Rachel is her grit. You know how we are always told to never ever give up? She is the embodiment of this. It was her second time attempting to summit Lenana and she was pushing her limits to the end. Charles took her camera and told me he would make memories for her should she not be able to summit. And he did take awesome pictures…. Nnena caught up with us but she was crying, at some point she told us, “I did not get on a plane to come here only to turn back here, summiting is not an option but a must, even if I have to crawl up that mountain I will crawl but I have to get to the top!”. To be honest the determination that kept being shown repeatedly up this mountain was far greater than any of the description in management books, this was not theory it was the real deal. Olive tells us how Bonita, (oh Bonita is a travel blogger who you can view her posts here) was telling Yvonne

#MtKenyaChallenge2017

Everyone needed to summit, we were one team

‘Wewe lia tu ukimaliza tutapanda’ (just cry it out, when you finish crying we will climb). Yvonne also tells us that Bonita was telling her “I know what you are feeling hata mimi nililia na saizi Niko sawa”. This is how we finally got to have a TeamMachozi the team of free flowing tears.

When we get to what Charles was calling tambarare I sat down and my legs just said I sit. It felt so good to sit. As the other guys started going I told Charles I would not be moving an inch, Olive comes and asks me if I am okay, I tell her I’m done and I’m going to sit till my legs get better. She takes the picture below, it tells what I was really going through. It is at this point I start thinking with cuss words every second, I start thinking how it wouldn’t be so bad if I just let this slide, how there will be another opportunity. But Charles as if reading my thoughts keeps prodding me and being ever so patient.

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I remember I still have two calls to make at the summit and I wake up and trudge on. It is about 7.15am when we get to lake Harris, just when we get there the other guys start going up. There are two ladies who are coming down from Lenana, and they are walking fast, clearly these are pros. They tell us to keep on going as it is amazing up there. The I notice there are a couple of bags and Charles puts his bag down. I ask him if we would be coming back the same way, he says yes. I ask him again and he answers in the affirmative. I put my bag down and tell him twende. He asks me what about my water and snacks. Kama wewe unaenda hivyo hata mimi naenda hivyo, Chenye ingetokea kama haijatokea hadi sasa haitatokea. Plus I realised I had carried these snacks which I was not even eating, I made a note to give them all away, since we were being fed, water and juice for me were the only key things. He looked at me and realised I was dead serious and just left me to be. With ten kilos off my back I felt very light and I started to catch up with the rest of the the team. As we went higher pockets of ice were hidden on the rocks.

Highest Via Ferrata in the world

Olonana the highest Via ferrata in the world

At 9.15 we get to the summit, there is this cable and a board saying Lenana is the highest Via Ferrata in the world. I have no clue what a via ferrata is but I make a mental note to check it out later. We climb some steps and there we were. 4985m asl. I felt peace, like a load had been taken off my chest, this was it. I was tired yet excited, I went round the peak just taking it all in, this was the moment we all had been waiting for. I call my mum and told her I was actually up there. She thinks I’m crazy for doing some of these things she tells me to take pictures and she awaits the stories. The next person I call is my grandfather who asks “so did you go as part of work?” I tell him no the umpteenth time. So you decided to just go and climb a mountain? I tell him yes. He asks if I am at the top of Batian. No, I tell him Batian needs experts with ropes and picks and a board of other specialised equipment. He tells me it’s good that I’m doing these things when I can, because when I become old as he is, there will be many things you desire to do but your body says no.

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We start taking photos at the peak, Habba has become our designated camera man for the summit portraits. Wabbie is broadcasting live, this was her second time here with Loyc, then guess what? They change into black dresses and take pictures with all that cold. Wow! Well these ones were having the time of their lives. “Do you have network?” Mimie asks, “I have Airtel”, “Hotspot me, I need to post something”. The network was 2G up there I put on my data and start searching for a stronger network, if you looked at me I looked like Rafiki when he was presenting Simba to all the animals in Lion King. When you want something it’s when it starts playing games yes? Murphy’s law? Mimie goes to a higher point on the peak and lands on some good signal. I notice Yvonne is seated tears rolling down her cheeks.

Day 3 #MtKenyaEaster2017 #mtkenyachallenge2017 #summit #LenanaPeak

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You should go and have a summit photo, this is your story now taken for posterity

No, I’m not going there, actually I want to start  going down

But have you had your picture taken?

