Conquering Kilimanjaro - Descent
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Elevation: start at 14,950 ft – end at 10,400 ft at Mweka Camp
It was freezing this morning and our tents were covered in frost again. Some were still not feeling great but much better then yesterday. But knowing we were heading down and leaving the cold gave us all great motivation to get moving.
We were packed and ready to go by 9AM.
This was a new route, not the one we came up. This was basically a straight line down, the most direct route on Kili. It was very cold at first during the wide open expanse of rock but as we entered the heather and shrub area, it suddenly got very hot and had to do a quick strip down of a layer of clothing.
Entering the rain forest again. Heading down to the final camp, seen here way over to the right where the green roof is seen in the photo below.
It was a wide but very rocky path with many steps and it was killer on the knees.
We also had the option to keep going today. 2-3 more hours in the afternoon and we could exit Kili and be back to the hotel tonight and have a free day tomorrow to relax and do whatever we wanted. I was game but it seemed no one else was so we all decided to camp one more night.
A rest stop at High Camp for some snacks and a 15 minute break.
We got to Mweka camp around 1:30pm and it was gorgeous and warm! We changed into comfy summer clothes, had lunch and then had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted to. Some napped, some read, some hung around chatting, some wrote in journals
Then Eliakim told everyone to gather outside the tent at 6pm for a debriefing. We also wanted to take a group photo of all the porters before they all leave tomorrow. So he gathered the porters and we started taking pictures of them.
But then they all started singing and moving towards the kitchen tent. We were all confused as to what they were doing. Then comes out the chef and his kitchen staff and they are carrying another birthday cake – FOR ME!! I was stunned and was not expecting this! I had 47 African men serenade me for ½ hour! They just wouldn’t stop singing, clapping, cheering and having a good time. John video taped the whole thing so unfortunately these photos were grabbed from the video and aren’t the best quality.
I of course was very embarrassed and it just seemed to go on and on and on! And I had a heck of a time trying to blow these candles out! Weird? Altitude maybe??
After cutting cake for 60 people and everyone having a bite, they made John sit with me and sang some more to us. They were congratulating us on 23+ years of marriage and were singing a love song! Toooo funny!
They did such a great job and we all had so much fun. Then the hand shakes, hugs and thank you’s. We shall never forget you Tusker friends! What an incredible journey this was in every way! Ahsante sana!!
What a great surprise once again by Tusker. Months ago, when we booked the trip and one of the questions on the form was “Is this trip for a special occasion” and we must have filled out that it was for my 50th birthday. WOW. IMPRESSED once more. SO much fun! Good thing I decided to camp out one more evening!
We had our “last supper” on the mountain. We were all getting a bit sad now knowing that it would all be over in another day. But we had some good conversations and laughs and we were all in good spirits even though some were still not feeling 100%. Dinner was great as usual. Soup again, rice, cacciatore chicken, fries, coleslaw. All we were missing was the wine to go with the celebration tonight. Tonight was our latest night and everyone stayed up until 10pm! Woo Hoo!