Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb 2010 (post 7 of 12)

This is the seventh of twelve posts on the December 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.
Wednesday 8 December 2010
The second day on the Lemosho route includes a prolonged climb, particularly at a section called the Seven Hills. Before the descent to Shira 1 Camp, I began to worry that, perhaps, this will be the day that I would regret not having adequately prepared myself for this year's climb.
Jaffar Amin, left, takes a break with Yahoo our mountain guide during the Seven Hills climb
Last year Yahoo, our mountain guide, had suggested that I buy a mountain bike to ride prior to climbs for strengthening my leg and thigh muscles. I bought the bike promptly, but I rode it only for several days then resorted to my normal ill-exercised self and this is how I am facing Mt. Kilimanjaro this year.

Jaffar, always adept at engaging any stranger in conversation, kept talking to three climbers during our ascent of the Seven Hills section, one of whom was a Canadian and another, an American. They were climbing with a Tusker team. At a certain point, one of them asked:

"So you are climbing for a charity?"
"Yes," Jaffar responded.
"Which charity?"

I explained that it was not for a particular charity, that we were raising money for a school, and a group of disabled persons.

Jaffar added: "We are also doing a reconciliation of the past, our fathers were the former leaders of Uganda and..."
"Who is your father?"
"Mine, Idi Amin; his, Julius Nyerere."

To which the American replied, "That's a good one." And they walked past us as we continued with our short rest.

I had the impression that the other climber did not believe Jaffar's last response. I found out later that I was right.

Next: Snowfall on Kilimanjaro.

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