We woke up Saturday morning and of course it was raining. I was already kind of dreading this day and the thought of hiking in the rain wasn’t making me any more excited. I love spending time outdoors and exploring, but I had heard that this hike was hard and I was pretty nervous. I could feel my legs burning and myself trying to catch my breath just thinking about it. We loaded the bus after breakfast and headed towards Kilimanjaro. After two and a half hours we arrived at the gate and it was still raining. I put on my poncho and decided to try to make the best out of the day.. I may hate rain and I may be out of shape, but it’s not every day that you get the chance to hike on the highest mountain in Africa.
We started the hike in a single file line. The path was narrow and rough. I had to constantly watch my feet in order to not trip. Between the mud, rocks and rain the chances of me wiping out were pretty high (there were a few close calls, but surprisingly I never fell). The farther we walked the more I kept thinking, “what did I get myself into?” It was only the beginning of our three hour hike to the first hut and I was already tired. However, I’m not the type of person to give up so I pushed on. I made it my goal to stay towards with the front of the pack. We passed waterfalls, streams, and so many interesting trees. The beautiful surroundings almost made up for my lack of breath and burning legs. We kept trucking along and before I knew it we had reached the hut, and I was still with the front half of the group! We ate our lunch then some of us decided to hike another 15 minutes to a crater. It was a little disappointing because we couldn’t see anything because of all the of the fog and rain.
After taking some pictures we headed back to the hut to start our hike back down the mountain. The way down was actually a little harder than I expected. It was very slippery! After about another three hours we had reached the bottom and our over 13 mile hike was over. We loaded the bus and headed back to the Outpost.
Now that the soreness has worn off I can actually say that our day climb was a great experience. I may have been dreading it, but in the end it really was worth the hard work. There aren’t a lot of people who can say they have hiked at Mount Kilimanjaro. I am very grateful for this experience and I am proud of everyone who pushed themselves and made it to the hut!