Saturday, 17 September 2011

Day 4: out of the forest and into the dust.

Our second day started early as bladders needed to be emptied. We woke around 6am. Got set and headed to breakfast which today consisted of a floury porridge, egg and halal beef sausages with the usual copious helpings of tea.
We packed, loaded up on water and started trekking at around 0830. It was a misty start but after not too long, the vegetation thinned out and eventually we had better visibility too. The picture below shows what's supposed to be our very first view of the summit!

The most notable thing about this day of hiking is that it is very very dusty. The man made path is very dry and loose and so dust gets kicked up everywhere. To the point where it was seriously affecting Sabs asthma. After wrapping a scarf over her mouth she felt much better but for the rest of us, the dust filled our noses and made it very uncomfortable.

Today Ishtiaq, the oldest member of our group set of ahead of the rest of the group as he really struggled with the previous day. We trekked nearly 5 hours before lunch but we stopped at an official feeding station where our cook had prepared a hot lunch for us. It consisted of leek soup, fried chicken, boiled egg, bread, a cup cake and a juice. Very nice.

Here we also experienced a proper hole on the ground latrine too!

Finally after a good break, we plodded on pole pole for a couple of hours the effects of altitude were finally beginning to show as any over exertion got us feeling out of breath. A few people were also feeling the onset of a headache. But, whilst chatting and walking we made good pace and landed at Horombo hut.

None of the huts are just one building by the way; they are a cluster of many buildings including a registration office, a couple of mess tents, toilet blocks and 10 or 15 smaller huts which are all dorms. It's like a small climbers village with a great hustle and bustle of climbers, guides, porters and cooks.

We had the usual popcorn and tea for a refreshment with roasted peanuts as an extra. This was followed by our main meal which consisted of cucumber soup followed by pasta and the nicest beef sauce ever!

Most people pack in quite early. Ishtiaq who has really seen the effects of altitude and exhaustion tucked in very early, even without an evening meal, we all kept an eye on him.

After one final toilet break, I am also planning on hitting the sack... Or should that be bag?...

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