December 28 – Split Dispatch from 2 Teams:

Kili Group: Coz Team Reaches High Camp

This is a dispatch from Steve and Joey Coz on December 28th at 6pm from Cosolo Camp (High Camp) at 15,700 feet (4785m), 5km from the summit of Kilimanjaro.

We have had an exhausting day; we woke with stomach problems but still left the Karanga Valley at daylight and trekked through the semi-desert to our first destination of Barafu at 15,100 feet (4571m).  Joey battled with the effects of altitude for the third day in a row.  We made it to Barafu in the early afternoon. We rested and had a light lunch, despite the fact that we had no appetite.

We arrived in Cosolo at 4pm , Joey felt dehydrated, exhausted and had a headache.  All the guides and porters are rooting for Joey.  He has continued on, always winning the struggle at the end of the end of the long day.  He has vowed that he is going to make it to the summit.

We have not really seen Kili all day due to hail, clouds and mist.  Tomorrow we summit.  Love to Val, Katie, Emma, the McCauley’s and Coz’s and to all our friends.

Safari Group: Tierney Describes a Fascinating First Day on Safari

Hi, this is Tierney McCauley reporting to you from the Sopa Lodge at 7,500 feet at the Ngorongoro Crater.  Today was very exciting in the wild country of Africa .  We were all up and ready to spot some fascinating animals at 7:00 this morning.  Well we sure did see the animals up close and personal.

There were blue monkeys, baboons, hippos, wildebeests, giraffes, warthogs, impalas and cape buffalos.  On the safari the giraffe was less than twenty feet from the vehicle.  Bill, my dad and a secret animal lover of the group was fortunately able to videotape this enormous animal bending down to quench his thirst at a near by pond.

Later on as we were driving around the crater, an ancient 80 year old elephant was standing in the middle of the road.  Blocking traffic with his tusks gleaming in the sun with a double rainbow over the mountain behind him.  It was a surreal moment.

As I am calling this dispatch in we are having dinner at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge where Mark and Joshua, who work here, send their greetings to Wally back in Canada .

Bill is toasting to Steve and Joey as they prepare for their summit tonight.  Val, Katie and Emma anxiously await the news.