Kilimanjaro Diary: Day Eight

1:09 PM

We start the day with a huge breakfast while trying to recover from our calorie deficit caused by yesterday’s madness. This is closely followed by discussions on issuing tips to our fabulous crew of guides and porters. As we were dealing with a huge crew, who are all tipped according to seniority, this soon became an immensely complicated procedure. We agreed to collect as much as we can as a team and have the management distribute the tips accordingly. But of course to be fair, we decided to gather them all to say we have issued tips for them that will be distributed by their management. 
The last breakfast

Yummy half-cake mandazi which were super yummy

Serving number two 
After breakfast and the last packing was done, we were quickly hurried off down the trail by Edward but unfortunately for me my health took a turn for the worst; I was unable to walk a few meters without feeling breathless and that effort ended badly when I started having a bloody nose. As a result, Edward decided to have a stretcher get me out and on the trail while the rest hiked down to the gate. Things seemed different today with an end of term feel on the trail. Porters rush down; eager to get back to their homes and families whilst trekkers are dreaming of hot showers, comfortable beds and massages.  The view this time around for me was looking up the blue sky, the lush towering green trees and sights of the occasional monkeys; similar to skunks in their color distribution of black and white. Resuming the descend after a few camera shots and a water break, the surrounding was peaceful and quiet. You were one with nature until all too soon the noise of Mweka Gate at 1500m above sea level overwhelms the birdsong of the cloud forest welcoming you back into the real world.
Down we go! 
Purple & gorgeous

Hello monkey

This last day was something of a highlight for me. I was roll down on a stretcher for the first time in my life. Reaching down the gate and the porters who already arrived were singing along and cheering me on the achievement of making it to the top and back albeit on a stretcher. It was surreal, I haven’t had a group of 40 to 50 people cheering me before and it felt good. At that point, despite how terrible I was feeling health wise, I still felt like a million bucks. It was just what you needed to feel appreciated after the task just endured. Floods of other porters from other teams joined in singing and carried me out of the stretcher for a victory lap. And that’s when it really sunk in that I literally was standing at the roof of Africa the day before!
All waiting for me as I descend on to Mweka Gate

Gathered around me
Yay! Made it to the bottom. 
Once down the trail and on my feet, I was taken immediately to see a doctor who explained that I had an upper respiratory infection and prescribed a nebulizer and a steam inhaler session that did the job of unblocking my nose and removing a ridiculous amount gunk from my chest. Obviously I needed lots and lots of fluid to keep up with the dehydration I was suffering from as well, which was the main contributor to my nosebleeds. 
Abdullah having an awesome time celebrating 
Celebratory welcome
On my feet and proud to represent home
The rest of the team arrived and the celebrations started off once again with the porters and guides singing victory songs as one by one made it safe and sound. This then turned into a dancing affair as celebrations continued throughout the afternoon.  Our lunch was organized by Big Expeditions and Safaris at Mweka gate and it was amazing as always. We were lucky to be the only group of climbers to have such a large spread lunch buffet for us while the other groups just settled on having lunch back in Arusha, so I definitely would recommend Big Expeditions for your upcoming Tanzanian adventure. With the final person signing off their name in the registrar’s big black book and certificates signed, sealed and delivered, our Kilimanjaro Climb was over and all that remains is a relaxing celebratory day at Arusha.

Mission Accomplished
Check out our luggage behind Ali

Bye bye Kilimanjaro 

A memory forever engraved in my mind 

Back at Planet Lodge in Arusha and it was time to sleep like the dead

Oman! This one's for you
Personally the trip has been an inspiring experience. It serves to remind me why I get so much satisfaction from making my dreams come true. It started off with a bitter 9th of March morning with me trying to find reason to look back into this year and remember the joy of travelling and experiencing something new. I was eager to go to a place and make a new memory not tainted with the old or familiar. While on the trip, songs kept speaking to me; songs of a dead uncle who I never had the pleasure to meet. He passed away at the tender age of 27 in a car accident in Mombasa and was part of a popular band called Safari Sound; people say the band never remained the same after his passing. I grew up listening to his songs and throughout this trip his songs came up and spoke to my core and revived a connection to this corner of the world. Now I can look back and say Kilimanjaro you shall reside as my favorite memory of this year.

Mama Africa you rock! 

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