Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 10 of 12)

This is the tenth of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

Saturday 11 December 2010
At around 0500hrs I was awoken to what I thought was someone walking to the toilet. The noise first sounded like the shuffle of feet of someone dragging himself to the toilet, but then the noise grew into a constant rumble that seemed to gain both intensity and proximity to the camp. I found out later in the morning that what I heard was a landslide that had dislodged large boulders that careered down the face of the mountain and into a valley that was some distance from Karanga camp.

One of the porters, speaking to his colleagues in the morning, said he also heard the rumbling and was only waiting for the boulders to strike the tent ropes so he would attempt to escape. That would have been too late, I thought.

The view of the mountain from Karanga camp this morning is breathtaking. The sun shone brightly and for the first time since we began the climb, we had breakfast outside the tent.
Jaffar (seated) has breakfast, while the team's cook, Pantaleo, poses for the photo. I had never seen Mt. Kilimanjaro with so much snow cover.
I have discovered that I cannot handle frequent stops, because each time I resume walking from a rest, particularly when the walk resumes with an uphill walk, my heart seems to experience tremendous stress before the heartbeats return to a tolerable pace. I therefore told Solomon (who
The porters walk past Solomon (second from left) and Jaffar (third from left) during the initial stages of the walk from Karanga to Barafu camps.
took up the lead position as guide) and Jaffar that I would walk ahead. With fewer rests I opened up a large gap until they disappeared behind the mist and I trudged along alone, occasionally meeting other porters and climbers.
Alone, but with a camera, I pose for a rest and to took my own photograph before walking down the final valley before the steep climb to Barafu camp.
It was a repeat of last year, when I walked ahead of Yahoo, Notburga Maskini, and Gerald Hando on the same stretch between Karanga and Barafu camps. This time I was careful not to over exert myself as I did last year, later to suffer from fatigue during the final assault towards Uhuru peak.

On arrival at Barafu Camp I was told the American climber, who later introduced himself as David Shoop, was interested to meet us and had invited Jaffar and I for lunch. It was during that lunch that David had admitted that when Jaffar mentioned the reconciliation concerning Idi Amin and Julius Nyerere, he had not taken Jaffar’s words seriously. I assume he thought Jaffar was suffering from mountain sickness.

One can hardly blame him. For anyone aware of the war between Uganda and Tanzania what are the odds of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and bumping into the sons of Idi Amin and Julius Nyerere climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro together?

I had earlier in the day told Jaffar that word gets around on MT. Kilimanjaro quite fast and by the time we complete the climb, news of his presence will have reached far and wide. That news had finally reached David Shoop only hours later. David interviewed us for a Californian periodical which he said could provide much needed publicity for the charity cause we were promoting.

After lunch and the interview. From L-R, I, Jaffar, and David Shoop. Our guide, Solomon, standing behind us.
After lunch we retired to our tents for a few hours' rest before rising at around 2200hrs for dinner and departure for the summit.

There is normally a nervous moment I keep experiencing each time we leave Barafu Camp for the all-night trek towards the summit. It happened again this time, and I had to ask Solomon and Jaffar to walk ahead as I kept on adjusting clothing that somehow seemed not to fit me well.

Next: To the summit

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