Awoke early feeling well rested.and hungry. Unfortunately, most of the other climbers did not sleep well, even though yesterdays trek through the rainforest was stunning.
The planning and research into choosing the best possible climbing gear is paying off big dividends. My backpack is excellent, easy to carry, plenty of room for 3 liters of water, nutritious snacks, first aid supplies, and a wide selection of clothing as you never know what the next hour will bring in terms of weather conditions. AND best of all, the condition of the muscles in my back are 100%. Thank you Cara from Valhalla in Red Deer for your expert knowledge and advise!
We departed at 9:30 hiking over very steep terrain breaking for lunch at 1:30. The meals the cooks have prepared for us are healthy, good quality foods, and plenty of it.
With a group of this size it's amazing how the dynamics have "jelled". The encouragement is non-stop with stories, jokes and a very tight sense of community forming. We could hold our own Olympics as the countries represented are; Canada (in the gold), USA (wanting gold), Germany, Australia, and Turkey. The USA trekkers are from Seattle, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Michigan, Tampa, New Orleans, and wait...... along comes New Hampshire. Not crawling but strolling into camp comes trekker Gray who was unfortunate to have not 1 but 2 flight delays and was not able to make the connections into Kilimanjaro. Gray along with a guide and 2 porters did a 2 day climb in 1 day to meet up with the team! What an accomplishment for him already!
The porter also delivered a misplaced duffel bag complete with sleeping bag and all gear for Tessa.Whew! Amazing it was found as hundreds of black duffel bags are used as mainstay gear.
Feeling totally exhausted after 6 hours through the moorland zone of Shira Plateau we arrived at Shira Hut 12,598 feet. Once again there is no hut here, but our tents are perfect. After resting Godfrey (the head guide) announced we are about to do some altitude training so we climbed for 40 minutes to acclimate our bodies and then descended back down to the camp for a good nights rest.