Kilimanjaro

(DOUBLE RAINBOW!!! at Horombo Camp)

I got back from 10 days traipsing up Mt. Kilimanjaro this morning and while the jetlag is wearing off and the feeling is slowly returning to my legs I have been trying to think about what made this holiday different to the others I’ve been on and I guess it’s three things that spring to mind that all help each other to make it special in different ways…

1. It’s fucking hard: No not all the time but no matter what anyone else tells you I don’t think anybody can be completely prepared for how difficult the summit climb is (this includes watching the Comic Relief video…on YouTube several times…Sadly Gary Barlow makes it look easy) both the steepness of the climb and mainly the lack of oxygen really make it an experience unlike any other which for better or worse is really rather difficult…This brings me on to the second point…

2. You miss people:  Because parts of it are so hard and because I was putting myself in a situation like no other I’d experienced I missed the people that matter most to me more than ever…this was made all the more apparent by the fact that I had lots of time (walking, lying in tents, sitting on African long drops…) to think properly about things which is something I realise I need to give myself more of.  However while you miss the people you love…

3. You also rely completely on complete strangers: The guides that took us up the mountain were genuinely some of the kindest, trustworthy and most brave people I have ever met and am likely to meet.  I relied on them and their expertise completely to get me up the mountain.  Through This I got to know them, their life stories and I’m sure by the end of it they were sick of hearing of my life stories.  The point is that coming from a society where we’re constantly reminded not to trust strangers or god forbid talk to somebody on a tube or train, the fact  that I was able to put my complete faith in people whom I’d never met was a refreshing change and made points 1 and 2 much easier deal with…

So in short…

Has it been life changing? No.  

Have I come back a different person? No.

Have I ‘found myself’? No…although I have found pains in my legs and back I didnt know existed…

But it was a special holiday and I have been so lucky to have had the opportunity to do it particularly with such a great travel buddy…for now I’m off for a haircut before the sea level oxygen kicks in and the world starts all over again tomorrow….

If you want to see more photos of the trip I’ve posted them on Facebook.

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