Kilimanjaro – Flashback – Day 1 Machame Gate > Machame Camp

Day 2 was the first day of our challenge and what we’ve signed up to do, we awoke with excitement and nerves of what we’re about to let ourselves in for!

Don't i take a lovely picture?!

Don’t i take a lovely picture?!

After a lengthy drive in a cramped bus to Machame Gate (5718 ft), we waited very patiently to be signed in for what felt like an eternity!

Patience is key...

Patience is key…

Machame Gate

Machame Gate

The amount of people waiting to set off was a lot more than I was expecting…after a good couple of hours, our bags were weighed in and we were FINALLY able to set off.

And we're off...!

And we’re off…!

The first stretch of the route was relatively easy, a gentle incline through the trees.  As we were so late setting off, we stopped for lunch fairly soon,  I can’t remember exactly what was in the packed lunch now, but I DO remember those scrawny looking hairy chicken wings!!….shudder.

Still in high spirits..

Still in high spirits..

We set off again fairly quickly to try to make up some of the time lost waiting at the gate, shortly some of us were starting to feel the strain.  Myself particularly, my backpack seemed to all of a sudden weigh a ton, my neck ached and I was beginning to get a headache..

The track turned into steps and at that point for me the challenge had started… Pretty soon it was getting dark and we were still a fair way off the camp.  We ended up having to don our head-torches and slowly made it to Machame camp (9927 ft) in pitch darkness.  We found our tent and at that point I was starting to feel pretty nauseous… This picture of my face says it all…

Ugh...

Ugh…

Having been persuaded to start taking Diamox (helps reduce mountain sickness), off we went for our first nights sleep on the mountain…. I say sleep very lightly as honestly I don’t think I slept a wink!!  I was freezing and was feeling the effects of the Diamox a treat….5 trips to empty my bladder later…. in the public toilet as well (which was just…disgusting!…I will spare you the photograph!)  and my tent buddy Vicky probably wondering who the hell she was sharing a tent with and what the hell was wrong with me!!

I laugh now, but at that point I was really starting to wonder what on earth I was doing here…

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