Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tue 14th Sept - Day 1: Rongai Gate to Camp 1 (1st Cave 2600m)

Yay! we finally got some walking in! We only did a leisurely 3 hours today and at a pace that can only be described as crawling - I'm sure we'll be grateful for that at the end and I can't believe that I even struggled a bit - I'm soo weak, I was happy to tag along at the back of the group. I really must shake this chest thing before we do any long days or get to altitude - I'm actually a bit worried whether I'm going to make it. 

So we arrived at the Rongai gate about 11:30 and met our other guides (we have 3), our cook and our porters - lots of porters! 3 each!
and lunch was waiting for us - gotta love that :-)

Rongai Gate - so clean...

So we set of after lunch and get to the start of the trail where was a sign displaying the list of rules - rules 2 and 4 state that you shouldn't go above 3000m if you have a cold, flu or lung problems...oops! broken those already....

The Rules

As we hike up through forestry plantations we're soon covered in dust because this side of the mountain its bone dry, hard to believe that only a few hours earlier we were in a lush tropical setting.
On the route there are still some small farms, and its corn harvest time - we nearly got run down by some guys on motorbikes loaded up with their corn on the way to market!

Gradually the plantations gave way to natural cloud forest - we saw some baboons and colobus monkeys - one monkey even sat and posed for us!
Colobus monkey

Although we were going really slowly - 'pole pole' is the mantra - it wasn't too long before we got to camp. We've got a good setup at the top of the campsite and it appears there's only another 2 or 3 groups at the site - theres even proper toilet!
I'm sharing a tent with Heather - she's cool, I'm going to enjoy her company, she's so easy going.
Its a beautiful evening, warm and sunny, even Kilimanjaro has cleared so we can finally see it - it looks very big!
we get afternoon tea with popcorn which is very civilized and then dinner is at 6 so just time for a quick nap.

Heather by our tent


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