Ravens and Ravens…
We’ve made it to Shira Camp. Another 1200 metres gained today and we could be feeling the effects of altitude any time now. Today was a full 5 hours and more of scrambling. The pace was slower but the exertion greater. I loved it.
The red dirt track has changed dramatically to the tan sand of volcanic rock. The trees have all disappeared and the monkeys that thrilled us in the woods yesterday have been replaced by huge White Necked Ravens. The massive birds hover close and follow us hungrily and they’re freaking out some of the girls, myself included. They are shiny and magnificent but seem far too interested in me. I don’t see myself as dinner just yet.
The chef James, rustled up a pasta salad half way to Shira rocks and followed up with rice and golden, breaded chicken for dinner. It’s amazing what the team are able to produce half way up a mountain. There was also some small feeling of satisfaction when another raven zoomed in to eyeball me after dinner. I had dined first!
We made a small hike up another 200 metres to see the Shira Caves and look back down on a massive plain of tents below. There is a huge volume of traffic here and we’ve basically joined a tent village for the night. Our trek up to the caves wasn’t just for the view. Pushing up higher helps with acclimatising and we should sleep better tonight, having come back down to our tents to sleep. The form is really good for everyone. No sickness, no soreness, no injuries. Pat is minding us well.
As I prepared for an early night after dinner, we all tumbled outside to see the mist that had spoiled our view earlier, lift, leaving Kilimanjaro glowing red and white in the setting sun. It’s my first clear view of the mountain and she is stunning. We have days of climbing to do yet and another 1200 feet of altitude to gain tomorrow. But looking at the summit tonight, I know I can do this. x