We made it!!! It’s a hot sunny morning in Moshi, Tanzania. I have now showered for the first time in 6 days, and going to the rooftop of Africa seems like a dream. (And a nightmare, depending on which parts I choose to recall!)
Before I hop on that long plane ride home, I thought I would upload some photos to share. Unfortunately, many of the pictures I want to post aren’t uploading properly, so forgive me if this seems like a scattered collection! As you can see, we walked. And walked and walked. For five days, we walked.
In fact, it was 80km that we walked from the bottom to the top and back. We walked through rain forest, moorlands, up into the clouds, and what appeared to be across the moon.
Then we climbed an old volcano called Kilimanjaro. Just to give you an idea of our schedule for the climb, we walked for 7 hours to get to the base, “slept” for 4, and woke at 10pm to start our climb at 11pm. It took us 8.5 hours to climb to the summit of 19,000 feet. It must have been -20C with the whipping wind in the darkness. We are so pleased to say that 19 out of 19 of us made it to Gillman’s point, 17 of us made it to the summit. Many of us vomited, myself included.
Somehow, despite my lungs feeling like the size of a tennis ball, my headspace being that of a burned out deadhead, and my fatigue being beyond anything I have ever felt before, I managed to take some photos.
Here we are, fortunate enough to be able to climb by moonlight alone. No headlamps! Up, up, up, we went, mini step by mini step. Every few minutes, one of us would collapse. But, with team effort, and some dragging, lifting and pulling, they found some will deep deep within, and pushed on.
We made it to the rooftop by sunrise. What a vision that was!!!
(By the way, those are people on the right of the picture above. I’m hoping that helps to lend some idea of scale to you).
Unfortunately, it’s a “false summit”, and we had to walk 20 whole minutes further up to get to the real peak. The longest 20 minutes of my life.
I made it! Here I am, dramatically posing with our fabulous videographer Roz Allen.
This is really only a partial story. For a more detailed account, and more of my photos, please see our Girl Impact blog: www.girlimpact.org/blog