4 February 2014
What a horrible day! Our kike to the summit started yesterday at 11:30 in the evening. The hike is down this way so that you will hit the summit as the sun is coming up by walking all night with a headlamp. Unfortunately the altitude was not good to my body and I was vomiting within the first hour. Curt wasn't doing so hot either claiming later he was hallucinating. In the end we split from the other four in our group so we could go slower and stop for vomiting every 20-30 minutes. Good Love and Chi Chi became our guides and we would never have made it without their encouragement. Poley, Poley is the way to say Slowly, Slowly in Swahili and we will never forget those words being repeated to us over and over again. We hit Stella point as the sun was coming up and another 45 minutes or so later the summit.
A few minutes are spent at the summit, basically in line to get your picture with the sign and you have to start the horrible hike back down. It took us 7 hours to get to the summit and 3 hours to get down. The way down has a lot of segments over loose rock and can be very slippery. By the time we got back to camp we had about 1 hour to rest before lunch. After all of those hours hiking our lunch was a bit disappointing. We had an onion sandwich, French toast with no syrup and of course soup.
The good news is that we made it to the summit despite the altitude effects on our bodies. The bad news is that we still had a four hour hike in front of us to get to the next camp. It was snowing/sleeting a lunch again today and finally they couldn't wait any longer and we had to start walking. Atleast one hour of the four was through the snow but relatively flat. As we descended we ended up in mud and then finally back to the rain forest and Mweka Camp. For dinner we got ugali which is a Tanzanian dish sort of like grits they mix with meat sauce, etc. We had rice and meat sauce to go along with it. We all were eager to hit our tents for some rest after the extremely long day. Most of us feel we can attribute part of our success today to the medium fat spread we put on everything during our meals. In America this is better known as butter.