Day four (Part II): Barranco valley

Climbing down into Barranco valley

Pushing off from the Lava tower we take the down track into the Barranco valley, it’s a up and down at first while the path swings across the valley a couple of times, then a steep descent following the water course all the way down to Barranco camp.

As we descend the temperature starts to rise, a little, and we start to see stands of groundsel and lobelia’s emerging eerily out of the mist. Really, you half expect to see the batwing shadow of a pterodactyl flicking overhead in the mist or feel the thud through your feet as a brachiosaurus ambles by to feed. Unfortunately we’re a couple of million years too late for that so it’s just us and the groundsel, otherwise known as senecio Kilimanjarii.

Finally we get into camp, and after cleaning up its’s dinner in the Bucky dome. Amazing what a couple of hundred meters descent, a hot meal  and some Diamoz does for one’s spirits. The camp itself is a hive of activity with several expeditions setting up camp, and as you’d kind of expect that’s putting a bit of a strain on the amenities. Not that they were particularly great to start with, more indescribably awful. Still I’m told Barafu is even worse, so there’s something to look forward to. Very glad to get into the sleeping bag tonight, tomorrow we have to clime the Barranco wall, and it looks like there’s going to be a bit of a traffic jam up the face, but that’s a problem for tomorrow.

Distance travelled: 10km Height gained: 147m 

Start of the groundsel forest

Porters passing by, on descent into Barranco valley

Lobelia magic, even in the mist

Walking through the giant groundsel forest

The mist really conceals how steep the sides of Barranco valley are

Descending, it's warmer in the valley and the sound of water is everywhere

We've reached camp, the end of a long day

Kibo's southern face and the western breach

Dinner by candlelight, Barranco camp


One thought on “Day four (Part II): Barranco valley

  1. Pingback: Kilimanjaro | My Favourite Year

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