Yes, when we came someone took them with their phone

Why are you crying, how are you feeling?

I don’t know

Do you feel pain?

No, but there is a slight headache from a far. I actually cannot explain this feeling I am having

Can you describe it?

I can’t

Is it an overwhelming feeling?

Yes

The world crushing you

Yes

Lungs lacking air

Yes

Brain as well

Yes

Like some force sucking the breath out of you and you are fighting to breathe back

Yes

Well if that is what it is, then I don’t know what it is.

We have a summit photo and start our descent, this is finally over, so quick like an orgasm. There was this caldera full of ice. The ice is somewhat dirty which I am meant to understand is because of global warming and changing weather patterns.

Mt Kenya Global Warming

The world looks so small on top of a mountain… The frozen caldera. Notice the dirty ice #globalwarming

As we get to the point where we saw the first pockets of ice, you will not believe this, Bonita, whom everyone had thought had quit the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 is coming up from a far, she is coming up fast and furious. Wow! This is the determination the mountain taught us. We cheer her as much as our lungs could allow.  This was grit on another level. Charles is cheering her on, this guy is a true coach, walks with you along the way.

Bonnita on safari

Our wonder woman, Bonita coming up as we came down

When I get to the point I had left my bag we strip down, it is getting hot anyway. We rest for a few minutes and start our trek to Lake Michaelson. I am doing my sweeping duties with Kendi, Ivy and Abraham, at this moment and time nothing else seems to matter. Our faces though tired are glowing with contentment, we done did it! Kendi shows us where Shiptons camp was where we had left, to be honest if we had left when there was light, there would have been many who were not going to finish. It was a really smart idea to go under the cover of the darkness. We start seeing so many lakes in our way to Lake Michaelson, this is pure natural beauty, pure joy to be experiencing. The Mountain slopes make these intricate shapes that I cannot seem to be having enough of. I ask Kendi why I keep seeing piled stones in our path, she mentioned that is how the guides have marked the paths. The path had loose gravel and we kept on skidding, Ivy decides that will not be her struggle, she sits and slides all the way down, find the video on my day 3 pictures.

Mt Kenya Chogoria route. Scenery

The scenery on our trek to Lake Michaelson was breathtaking!

Mt Kenya Shiptons camp

Shiptons camp: It was a long way we had come…

Day 3 #MtKenyaEaster2017 #mtkenyachallenge2017 #summit #LenanaPeak

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We are hungry and are thinking about getting to the campsite and having something to fill up. At about 5.00pm we finally see the lake, it is so serene, undisturbed by intensive human activity. The water is so clear you can see the bed of the lake with the deeper parts having a green hue as a reflection of the vegetation around.

Mt Kenya Lake Michaelson

We finally make it to Lake Michaelson. Ivy and Abraham with frowns all gone, we had done did it!

We finally get to see tents, finally I will sleep in a tent, this was a trip of many firsts clearly. Duncan is clearly excited to see us, his face hides many things but this moment he was beaming he was truly happy we could tell, we get high fives for a a job well done. And are shown our apartments haha. We take our breakfast at 5.00pm and boy was that food delicious. My taste buds were back in action, sometimes I’d think, instead of shedding few kilos I might put on a few. It starts to drizzle and we get in our tent ⛺. We chat with Abraham until we fall asleep, then Ken comes calling. Their tent is leaking so he needed to occupy the one that had our bags. We quickly pick up the bags and brainstorm how we would all fit in with our bags and keep dry as well. After we arrange them I take another nap until we are called for supper. We had fresh trout for our proteins, and that fish was awesome. Inasmuch as we didn’t want to take off our gloves because of the cold the fish was good. Yes we are fish with forks and spoons, and threw away most heads shoot me lol.

Lake Michaelson

Campfire

We go around a campfire and Beatrice is coordinating Zumba sessions with our headlights as the spotlights. Guys start retiring one by one and when I get my hot water bottles I am off. Tomorrow at 6.00am I need to be up to see the magical sunshine of Lake Michaelson. I get into my sleeping bag and go into sleep as quick as I got in. The following day would be another day for the #MtKenyaChallenge.

