MT. KILIMANJARO & SAFARIS – CLIMB 1: 17 – 30 Nov 2016

We were picked up by bus Sunday, Nov 20th and drove about 2-3 hours to the Machame Gate at Kilimanjaro National Park.  We should have been hiking around 11am but there was a mixup and funds were deposited in the wrong banking account so their bank card could not pay for the park fees.  After about 4 hours it was resolved and we started hiking fairly late.  Below is the main entrance at 5,900 feet/1,800 meters.  There were a number of monkeys around which are always entertaining to watch.

This link has a much better summary of Kilimanjaro than I can explain via email:
The trail was not difficult and we rolled into the Machame camp (9,300 feet/2,835 meters) late afternoon.  It was getting dark when we signed in.  The porters had gone ahead of us and had the whole camp set up.  It was simple to get in my tent, set up the sleeping bag, etc. and then go to the dinner tent.  The cooks worked in this tent and one of the guides would have dinner with the five climbers.  The rest of the porters, etc. had their own communal tent to eat in.  They also had a different diet than us.
By the time we showed up, there were a lot of groups there and dozens of tents.  Our tents are the yellow ones with the big brown tent to the left for us to eat in.
Here is a good shot of a couple porters passing us on Monday.  They carry their own gear and then the rest of the communal gear and some of our personal gear.  May of them just lay the extra stuff on top of their pack and others carry it on their head.  It’s pretty amazing because they are so fast and don’t use trekking poles.  I saw one porter a day or two later high on the mountain who was hiking in sandals without socks.
This next photo was always a welcome thing to see…it’s “The Happy Room”.  Kilimanjaro gets a lot of climbers and all the major camping areas, and even some in-between areas on the trail, have a nice toilet system.
Tuesday morning with Mt. Meru in the distance.
Lava Tower is in the distance.  We hiked up to Lava Tower Camp (15,100 feet/4,600 meters) and then down to Baranco Camp (12,800 feet/3,900 meters) for the night.
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