Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Saturday, 21 November 2009

On Mt. Kilimanjaro again (Post 5 of several)

Saturday 3 October
In the morning I heard a porter's radio tuned to a station playing gospel music. You can hardly predict that people who so frequently use four letter words also listen to church music.

We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, and knowing how unpredictable mountain weather is, hoped that the day would remain just as pleasant.

At breakfast, the discussions centred on the plight of the porters and what Gerald felt were poor working conditions. He also realised, today, the relevance of using walking poles; they considerably reduce the load on the feet.

On the news today, we heard that power shedding will begin, countrywide, from morning to 11 at night. I thought to myself, Dr Idris Rashid, the former chief executive of TANESCO, our national electricity supply company must be saying to himself, "I told you so!" Dr. Rashid came under criticism from parliamentarians for suggesting a course of action that would have avoided power shedding, but which the parliamentarians rejected.

Today's section was particularly difficult on the approach to Lava Tower where it began to snow on our arrival. Unlike last year, when the place was packed, it was totally deserted. Gerald and Notburga went absolutely berserk with excitement because of the snowfall and when we began the descent towards Barranco Camp everyone seemed in high spirits. When Notburga wondered why they felt they had smoked an illegal substance, Yahoo explained the snowfall increases the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere; we were all high on oxygen.

Nevertheless, the pace became quite slow; we reached Barranco well after dark. Today, I felt like I was maturing into a mountain guide; Yahoo walked ahead with Gerald and I stayed at the rear with Notburga.

Next: Are you from South Africa?

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