Hello Continental Travelnurse!
I actually just returned to London this morning! It's been an amazing trip.
Me, Kathleen (from New Zealand), Erica (from New Zealand), and our architect friend from the states, Mark, chose to do the 7 day Lemosho route. It is said to be one of the more challenging but scenic. We were not disappointed. Just in our first two days of the hike, we passed through elaborate jungles filled with various different plant life and monkeys! We would hike for several hours a day with scenery changing every half day! It was like you were in a new place; nothing was ever the same.
Our team consisted of 19 men!!! They became like family in a way, encouraging us, teaching us Swahili, and laughing at us of course. One afternoon at the last camp before the summit day, we needed to ease our stress so the Barufu games were born. We would challenge our guides, porters, and cooks to push ups, back bends, who was more flexible, and who could walk on their hands! It was my absolute favorite moment on the mountain. So priceless.
The summit day was by far the most challenging. We woke up at 11 pm after no sleep and started our long journey to the peak. It was freezing, and we were exhausted. The only thing we could see was the little flicker of lights trailing up the mountain for miles.
There were times I didn't think I'd make it. I ended up last, while the others pushed ahead. My guide Stanley, wiped my nose with his hanky and hand-fed me crackers and encouraged me to go on when I wanted to give up. After many hours of dark, cold hiking, we reached "Stella point" at around 6 am, near tears but so elated. Our guides danced and sang to us to keep us going. They told us we made it this far and we had to continue on to the peak.
So Erica, Kathleen, and I reached the summit, Uhuru peak, together just before 8 am, exhausted but crying with joy. I couldn't believe I did it. It was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and just proof that the mind can overcome the most uncomfortable situations. That and surrounding yourself with positive people who have the never-give-up attitude will get a person through nearly anything this life throws our way.
I return to work on Tuesday and will check my schedule. If I am not scheduled to work, I'd love to attend the October river lights cruise. I'll let you know!
Thanks Anna for sharing your amazing story and congrats on conquering Mt. Kilimanjaro! If you want to join Anna and other remarkable people at Continental Travelnurse, contact us today.