Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Vitali Maembe joins the CDEA Kilimanjaro climb 2014 (post 6 of 10)

On my latest Mt. Kilimanjaro climb I trekked on the Machame route for the first time. I was accompanied by musician/activist Vitali Maembe. 

Here’s the sixth post of my blog log of the climb 

Monday 8th September 2014
From my tent in the morning I heard Vitali tuning his guitar and then heard him singing. I thought that was good news; it takes energy to sing and that was good news of anyone climbing Kilimanjaro for the first time. A group of porters listened to his songs and began cheering.

I noticed the Shira Hills relatively near the camp. It is only 5 kilometres to the next destination: Shira Cave camp. No wonder they say Machame is a short route. It is, indeed. Now I am less worried about skipping Karanga camp after Barranco and heading on to Barafu camp. I did that in 2011 and failed to reach the summit.
Vitali takes a break on the way to shira Cave camp
The trek to Shira Cave camp is not tremendously challenging. There is a steep climb until half way or so and then gentle ascents interrupted by momentary steep climbs. And yet I feel drenched of energy. I even entertained ideas of winding down my annual climbs or, alternatively, stepping up my training regime.

On the approach to camp there were two porters along the way. One said to the other, referring to me: "Sauzi huyo" [he is a South African] as I walked past. I said: "Tanzania." He wasn't convinced and said I looked like a South African, until I spoke to him in Swahili.

Tanzanians are a tiny minority of the tens of thousands of hikers who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro every year and that explains why it is the second time on the moutain that someone mistakens me for a foreigner.
Just before reaching Shira Cave camp (in the background), I pose with Vitali, left.For those who are curious, this (right) is what a South African looks like.
I learnt from Ross' friend that their group is on a 7-day hike instead of the 6-day I had assumed.

Next: Is this a five-day or a six-day climb?

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