Thursday, 13 July 2017

What goes up...

If you walk all the way to the top of a mountain if follows that you also have to walk down it.  We'd come down a fair way yesterday afternoon, and this morning we descended 6900ft in about 8 miles.  That's quite tough on tired legs!  My quads and knees took a bit of a pounding.  We walked down through moorland vegetation and then into forest.  Dust changed to mud. I never thought I could be so pleased to see mud!  

Two of the boys came down on stretchers.  The one who had been really poorly on summit day was just too weak.  The other, we strongly suspect, has a case of swinging the lead!  He can't remember which leg his is supposed to have hurt etc.!   We checked out of Kilimanjaro National Park with the normal level of African bureaucracy - it took ages and then went for a final lunch provided by our tour company.  We were joined by two clean, non smelly people, SW and the recovering student.  It was so good to see them!  I'm getting soppy in my old age as I shed a tear or two - but that may have been due to the rib crushing hug SW gave me!  Honestly - we all smelt so bad I am surprised anyone could get within 10 paces of us!

We said goodbye to our team.  It took 37 guides, cooks, waterboys, porters and summit porters to get us up the mountain and we needed to tip them.  Some of the boys who had extra help to the summit tipped extra to specific guides and we were given our certificates.  

We got to the hotel the boys had picked (it is up to them to pick where we stay within reason and budget) and pure blind good luck seems to have hit upon a decent place!  Basic, but clean and with mosi nets!
The boys were given just over 2 hours to settle in and get themselves clean and warned that if they didn't look clean when we met at 6pm they'd be sent back to try again! During this time we only had one poo related emergency to contend with - so maybe now we are down from the mountain things are returning to normal.

I stood in the shower for ages - hot and cold running water and a loo that flushes!  I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  That coupled with clean clothes.... wow!  I even smelt like a girl until I covered myself with insect repellant.

After supper at a local veggie Indian place the adults sat in the bar, drinking coffee, catching up on gossip and planning the next stage.

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