 

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Mt. Kenya Day 2 #MtKenyaChallenge2017

#MtKenyaChallenge2017

#MtKenyaChallenge2017 Day 2: Old Moses Camp

#MtKenyaChallenge2017 Day 2: It’s about 3.00 am, the wind has become gentler but it is still whistling through the cracks, a snore here another one there, the room is also a bit warmer than a few hours ago. I jolt up because I hear people talking outside the Banda, I open one eye thinking, “could I have overslept?”, being a night owl rather than an early bird waking up is something I struggle like my friend keeps telling me “sleep is the cousin of death” then death is…. I digress. I check and see Ken is soundly asleep and tuck back in my sleeping bag and wonder what is Olive doing up this early? Even if I had a bathroom break I could not see myself leaving that bag. It’s good there were voices because in paranormal activity I saw there are sleepwalkers haha. I fall back into deep sleep as quickly as I jolted. Five minutes later, at 6.00am Olive comes round tugging our sleeping bags, clearly we had an natural alarm clock. I start my morning debate, “Kel wake up, no just sleep for two more minutes it will make your day better” Then Peterson, our lead guide walks in and shouts “alright everybody wake up!”, “Aye aye Captain!” I shout in my head and jump up. I dress in a flash the #MtKenyaChallenge2017 is on! And head out to see if I can catch the sunrise, my nostrils feel cold and wet with the hairs stiff I cannot help but keep rubbing it every minute. Tanya comes out and says, wow we should warm up! And goes to get Robert. We do burpees and on the 50th I’m done, I’m beat I go inside to have breakfast and leave them going on.

Day 2 Part 1

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After breakfast Duncan checks our heart rates and notes them down. “Did you warm up?” he would ask, seems the altitude had some relation with increased heart rate which would mean you would need close monitoring.

We fill up our water bags and go for a proper warm up as a group. Remember what I said about day one? That same warm up is what we did. We set off to Shiptons camp. The vegetation now has changed from forests to bushes with tiny leaves. The valleys of Mt Kenya become bare for us to gawk at. What I loved the most was the fact that you needed not look up to see clouds, they were on your level…

#MtKenyaChallenge2017

The valleys were just therapy 🙂

My knees started acting up and even the knee support was not helping and was actually becoming uncomfortable. In the morning I had forgotten to apply some ointment I’d been given and since I’d been warned about using it under sunlight I had to wait till I got some form of cover. My strategy to beat this was to join Charles our guide at the back to sweep. I loved how he was easy and patient even with the slow pace than most hikers. About midday the vegetation again changes to these funny looking plants. Clearly the higher you go survival belongs to those who can utilise minimum oxygen as possible and go on, man, animal and plant alike.

Day 2 part 2 #MtKenyaChallenge2017 #MtKenyaEaster2017

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#MtKenyaChallenge2017

Sure you can as well climb, grab my hand…

During the last stop over just before lunch I am so beat I am wondering what in heaven I was thinking. And whenever you’d ask how far before the other camp? Ni pale tu, tukifika kwa tambarare na mawe utaona Shipton. Charles was not just a guide, he was a coach, he knew how to work on your will to ensure you would self motivate until you reached your goal, summitting, the patience and little white lies to get us going, this man was God sent. The area having plenty rocks on the corners I made peace with myself and stopped counting and so did everybody else. Speaking of rocks, Robert had this knack to find the hardest piece of rock and perch on it like an eagle, I would reach where he was look at the rock and just pass height is still an acquired taste for me. Miriam, Habba and Olive would be like, let me try this as well.

We find our catering team has prepared lunch in the middle of nowhere. I am famished, I jump on that pasta with relish especially since I didn’t know when we would get to tambarare. There clouds start caressing the mountain, they would come up the valleys like a blanket and cover everything. The chill would be immediate when the sun rays got swallowed. Robert advises I take opportunity of the cloud cover and apply the ointment which I do, get a few twitches here and there and then it feels way better than before. Tanya had come with this portable solar panel charger and I had given her my phone, now it is almost full and since the sun had started playing hide and seek I switched it off after all there were two calls that I needed to make at the summit after that I would be good.

