After a long two and a half hour car ride we finally made it to Mount Kilimanjaro and were ready to start our hike! Our plan of attack for the day was to to hike up to Mandara Hut and possibly up a little further to Maundi Hut. Although it was raining and pretty chilly we were not going to let anything stop us from enduring this adventure. I honestly had no idea what to expect before our hike. I think part of me envisioned us winding up around a mountain and being able to look over the edge somewhat like mountains in Tennessee. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was more like hiking through a jungle. I never felt like I was on an actual mountain, but it was still beautiful and an adventure I will never forget.
After the first couple minutes of the hike I knew that the hike up would be no joke and would be way more physically challenging than I had originally thought. Since we were constantly going uphill with the elevation continuing to rise it was quite difficult to breathe. The three hours and seven miles in continuous rain up to Mandura Hut definitely had me repeating the saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”. It was such a relieving and amazing feeling to make it to the hut. I was bummed we could not see off of the edge of the mountain, but it was still a pretty cool feeling knowing that I was standing in the middle of one of the largest mountains.
Once we got to the hut and had a quick break for lunch we decided to hike the extra thirty minutes to see the crater. I have never been able to experience seeing a crater before this trip so it has been incredible to see them in person. Our hike down was definitely an adventure. Since it had rained the entire day the rocks were extremely slippery so you had to focus all of your attention on where to place your feet in order to not fall. Of course the clumsy self I am fell twice. Thank goodness it was nothing serious and I was not hurt! All in all we ended up hiking up 13 total miles throughout the day. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that I conquered something like climbing part of Mount Kilimanjaro!