There has been a slight breakdown in signal yesterday and today so I think we are back to blagging again.
Yesterday Neil ran out of battery on his phone but managed to recharge it with his super duper power monkey – his new solar charger gadget. The idea is that he attaches the mini solar panel to the back of his rucksack during the day and later uses the the relevant connector to recharge his phone. This has definitely worked as he has managed to send some texts and e-mails through – but sadly no blog.
Richard P however has managed to get some e-mails through so to keep up the momentum of the blog I shall relay some of his stories. This may however, get repetitive tomorrow when we regain contact, so again apologies – but I don’t want you missing a day of valuable info.
The hot lunch that our guides raced on to make was good. It consisted of carrot soup, spaghetti bolognese and mango.
Today has been really hard. We stopped at 3,800 metres which is way higher than any European ski resort, by way of comparison and then descended to base camp at 3,600 metres (as previously mentioned).
The peak is at 5,900 metres. Luckily no-one has had any major problems. It is known that the side-effects of Diamox makes one feel tingly and a few of us have experienced this, but generally no big problems, apart from the damn tents of course (…..remembering that three of guys have never slept in a tent before!)
However, we all agreed that this was the toughest physical day we have ever had. 8.5 hours of mostly uphill walking is no easy feat.
It is strange the guides are permanently saying ‘polay, polay’ which means slowly, slowly. When we started yesterday we thought they were mad, we were going that slow. All part of the acclimatisation. Now, we physically can’t go any faster.
Four of us decided we should resist the urge to go to sleep at 8 p.m., when we were all cream crackered. It was hysterical playing cards in gloves and woolly hats. Absolutely freezing. I think the temperature went down to -5 overnight!
So we played a few games of cards until about 9 p.m. and went to our luxury hotel rooms!!!
I lay there until 2.30 a.m. shivering my wotsits off, unable to sleep whatever position I got into, even though there were only about two positions I could get into! I managed to get 3 – 4 hours sleep.
Another absolutely beautiful cloudless day. The night sky last night, by the way, was truly breathtaking.
Today we are ascending to 4,330 feet. It feels warm in the morning but it will get much cooler as we go up now, and we are now above the cloud line. The weather can come in very quickly so we have to pack our daybags for all eventualities.
So that’s it at the moment – it is all the info available to us at present, but hopefully we will receive more tomorrow and find out how they are getting on. What an amazing experience they are sharing. Let’s hope their ascent to 4,330 feet went slowly, healthily and smoothly.
Below is an excerpt from a previous post in the blog describing Day 4.
Day 4 (Day 5 Ex London) Mawenzi Tarn
A steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb panoramas of the Kenyan plains to the north. We leave vegetation behind close to Mawenzi Tarn (4,330m), spectacularly situated in a cirque beneath the towering cliffs of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or to explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. Approx 3-4 hours walking.