Mount Kilimanjaro

Most of the day was spent hiking through jungle rain forest canopy, but as we approached Machame Camp the vegetation began to transition to the more open Moorland environment; see here for a description of climate zones on the mountain.

On arrival we signed in with the ranger and surveyed a large tent city populated by all the climbers and “staff” headed up the mountain. We quickly located our subdivision of the tent city by looking for our distinctive dining tent. Our tents were set up and the dining tent was ready for “afternoon tea” with popcorn, cookies and hot drinks for us.

Dinner was served after we had a chance to relax and organize our sleeping arrangements. This was Kendal's birthday and the porters gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” during dessert. People from nearby tents joined in. Afterward we were treated to what must be the Swahili version of a birthday song (see 2:10 to 4:00 in the video for the celebration).

It had started raining when we arrived at camp and rained until 10pm, well after we had tucked in for the night. After it cleared, night-time trips to the toilet tent were rewarded with magnificent views of the constellations of the southern hemisphere.

Since we were already well acclimatized to the initial altitudes, I waited until this night to start my 125mg evening and morning doses of Diamox and continued taking them until the evening before climbing to the summit. While I think the Diamox helped with acclimatization, it does have the unwelcome side-effect of causing one to pee a lot. It can also cause tingling sensations in one's extremities; I did notice tingling in my thumbs.

Where: 3.095222S 37.26655E Facing: NE