Day 2 Part 3 #mtkenyachallenge2017 #MtKenyaEaster2017

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We resume our trek in search of the infamous tambarare we really needed to get to Shiptons and rest…

Just a few hundred metres Yvonne starts to retch but nothing is coming out. She is crying hard tears rolling down her cheeks, her cries remind me of Muliro wanje the song. Duncan is at that moment looking for enough, something that would make her throw up quickly. Olive, Abraham, Ivy and I stand there stupefied for a minute, I don’t know what was in everybody else’s minds but I was wondering “are we all going to shed tears at some point? What if someone takes a picture of me crying? How will I be able to explain that to my children and children’s children? That it is okay, sometimes as a man you need to cry? But then wouldn’t that dilute the stories of blood, sweat and tears? Surely if this is what happens there has to be a way to not let it happen through all means possible.” Duncan urges us to go on because if the sun went down, we would bear the brunt of the mountain’s chill. Sometimes I would feel like we were the opposites of vampires, always running away from the night.

Day 2 Part 4 #MtKenyaChallenge2017 #MtKenyaEaster2017

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There is an animal that starts making cackling sound like a chicken in the bushes. We asks what they are and are told they are hyraxes, they look like fat big moles… (See them in my days photos). We catch two who are mating (how do they even do it in this cold? The weather on this mountain is enough to give you a permanent ED) and making a racket about it, hello hyrax, can’t you do your business in peace? Then one come to the path and just stares at us, with this weird gaze, you couldn’t really decide whether it was curiosity, awe or aggression behind the look. Robert who once got attacked by a baboon tells us that it bites, I mean the man was attacked by a full grown baboon and he had to jump on bushes like Tarzan and to escape, when he tells you it bites you believe him, he should know right? Especially if you don’t know what goes in an animal’s brain, you leave it to the experts.

After climbing the rock with mating hyraxes we finally get to see Shiptons! The happiness, goodness, it felt like seeing the finish line after running the whole day, this was it. Finally, wooop wooop. Guys now just Subaru with the new found energy to get to the camp.

#MtKenyaChallenge2017

Mt Kenya slopes

As the sun ⛅ disappears on the other side of the mountain slopes we get to Shiptons. We can see Batian now very clearly. I remember how Old Moses let’s cold air in and quickly go to bed hunt, when I get to the dorms I realise Shiptons has no cracks between the wooden walls, I begin wondering if Old Moses had done that intentionally, clearly this mountain is selling experience nothing more nothing less, just forget about comfort, and with what you are able to take in through the experiences so will be the stories you will tell. I remember how out of place I would feel during prep hikes people would talk about things to do with the mountain and I would tell them “I have no idea what you are talking about, but I can imagine”. Especially Nick, he had a way of telling his experiences vividly and telling you, “oh man you should try it” and the curiosity it me would just get fuelled. Now I was on the path of building my own story and that felt super good than anything I had ever done before.

Day 2 Part 5. Wonder what was on that Hyrax’s mind #MtKenyaChallenge2017 #MtKenyaEaster2017

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I set up my bed and clean up in a flash because the chill on Shiptons is twice that in Old Moses. I them go out to look around. The ground is swampy and I go stepping in the wet grounds to see how waterproof my shoes are, which is very silly remembering I did not have a spare pair. Then I hear it, cue Muliro Wanje iiiiii iiiiii iiiiii iiii mulirooooo waaanjeee…. I go to find out. It’s Yvonne again, she is now able to throw up and the tears are freely flowing accompanied by the wails as well, Duncan is there helping her out. Duncan really had work with our team.

Jeremy also seems to have been hit by the altitude sickness; clearly this altitude was not anybody’s friend. I look him in the eye to see if he has any glistening to signify crying, his eyes are dry just a bit withdrawn from his bubbly self, there was hope we could survive without tears… Well today everyone is chill, the energy levels are low. Florence also seems to have been hit by the altitude, now I’m wondering what if we sleep and get altitude in bed? Whenever someone opened the door to the dining area the room temperature would drop instantly.

Did I mention we found Peter here? He had reached during the day, this guy was clearly a ninja and he was carrying all his weight, this is the true mountaineering on pro mode.

Food is served and Duncan is urging everyone to feed. At this point nobody seemed to have appetite, I even was surprised by myself, here there was food and I did not feel like eating! The rice and chicken looked delicious but when you took a bite it felt bland, I cannot find something that felt so bland, it was like chewing sawdust, but we had to force it down our throats, the body would figure out how to convert the sawdust to energy as long you swallowed and urged it to stay put in your stomach. Yvonne and Jeremy are the ones struggling feeding, and Yvonne still has tears rolling down her cheeks. Brian sits between them and takes it upon himself to urge them to feed. Which they painstakingly try to finish. As our hot water for hot water bottles is being boiled Beatrice discovers the jiko warming up souls in the kitchen, as I go to check on my bottle I also join in to warm up. And it feels good. A small rat comes to smell my toes, everyone is pointing at it and I check to see this tiny rodent fearlessly playing under my seat! How did they come up this high?

