Day three: Shira huts

Shira campsite in the morning, looking towards Kibu

Morning of the third day, a cool clear night. Had to get up for a call of nature around three, the moon flooding the plateau with it’s cold light and Kibo standing up against the stars. The air is thinner here and walking back to the tent it suddenly feels like you’re no longer swimming safely at the bottom of an ocean of air but the only person alive on a vast alien plain exposed to the pitiless gaze of ancient and indifferent constellations. Or at least that’s how you feel at three in the morning. 🙂

At this altitude the sun is not your friend so it’s SP50 even on cloudy days, seriously kids slip/slop/slap or it’s major burns. The porters throw out the gear-up tarpaulin and we assemble our day packs, fill up our hydration bladders and get the last minute brief for the guide then we’re off. Today we’ll traverse the plateau again heading south-east crossing the headwaters Ngare-Nairobi and the Simba river. We stop off at the Simba caves which are just by the river and then head up the gentle slope towards Shira huts. In the afternoon the mist closes in and there’s a sprinkle of rain as we get to our camp site. The first groundsel makes an appearance, looking a bit like an triffid on holiday, and then we’re at the campsite. Feeling pretty crap, headache and classic AMS symptoms so after talking to the doctor in our party take half a tablet of  Diamoz. Start feeling waay better after about an hour of rest in the tent. After lunch we have a short acclimatisation walk up the trail towards the Lava Tower camp, our destination for tomorrow. This is not going to be a cake walk I’m thinking…

Distance travelled: 7 kms, Altitude gained: 391 metres

G and her little red camera

Scottish thistle

Simba caves, a little sad and forlorn

Looking across the plateau towards Kibo

Afternoon fog and the alien shape of a tree groundsel

Shira huts and the obligatory weather station

Acclimatisation walk, Shira huts



One thought on “Day three: Shira huts

  1. Pingback: Kilimanjaro | My Favourite Year

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