Mti Mkubwa Camp (2650M) – Shira One Camp (3610M)
We are woken at the start of the day with a cup of coffee or tea. Today it was at 6.00am, still dark. We have 30 minutes to drink coffee, get dressed, pack our bags, and then leave them outside on a canvas mat. Once the luggage is there the porters can dismantle and pack the tents away and start the transport of the tents and bags to the new site. An individual porter is responsible for your bag and tent. You are always housed in the same tent for the whole of the trek. Each tent is labelled with a number, as is the luggage. My tent was number 5, and when you arrive at a new campsite, you look for the tent, number 5, and there it is with your bag already in it.
Today there were some monkeys in the trees, blue monkeys. Managed to grab a few pictures, two of which are reasonable. Breakfast in the mess tent was a runny porridge, frankfurter, omelette, and papaya. Tea or coffee. Started on coffee, but transferred to tea, not liking instant coffee.
Our walk today was to Shira One Camp. This was an up and down walk, starting in the rainforest, then into the heather and finally open space. It was a lovely walk, plenty of trees and flowers to see, then as the trees disappeared, we were greeted with views back to the lowlands around the base of the mountain.
On the walk we passed the first of several helipads built by Roman Abramovich in his 2009 attempt to climb Kilimanjaro. He failed to summit and gave up the fight at 4,500M, and was helicoptered out. We had a couple of snack breaks on the way to Shira One. We reached the campsite for lunch of chicken and French fries.
After lunch it poured with rain, and my tent sprang several leaks. The tent porters soon corrected them, so I had a dry, snug tent. At every camp stop, there are two containers of water, one drinking and the other warm for washing. Filled a bowl of warm water and had a quick wash in my tent. Should have brought a towel to dry. My tee shirt is absolutely covered with salt stains from the two days of walking and sweating. Should have brought a few more clothes on the hike. No problem I change into one set of cloths for socialising in the evening and the smelly, sweaty cloths for walking. It will be getting cooler now, so there will be something on over the tee shirt.
Water is gathered at each stop. Sometimes the water team must walk long distances to find the clean stream, other times the water is close nearby,
In the pictures you can see our tents, and the two loo tents, one for the women, and the other for the men. The campsites do have their own permanent toilets, these are very smelly and dirty, they are the squat type of toilets. The portable toilets in their tents were nice to have and were kept clean.
As evening approached, the rain stopped, and I was able to grab some snaps of the campsite and a nearby stream. This evening we were entertained by quiet singing from the porter team. This was quiet, because singing in the park had been banned, with some guides losing their license to lead groups. COVID was used as an excuse to ban singing.
Supper tonight was rice and vegetables. It was much cooler tonight, so when I went to bed, I still wore most of my clothes. Still lovely and warm in my sleeping bag.