I get my water bottles and go to the dorm and retire. It is pretty cold and few hours away the summit awaits. The third highest peak in Kenya and the highest Via Ferrata in the world… The #MtKenyaChallenge2017 continued…

 

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Mt Kenya Climb Day 0 & 1 #MtKenyaChallenge2017

#MtKenyaChallenge2017

Sirimon gate entrance to Mt Kenya #MtKenyaChallenge2017

 

Day 0
It’s the eve of the travelling day for the #MtKenyaChallenge2017, everything is ready and it’s a matter of repacking and checking that you don’t leave something that might be crucial. From Ngong hills we had been advised to pack all that we need to in a polythene/ zip lock bags because rains were forecast. After three rechecks that everything is in order people start sharing their packed bags. This is where the funny bones of the team start coming out, anything that could be made fun of was made fun of like Abraham’s glow in the dark floater sandals, they were likely to stress wildlife in the park, they would require therapy afterwards haha.

Everything check check check #MtKenyaChallenge2017

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Day 1
Meeting time is 5.30 to leave at six and unlike all the other hikes this falls on a weekday. I wake early and take my time to prepare and take breakfast, at around 5.30am I call Jeremy to find out how far he and Habbakuk are, about six of us were to be picked along the way, I miss him and try out Habba who tells me to chill since the guys in town are still not ready to leave. I relax and request an uber, 30 seconds later the driver cancels, I request the second one, he calls me and confirms he will be there in a few, at 5.45am I check my app, shock on me, the second guy has cancelled as well! 😣. I decide to call Njoro the cab guy even though he will charge more he is asleep and at 6.00am sharp he picks me up, on the way Jeremy returns my call and tells me that guys in town had not left, they were waiting for Bonita who was running a bit late. I take a huge breath and thank my lucky stars that would have been close because when traffic on that route piles up it piles…. 6.10 I get for the meeting point with two bags weighing 15 kilos each looking like I am about to run away and never come back! Duncan comes shortly after followed by Jeremy, as if on cue when Flo and her sisters show up the bus arrives. Robert helps the driver stack up our bags and we are well on our way.
The reality that this is going to happen starts then to slowly sink, the morning has beautiful clear blue sky and as we had prayed, we hope it remains as such for the coming five days. We would make a stop over at Sagana for breakfast so for people who were too tired we would play pranks, I wish I had face paint because there were loads of canvas on that bus….
We make a stop at this hotel at Sagana to have our breakfast. We make our orders and everything became somewhat chaotic, there were more than enough waiters but it seemed like they had never had so many numbers for breakfast. You could get a Sausage and the tea takes another ten minutes to come. I make an order of samosas and just as I am about to devour it, Olive asks “do you trust the meat?” 🤔. That hit me right between the eyes, why would we come to a place that we couldn’t trust the meat? I swallowed my samosa quickly before the meat heard what we were saying about it. When Bonita got her two orders of samosas served Duncan passed by and exclaimed “If I were you I couldn’t eat the samosas!” She pushes one to me and removes the meat in the other and eats the crust alone. I eat that second samosa and go to the gents to stock on some tissue just to be safe should all the things that were being said about the meat come true. But heads up should be given before not after your order yes? Olive unaskia?

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We get back to the bus and continue on, but not before Wabbie sampled the trampoline, this girl has so much soul, as the rest of us were fretting about 1♫Don’t panic, don’t panic We just getting started don’t panic♫  the fun aspect of this trip she was taking all opportunity to do something exciting and go “yippieee I’m loving this” and from the look of it she was living every single word of it. A few moments after we leave my seat breaks! I know I’m heavy but could it be possible that the samosas were causing this?

