The Heather Moorland – Day 2 Kilimanjaro

   

       

We woke up to lots of rain… But I am still very excited to climb! Hopefully when we start hiking the clouds will break and we can see a clear view of Kilimanjaro.  I really want to take a photo of the mountain before we come to close and I can no longer see the beautiful silhouette of the snow-capped beauty.

Yesterday we spent all day hiking through the dense jungles of Kilimanjaro with lots of monkeys, birds, and of course rain.  We slept at camp one last night and today we headed onward to camp two through the moorlands or heather of Kilimanjaro’s second climatic zone.  The weather was horrible.  Rain, rain, and more rain was all we saw for all six hours of our hiking.  The company that we traveled with did not provide proper waterproof bags and all of our gear got wet, including our fleece, our down jackets, and our sleeping bags.  Also, our porters arrived with all their possessions wet, including their shoes.  Porters are very strong and can carry up to 20kg up the mountain everyday.  Sometimes I feel very bad for them.  As we were hiking today I forgot to bring my waterproof gloves and my hands got soaking wet… In an instance I was chilled to the bone not knowing how I was going to go any further.  Luckily I have a sweet husband who offered to take my walking poles, and wet gloves for me, and let me walk with my hands in my pockets (holding on to our fleece ear warmers and balaclavas that I stuffed inside my pockets).  Although our guides told us it would be another 3 hours, we ended up attiving in the camp in a little over an hour.  I was so excited when I saw the green roofs of the camp huts!

   

 


(Below: Andrew’s Post)

We made a friend on the mountain! Her name is Molly and she’s from Auckland and she’s really nice. Glad to have some company here on the mountain since the days are often cold and damp. As we woke this morning we had high hopes for the weather since we saw some sunlight as we first we’re getting up in the morning. Unfortunately that didn’t last through breakfast. As we munched away at a humble breakfast of porridge, fruit, and eggs we saw the rain start to fall in sheets. Even more unfortunate than that was the fact we’d be leaving the cover of the rainforest and entering the Moreland area where we would have absolutely no protection from the rain. As we set out that turned out to be exactly the case. As we exited the forest cover we were bombarded with a continual sheet of rain. It was cold, constant and not very pleasant. Several times I would wrong my soft later gloves out only to have them soaked by the process itself. The hike was long and wet. There was no sight of the summit or really anything beyond 100m ahead of you which made motivation a real obstacle to our progression. Kylie who has long hair had the worst of it as her gloves were drenched and her hair was wet. All in all, she was not a happy camper. We finally made it into camp earlier than expected which turned out to be a tremendous blessing. We dried some of our gear (partially dried) and settled in for a cold night. We were definitely blessed though as the cloud later broke to reveal bright, warm sunshine. That lasted only for a little but it gave us a tremendous boost in confidence and hope. Our poor porters had all their gear drenched. Wearing nothing more than thin socks and regular shoes I don’t know how they do it. Sleep came quickly for two weary bodies, tired from an emotionally and physically draining day. 

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