Baranco Camp 2/18
After 3 advil and a ½ hr rest with tea and cookies I feel like writing again.
Notes: Brothers Mohamed hiked together with us today, chatting and laughing the entire day. The older brother is our main guide, the first born at 43. Mohamed #2 is 33 his junior, with a different mother. They are Muslim. A weird thing (I’m a dentist son) I notice is the teeth. Our guides have very nice teeth and most of the porters and cooks have very, very poor teeth. Why? The have and the have not’s?
Dinner we have a great view of Kili when the clouds clear from yet another angle. Dinner was pasta tonight, with white veggie sauce with our normal meal. We were starved again and it was just right! After dinner I walked around camp a bit surveying our next climb and when the sun went down, so did I. Bill and I were in reading but, not for long! Bill was out first before 8 and 9 or so was my limit, lights out!
Another lousy night sleep but this time it was the stomach. At 10:30 PM off to the potty and not to pee. Oh, oh, diarrhea! Again at 4:30 AM. It was so light because of the moon and stars that a light wasn’t needed to get around. And I’m thinking…. “This is trouble and I don’t need this now”. I’m trying to sleep. Not!
Up at 6 AM and got all my medicines ready, cipro, Imodium, and Ceralite plus my normal doses. Breakfast was outside looking up towards our first real climb, Breakfast Hill.
Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley 13,055 to 13,260’
Breakfast Hill 8:40 AM
We looked at this hill last night at dinner and again at breakfast and it looked insurmountable. 800’ of hand over hand and at 10:10 we summit @ 13,865’ GPS. It was very challenging but I took it real easy. The very fit porters took it easily with packs on their balance on their heads as they ascended. Mind blowing but I’m sure they have done this many times before I’m sure.
From here the hike was not long. The clouds were blowing in off and on as we edged along a high ridge with lots of Protea plants to where we could see our next camp across
a deep valley which was the Karanga Valley. The trail went deep into the valley and a steep climb to the camp at 13,260’ at 1:30 PM. Like I said, another short day.
This camp (Karanga Valley) is sometimes bypassed by trekkers who are on a shorter schedule. They will go directly from Barranco camp to Barufu camp, getting up at midnight like we did, and climbing to the summit. The thought of that effort makes me cringe, a very long hard day. This is what the German girls did.
Mohamed and I were taking it nice and easy with Bill and Craig and our other guide well ahead of us. I felt comfortable and wasn’t pushed or out of breath. We caught up with some old trail friends where they left from another camp.
We had a late lunch in camp (1:30 PM) with potatoes and veggie stew on bread with fruit and raw veggies. The weather is weird. As we rest in the tents the temps are hot/cold, sun and rain, winds and clouds. At 2:40 Pm we are catching up with our notes. I know I got some good pictures today.
Dinner is at 6 PM and a bit cooler. We had Avocados for dessert, with normal rice and vegetables for dinner. We were still full from lunch so it was way too much. Still crammed! We went into our tents at 7:30 and I read for 1 ½ hrs then lights out. ~12;30 Am Craig and I got up to hit the latrine and was pleased to have a “normal” experience. Well, that is a load off my mind!!!! Ha! The moon is fantastic and lighting up the whole camp. The view down the mountain was spectacular and you can see the lights of Moshi quite well. Back up again at 5 to pee after some very strange dreams. So far, I’ve been waking every 2 hrs or so. I have my fleece blanket in my sleeping bag and am very comfortable. Got the most sleep tonight of any night so far. Still not enough! In the night I hear something that sounds like thunder. It is rock slides down the mountain @ 4:30 AM. We witnessed one during the day. Awesome!