Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kilimanjaro Challenge, 2014. Arrival in Moshi

On 10 October 2014 the team stood at Uhuru Peak,
 raising awareness for this school and the work they do.
Educating the deaf started in King William's Town (Eastern Cape) in 1888.
The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena
 moved their school to a property in Melrose, Johannesburg called "The Haven"
The school was named after St Vincent Ferrer, a 14th century Dominican preacher,
renowned for restoring hearing to the deaf.
The school has been educating deaf children for the past 75 years.
To find out more about the school,
visit their website:

Our first view of "The Mountain"...

The local version of Builders Warehouse?
Like most African cities and towns, business is conducted along the roadside.
Low overheads and easy access for customers?

Our final destination.
It is only when it is seen, that its size can be comprehended.
In 2006, it took us three days to actually see the mountain due to the weather conditions

"Pole, Pole"...means "Slowly, slowy" in Swahili.
It takes on a whole new meaning when I used my trek pole to hold up the window.
So that it did not fall on my head as I leaned out
to connect to the Wi-Fi without going to reception.

This is where we stayed.
Good food...they do great pizza. Clean rooms and friendly reception staff.

A busy Saturday in Moshi

It is a town that relies on motorbikes for transport...much like Vietnam

Even though it was dry and dusty,
there was beauty and colour in some of the plant life

Some smartly dressed students heading off to school.

You have to love Africa.
A Marabou Stork and a local, sift through the garbage

Off to church.

Time to do some work...
A reflective moment for me.

The road alongside our hotel.
Dusty and dry

This is why we are doing it!

Upward and onward for Deaf education.

Time to meet our guides,
Isack and Roman and get briefed on the climb.
What we could expect from our guides,
and what they expected from us.

The locals have a view of the mountain on a daily basis

Armed guards in the parking lot of the National Park,
where we had to sign in

The locals get to utilize kit that gets left behind,
or gifted to the guides and porters

This is the itinerary for the October, 2014 Challenge...

The Rongai Route
Sunday 05 October 2014  
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will conduct your climb briefing.   
You will then be driven to Rongai Gate, where you will meet the rest of your guides and porters. 
 After the formalities at the gate have been completed, begin your ascent to the first cave en route. 
 The climb should take approximately 2 to 3 hours.  
This part takes you through the cultivated area of the mountain, 
where you can see how local farmers tend to their lands on the slopes.  
Overnight at Simba Camp (1,800m).
Monday 06 October 2014  
Early in the morning, begin trekking out past the second cave, and on to the third cave.  
This should take you approximately 6 to 7 hours.  
The climb today is relatively difficult, taking you through forest and well into the moorland.  
Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (3,800m).

Tuesday 07 October 2014  
This is an acclimatization day - you will hike further up the mountain, 
then return to third cave for overnight.

Wednesday 08 October 2014  
Continue ascending to Mawenzi Tam Hut, which should take approximately 7 hours to get to.  Overnight camping at Mawenzi Tam Hut (4,330m).
Thursday 09 October 2014  
Depart to Kibo Hut, which should take you approximately 4 to 5 hours.  
Settle down for an early night camping at Kibo Hut (4,703m). 

Friday 10 October 2014: 
Summit Day!!   
Today you will be heading for the highest point in Africa - Uhuru Peak (5,895m).  
You will be woken around midnight to commence the 5 hour hike,
 on heavy scree up to Gillman's Point (5,686m).  
You will be walking in the dark as the ground is frozen and this makes it easier to ascend this steep section.
 As you reach the Crater Rim, the sun should be rising to display Africa in all its glory beneath you.  
The views are spectacular and it makes the entire journey worth every step!
Continue another 1 or 2 hours to Uhuru Peak, along the wide paths of the crater rim, peering down onto massive glaciers shining in the morning sun. 
Arriving at Uhuru can be quite emotional, with the strain of the summit finally behind you and Africa surrounding you! 

After a few photographs at the summit, begin your steady descent to Kibo Hut for a rest and some nourishment, then continue to Horombo Hut to camp for overnight.

Saturday 11 October 2014  
After breakfast, descend to Marangu Gate.  
You will be transferred to Keys Hotel for a well-needed shower and an evening of celebration. 
 Overnight at Keys Hotel 
Sunday 12 October 2014  
Your tour ends today after breakfast and you will be transferred from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.


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