Monday, 2 September 2013

Kilimanjaro Challenge. Day 3. 25th August 2013

I woke fairly early after a good nights sleep. Today it would begin. All the training was about to be put to the test. I was really looking forward to it. After a good cooked breakfast and my last hot shower for a week, I climbed the bus and we went to the Machame gate. The nervousness in the bus was eased by a couple of the guys at the back of the bus cracking truly lame jokes, but we all laughed anyway.
On arrival at the gate after we had all signed the register we were introduced to some of the team who would help us. We saw Godfrey again, and our assistant guides introduced themselves, as did our chef, some of our porters and our 'ambulance' I was amazed by how many people would be with us, there would be nearly 100 members of the team on top of the 25 of us trekkers, and Dean and Amanda as

well. It was like an army who were going on this big adventure together.
After a hot drink we were off. Andy and I shook hands at the start and wished each other luck. We then followed Jackson who was going to be our pacemaker for the trip. He set us off very slowly. We eventually all filed into a line and headed up into the rainforest behind him.
I was taking it all in. I had watched so many videos on you tube about the trail and here I was actually now walking it, it just seemed surreal. Soon our team of porters went passed us with bags and equipment. I was in awe of these guys powering ahead of us to our first camp.
We had a surprise a few hours in, turning the corner to find a large table laid for us with lunch. We could not believe it, but settled down to sandwiches, crisps juice and fruit. Eating in the middle of a forest was just incredible.
After lunch the track got steeper as we plodded on through the rainforest. I felt that I was managing ok. I was drifting towards the middle of the group and felt comfortable. We were all still getting to know each other and time passed quickly talking to other members of the group and hearing their stories.
We were a group of different people with the same ambition, to reach Uhuru peak for different reasons.
At around 5pm I spotted tents as we emerged onto moorland just on the fringe of the rainforest. Our first camp was ahead. We could hear singing, as we entered Machame Camp we were greeted by our team who welcomed us by singing. It was a real party atmosphere and was truly amazing.
We found our tents then had a snack in our mess tent. Popcorn and coffee. We later had a fish supper before Dean briefed us on the next days walk.
My first night under canvas was good. This had been the first time I had slept in a tent since I was in the cubs, many moons ago. The temperature dropped but my sleeping bag kept me warm through the night.

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