I awoke at midnight, and it was beautiful and clear outside with a million twinkling stars in the night sky. It was very cold and you could see frost on e ground.
The balance of the night it was only a light sleep and I was cold and damp. At 6am when Ema woke us up, I was already awake. At breakfast I found out that I wasn’t the only one that was cold in the night and none of us slept very well – at least we will all be on the same page today.
Breakfast was again porridge, eggs, toast, fruit, tea and coffee. I suspect I may gain weight on this trip! Once the sun rose over the mountains, it was a gloriously warm and sunny day. We left camp around 8:20am and started towards the Lava Tower, which is at 4600m.
Our ascent from 3845m up the trail was very pole, pole (slowly, slowly) with a break every hour to replenish our energy. We al did very well until we started getting within an hour of the Tower. Here we all lost our energy and our pace slowed to a mere crawl.
Finally we arrived at Lava Tower at 12:45pm to the welcome cries of Karibu (welcome) from the porters. Set up underneath the imposing tower of rock was our dining tent, and Ema’s smiling face ready to serve us lunch. What a welcome sight! Before we went in to our tent he presented us with a bowl of hot water so that we could wash our hands – how very civilized!
Lunch was amazing, soup, grilled sandwiches, yummy veggie samosas and fried potatoes. It was all so delicious but most of us couldn’t each too much. Within an hour we started our long descent down to Barranco Hut at 3960m.
Parts of trail were every steep with lots of rocks and boulders. The fog had once again settled over the mountain which gave it an eerie ‘other’ world atmosphere. We slowly picked our way down and finally arrived at camp at 4:45pm.
We rested for a wee bit and then Ema called us for dinner. Seems like all we do is hike then eat.
Dinner tonight was potato and corn soup, yum, spaghetti and meat sauce which was fabulous. John is not a huge fan of any kind of pasta so he had wee bit with us and then joined the boys for a traditional Tanzanian dinner of ugali (a polenta type dish).
As soon as dinner was done I headed to my sleeping bag, prepared for another cold night armed with my bottle full of hot water. I put the bottle in my sleeping bag and thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was so toasty warm and stayed that way until 4:00am.