Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Day 04 (Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp)
I woke up at 06:38 and received hot water and soap to wash myself with, courtesy of my porter. I then hot ready for today’s hike and had my breakfast (porridge, fried egg, half of a hot dog, bread and jam, and pineapple slices) and a cup of coffee. I then finished getting ready, enjoying a clear view of the mountain as I did so. Once my guide and I were ready to start our hike, we walked out of the camp shortly after 08:00 and left our porter to tidy up. We then hiked up a rocky trail (three parts hiking, one part climbing) having to use our hand for a lot if it. During the hike up, we could clearly see Mount Meru in the distance and – through the haze – Moshi Town. We then hiked to Karanga Valley, first descending 250 meters to a stream (the last water source before arriving at Barafu Camp and the source for peanut plantations near a prison in Moshi) and then ascending 250 meters to Karanga Camp. From Karanga Camp, we hiked along a ridge for about four kilometers to Barafu Camp – our base camp for Mount Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak -, reaching the camp some time before noon (having hiked nine kilometers today and ending at an elevation of 4,673 meters – 697 meters higher than from we started today). My guide and I then waited around for our porter to arrive and I had my boxed lunch (fried cheese sandwich, a muffin, a hard boiled egg, two pieces of bread, chocolate creme cookies, and mango juice). After about two hours of waiting around and nearly freezing my dick off, our porter arrived and the tents were set up. I then changed in to warmer clothes and relaxed inside my tent, trying to get in some sleep; it didn’t help that despite it being cold outside, it was hot inside the tent; also, in about an hour, the porter arrived at my tent with popcorn, cookies, and hot water for tea; after enjoying that snack, I rested some more, but sleep remained out of my grasp. Dinner arrived at 05:45 and I had a cucumber and black pepper soup, thin pancakes, spaghetti with a tomato sauce loaded with vegetables, and watermelon. After dinner, I filled my camelback with water and iodine tablets. Then I had one more cup of tea before getting ready for sleep. To climb to Uhuru Peak tomorrow, I will be waking up at 01:00 in order to reach the summit before sunrise; this means I will be very tired and extremely cold. Oh well.
NOTE: There were a lot of people on the trail today, especially near Barafu, and at some sections, there was a line of hikers that I was stuck behind; from what I heard, I imagine this must be what climbing Everest feels like; personally, I don’t like it; I go in to nature to get away from people, not be crowded by them (of course it doesn’t help that this trail requires guides and porters, thus doubling or even tripling the amount of people on the trail); I think from now on, I will no longer hike popular trails and I will certainly avoid trails that require guides; this trail is not my idea of fun and I enjoyed the Annapurna Circuit more, even though it has been brutally bastardized with its roads and recent construction, it wasn’t nearly as crowded and I enjoyed more freedom there.