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Just before we get to Nanyuki we stop at the equator, the equator! Like in the middle of the North and South, like if you wanted to share the earth to two people this is where you would cut it into two equitable portions, hahaha okay I’m done. Guys are taught about something about geography but I am more interested in taking pictures and testing to see if my cells would as well do the clockwise and anticlockwise spins that I get dizzy… Sadly it didn’t happen.
We another stop over at Nakumatt Nanyuki to allow people get what they might have forgotten. I get some elastoplast and Lucozade (Robert explained the importance of having electrolytes to restore the balance in your system because when you take a lot of water the salts would get diluted, profound ey? I thought so too and hence I had to get me some you don’t want to have your batteries running low on electrolytes…).
About 1pm we get to the Sirimon gate, the mountain is visible and we get the last chance to turn back. We unload the bus and have our lunch, we are then paired with a porter who would help you out with the second bag and get acquainted well with them. I had forgot to carry my bucket hat which I never leave I had to go and borrow some sunscreen from Brian, by the look of things a tan would be inevitable, I’d come out looking like dark chocolate… #petty.

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We do some warm-ups to get the muscles supple and ready, as we started to acclimatise for the mountain. Beatrice our in-house fitness ninja started us off then Robert took over and made do some kick ass poses, as we did the crow pose I think I heard  a a few farts rip through the air,  but since we had been told about high altitude flatulence, belching and farts would be the order of the day it was encouraged not to hold back hahahaha.
Inside the park we find tarmac which we are told would take up to the first camp, I was disappointed to say the least, the image that had been painted in my head was a guy in front with a machete chopping through the bamboo and rainforests to make way as we went up, how can they have tarmac?

This monkey thought powerlines were the branches and trees it was used to till it got the shock of its life! #MtKenyaChallenge2017

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The altitude sickness started lurking and Nnena was the first one it chose. Now the fantasies in my head started getting overwritten with hard reality. As dusk started approaching a cold draught started coming down from the mountain and Duncan warned it would get really chilly into the night, I hurry up and catch up with Tanya who is visibly enjoying the beautiful sunset and we head into old Moses.
Old Moses is a log cabin that has dorms with beds and mattresses, your sleeping bag becomes your bedding. I had heard how cold it gets so I choose a bed that would be sandwiched I’m between two other warm bodies, smart yes? I’ll tell you about it in a second.
Since the were no hot showers we carried baby wipes, this I must admit was a first for me. I decide to do my business now because there was no #@**#@ way I was letting the freezing cold wipes touch my body in the morning.
We find these two gents cooking with those small portable gas containers, these were there real hikers. One of them who I find out is an experienced climber tells us he planned to do Batian peak and map a new route, he is barely legal at 18 and tells us that he has been doing this since he was 14! Wow! I am just wowed. I ask for his name, and find out if he documents his climbs and tells me he has a YouTube channel, which I cram since my phone died. So here is a short video of this guy, Peter Naituli, I admire his bravery. I hope when I grow up I will climb Batian with picks and ropes as he described it, maybe in my fertile imagination, I will! Haha.

We get some hot tea, popcorns and biscuits, which I ate like there was no food coming, you never know with these things you know. A card game called Haikuhusu (It doesn’t concern you) was played and Abraham and Habbakuk were the two most frustrated players as they bore the brunt, every time they questioned a move, “Haikuhusu” was shouted hahaha. The rest of us just watched from a far.
Dinner gets served, and boy oh boy, these guys had prepared roast potatoes, panfried fish with a vegetarian and non-vegetarian stew options. I now regretted gobbling so much popcorn, but you see I needed my reserves full, you don’t want to deal with my moods when I am hungry, I get very irritable and nobody got time for that…
Ivy gets out a Kenyan version of Charades and this one did not have Haikuhusu in it. I really struggled giving descriptions since it was my first time playing, as for Ivy, Ken, Miriam, Rachel, Habba and Jeremy they were really good at giving descriptions and answers especially on the Kenyan history, Politics and Sports, these were people who were clearly in the know…
We retire to bed and now I realise how a sleeping bag restricts your comfort especially if you are accustomed to occupying the whole bed in the arms crossed to support your head and legs spread out position…. The wind that passed through the cracks of the wooden cabin was chilling, it took me a cool 30 minutes to get warmed up properly and start dozing, this for someone who zones out in 3 seconds after getting into bed was new. The wind was whistling through the wooden spaces throughout the night and I felt somewhat like I was mummified…. #MtKenyaChallenge2017 continued….
 
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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Breaking Loose!

 

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