Rongai Gate to Simba Hut 2019 – Kili Initiative

After a quick box lunch we set out for Simba Hut. I proceeded before the Kili Initiative Team. We were trekking through a rain forest. The team chattered without cessation and I preferred quiet. Not complete silence, because the trees were alive with life.

Ma’we led the team. I drained the last of the Konyagi-Crest and headed out at a fast clip, despite the motto of the climb being ‘Pole Pole’ or ‘Slow but Steady’.

Like a snail.

I had nothing to prove by my #1 position.

Ma’we understood my need for solitude.

JM too.

The porters passed at a rapid pace.


“Sijambo.” My lungs were scorched as a marathon runner, but I hadn’t chucked my lunch.

When I touched my flesh I sensed how hot I was. Maybe 102F. Sick, but nothing anyone of Neanderthal blood couldn’t handle on this mountain.

Clouds rose in the valley.

I was in the dry rain forest.

A few raindrops feel on my face.

More was to come.

A lot more.

Kilimanjaro’s water fed two nations.

I threw on my rain poncho.

It was going to get wet.

The mist came first, then the rain.

I sheltered in a cave.

Thunder echoed across the slopes.

The guide David came up to me.

“Simba Hut only one hour from here. You ready?”

“Never readier.”

The guides could have hit the campsite in twenty minutes. They were all Chaaaga. They climbed the mountain all year long. As Shamus had said at our departure from Marangu Hotel, without them none of us would be here.

And about that he was very right.

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