Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro this past Saturday was a wonderful experience! Although it was rainy, slippery, and a little cold, it was a lot fun and great memories were made.
The beginning of the climb was pretty easy. I was pumped, energized, and eager to get to the top. Somehow I ended up in front and managed to keep up with Peter, the guide, the whole time. Since it was raining and a little chilly in the beginning, I wore layers: a short-sleeve shirt, long-sleeve shirt, raincoat and poncho. About 45 minutes into to the hike, I had to take some layers off because I was so hot and sweaty. About an hour and a half later, we reached the half way mark. We took a 5-minute break and then started on the second half. I was still feeling good in the start of the second half, but little did I know the rest was uphill. I could start feeling my legs getting tight and my shoulders getting sore (from my backpack). I was in a group with 7 other students. We were all feeling the pain. When we were close to the top, Alyssa was saying motivational quotes which was great! Another hour and half later we reached the Mandara Hut.
There wasn’t much to see except for these cool triangle huts and lots of trees. I ate a Cliff bar and some trail mix to refuel my body. It was pretty chilly up at the high elevation, and I was wet from the rain. Instead of just sitting there cold and wet, some of us decided to hike some more up to the Maundi Crater. It seemed really short reaching the destination considering it only took 15 minutes. At the top, a bunch of us looked at the crater and took pictures. We were only there for a few minutes until we headed back down. When were walking down, it was steep and slippery. I fell. Luckily I didn’t fall on any rocks or roll down the path. We went back down to the Mandara Hut and took a picture. Then we started our journey back down Mount K.
Peter led the way again and I was behind him. Behind me was my friend Alex. We probably shouldn’t have been in the front because both of us fell and tripped several times. We had some good laughs. The way down was a lot easier than climbing uphill; however, it was raining extra hard so it was really muddy and slippery. We learned that running as opposed to walking slowly was better, because you have a better chance of dodging the mud and not falling. It took us two and a half hours to hike back down the mountain. When we reached the bottom, my legs, butt, lower back, and shoulders were quite sore. A bunch of us stretched, chugged water, and attempted to dry off.
It’s so amazing to say that I got the opportunity to hike 13.7 miles up and down Mount Kilimanjaro! I am so blessed to be in Tanzania and to check off another thing off my bucket list!