Date: October 2012 | Location: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kibo circuit made me realize how important oxygen is for my body to function – though that would be pretty obvious, wouldn’t it? But by the time we got to this last stretch I was barely taking two steps without heaving. My body felt tired, my mind was completely disoriented, my mood was rather volatile and I had to stop every five seconds to catch my breath. I didn’t even realize what was going on until the mountain guide explained to me that my body was reacting to the thin supply of oxygen in the atmosphere.
By the time we got to Kibo Hut I started to experience mountain sickness, my body completely rejected food and fluid and my head was pounding so hard I thought it would explode. This was my tipping point. I had quit mentally. Reaching the top was no longer a priority and the only thing I could do was sleep.
Six hours later it was time to wake up and begin our midnight trek up the snow covered peak. Thank God for the boys because they were a great source of support and refused to continue on the hike unless I climbed with them. (I had recovered from my mountain sickness and was now living off chocolate bars as my source of energy).
The mountain landscape at this point is pretty much a rocky snow desert and we were properly layered up in thermal underwear, fleece and waterproof gear.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Uhuru, I started to show symptoms of mountain sickness again and so had to descend while the boys continued on to Africa’s highest point.
Needless to say, I was completely humbled by the mountain and breathtakingly awesome views from up above. I like to imagine that heaven would look like this.
Strong bonds of friendship were formed during that journey. I discovered hidden qualities about myself that I was not previously aware of. I learnt that mountains are to be respected. I experienced a different perspective of God and of my own spirituality. I had a lot of fun – simply put – and made memories that will never be forgotten.
– Safari Sensei