Kilimanjaro, see you on the mountain top

Today, the Swedish television showed a program about a bunch of girls on the way to he top of Kilimanjaro. Great show, great mountain, great memories. World’s highest freestanding mountain. A volcano that is 5895 meters high. Wow!

That leads me to the first post about world heritage sites we’ ve visited. In 1987 the Kilimanjaro National Park became a world heritage site. “National phenomena or beauty.”

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I visited it with two friends in January 2007. We didn’t make it all the way to the top, but just a little bit over 5000 meters.

Two friends and I just decided one day that it was time for the adventure of our lifes and planned a trip to Africa with one of the goals to reach Kilimanjaro. We strted out in a Tanzanian town called Moshi. Equipped with walking poles and trekking gear, we met our guides and porters at the Machame gate. It was a bunch of people. All the tourists were excited and ready to go. The weather was nice. And finally we started out.

In the beginning it was easy walking through the jungle. We tried to walk fast, but were reminded by our guides to go slowly: “Pole, pole!” After a while we got a bit higher and the trees were smaller and less dense. The higher we got, the less vefitation, the thinner the air, the harder walking, the easier to walk slowly. In 5 days we got higher and higher, trying adjust to the height, trying not to get sick. I felt the heighness sickness a little one or two of the days, just like huge hangover. Walking and sometimes almost climbing was challenging and really difficult.

The last day before trying to reach the summit we walked and walked for 8 hiurs straight from 3800 meters to 4200, down to 3900 and up to 4600 to rest some and then try to reach the top. Well, maybe it was badly planned, but we didn’t make it all the way to the top. I realized that I maybe would come up, but I would never make it down in one piece. Do I regret it? Yep, I do. Do I want to try it again? Yep, I do.

We have to do it again. Yes we will.

The world heritage site is visited anyways. Few more to go.

On a scale one to five, the Kilimanjaro gets five globes.

  GlobeGlobeGlobeGlobeGlobe

See you on the mountain top.

The Kilimanjaro National Park on UNESCO’s list

//Monika

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