Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 5: Horombo to Marangu – “Let’s blow this popsicle stand”

…(quoting the Ritalynne kid)

Disappointed at not reaching the ultimate summit point; and for most of us still a 7 summits tally of zero, we are still happy to have made Stella / Gibsons at least; and to have survived in good health and spirits.

Typical morning scene... tea served in bed!

We leave Horombo in much better shape than 1st arriving here 3 days prior; although with tired legs. We glance back at the mountain, now in beautiful clear skies, a mere 24 hours after our horrendous experience up there; bemoaning the luck of the teams whom we passed on the way down yesterday; now doubt now languishing in the glorious sunshine up there.

We are about to start the final day's walk - with a gloriously clear Kilimanjaro summit behind us!

The unsung heroes: LTR: Gibson, Kunda, Joseph, Elias, Howard (Joseph's dad) & Chalice / Charles

Quote of the day: Nettie gets a cheery “Jambo, Mama!” from an overtaking guide on the way down and responds grumpily: “I am NOT a jumbo mama!”

Approaching Mandara camp, we take a detour to Maundi crater to have a look in daytime. Lunch at Mandara, and then the final stretch back through the jungle to Marangu; beer; a hot shower, beer, clean clothes and beer.

Inside Maundi Crater

The post climb celebrations are as much part of the experience as the climb itself. It’s traditional to treat the guides to a few drinks and a healthy tip and some cast off climbing gear. In turn, they treat us to the Kilimanjaro song. George Brunton, VP of Shell Kenya, has come down from Nairobi to join the celebrations and announces a 12 000 USD donation to an HIV AIDS hospice of our choice. A great contribution and a gesture that renders our adventure so much more worthwhile.

Thank you; Shell Kenya!

Captain Lazarus is handed his cetificate by Charles

Another epic adventure ticked off the bucket list; great memories collected; great new friends made.

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. “
Theodore Roosevelt

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