29 January 2018
Door to door – 2 weeks
Elevation – 5885 alt
Route – Marango route
I couldn’t believe it was about to begin, and I’d set off for the highest peak of a super continent… Jumbo! Smiling faces greeted me all over the place, and I was happy and excited with indescribable joy.
We recorded our entrance in the Kilimanjaro National Park and hugged each to celebrate the start of the expedition. The trek to the first camp passed through the jungle, which immediately mesmerized us with its wild nature, the tall green trees, and the swinging monkeys. After several hours of trekking, we finally arrived at the first camp (Mandara Hut – altitude 2,699 m).
We split into groups and settled into huts. After a good rest, we went to have dinner and discuss the plan for the next day. In addition to the guides, we also met the cook and all the porters. I was left speechless by all their positive energy.
Early morning at Mandara Hut was a therapy session Dad needed after all his engagements and daily workload.
We got ready and started the trek to the second camp. It rained hard along the way. We opened our colorful umbrellas and turned off our mobile phones, as the heavy rain was accompanied by lightning. The rain stopped once we arrived at the second camp (Horombo Hut – altitude 3,720 m), which immediately became my favorite camp, but not before getting us thoroughly wet, and besides we were covered in mud. We eagerly waited for the porter with the duffel bags, and while the guide assigned the huts for the group, we signed up in the camp.
The night was cold. At dinner we talked and decided to spend the next day for acclimatization (walking to the Zebra Rocks), and so we did.
The next day, when we arrived at the Zebra Rocks, the weather was foggy, but along the way we managed to capture some beautiful pictures, which we exchanged with each other in the evening. I had trouble falling asleep at night. The thoughts about setting off for the last camp tomorrow and the longing for my dearest people, my mother and brother, were giving me no peace.
The route to the last camp (Kibo Hut – altitude 4,703 m) was not as easy as I had thought. It was long and laborious due to its altitude. We arrived around noon, and the plan was to rest until 10:00 pm, and set off for the summit at 11:00 pm. I was hot with a little fever, and somewhat dizzy. My loving and caring Dad gave me a paracetamol to get over it, and in the meantime I fell asleep. I slept until the phone alarms woke me up, and there I realized it was time to get ready.
The Hour of Truth… We waited, one after the other, in full gear and with our headlamps on, for the guide to finish his motivational speech, and then we began the climb.
Everything went well until the moment when altitude sickness kicked in. I was climbing, but my legs were shaking, I had a pounding pain in my head, and there was no end to the vomiting. They all kept climbing, and I went along.
We made it on the summit, bringing with us the sunrise. I will never forget the awesome view appearing in front of in the light of the early sun rays.
I hugged Dad and the group, and I felt proud of myself and was happy for everyone.
That’s where I came up with the idea of experiencing the sunrise from the summits of the 7 continents, and that’s where my project, which people called a “crazy project”, started.