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Title image - BAI takes you to:  Kilimanjaro
Why climb with Berg Adventures

Kilimanjaro Expedition Dispatch

January 26, 2010 – Lunch on the Shira Plateau

Mambo Vipi!

Currently I am sitting on a rock, enjoying temperatures close to 30 degrees Celsius, it’s sunny with a light breeze and I feel great today!!

But first things first! You have heard of 5-star resorts and 5-star hotels, but what about 5-star camping?! At Big Tree Camp yesterday, my Therma-rest, sleeping bag, and all my gear was set up in a three man North Face Expedition Tent! Wow!!! How good can it get!

Julius heading out from Big Tree Camp. Our upward journey is just beginning!

Julius heading out from Big Tree Camp.

Our upward journey is just beginning!

Then Samwell, our cook, outdid himself with an outstanding four-course dinner: aperitifs, soup, main course, and dessert! Think avocado, carrots, lettuce, pepper salad and creamy veggie soup, potatoes, beans and tilapia from Lake Victoria! Oranges and papaya for dessert!

My guide, Julius, has been wonderful. Jay and Jocelyn (previous Berg climbers) said he was the very well respected Wise Man of Kilimanjaro, and I believe it. He has summitted some 350 times and makes it all seem easy. Julius seems to know every person on the mountain, often stopping to converse in Swahili and almost without fail, everyone breaks out in laughter sooner than later!

Switching to trekking, yesterday we made our way through a beautiful tropical forest. It was similar to hiking in the Rocky Mountains except that it was very humid, very lush, and very quiet except for the singing of the tropical birds. But unlike the Rockies, the trails did not necessarily follow the contours of the mountain. Occasionally, the trail would simply go straight up the mountain, sometimes for quite a long way without a break. Julius encouraged me along, shouting “pole, pole, twendea” ("slowly, we go"), and it worked! You can walk straight up the hill for long periods at a time without resting while keeping your heart rate and respiration in check. This also prevents lactic acid from building in your muscles, which causes stiffness.

Our friendly porters lead the way

Our friendly porters lead the way

The Tanzanians are very friendly, always smiling and greeting you with "Jambo" (hi) or "Habari Gani" (how are you?).

On another note, I was very pleased my training which has rewarded my heart, lungs, and ‘going-up-the-mountain’ leg muscles so that I can truly enjoy the trekking. However my ‘going-down-the-mountain’ leg muscles somehow missed their training! Lana and Joanna (at the YMCA); we have to talk about this!!!

I haven’t heard from Darcy but I expect that she will be have a great time with Clemens and Nicholas on her Cultural Tour.