Last Double Digit Day!

How did this creep up? Today is the 10 day countdown, until we set off for Kilimanjaro. Training is more or less behind us, now it is shopping for those last minute items that I might only ever use on this trip.

Items such as:

Solar charger: Much as I may walk in the hills after this trek, I am unlikely to go out for long enough that my battery goes flat. But then again I might get a liking for this trekking lark and do more.

USB battery charger: See above!

4 seasons sleeping bag with liner: See above!

Can you spot an item which once I’m done with this trek will be confined to the bin, just incase someone uses it in the kitchen by accident?


It’s Getting Exciting Now!

Items I have bought for walking that I wear/use in Scotland:

Down jacket

Thermal underwear

Some of those might even be for 1 day or night. The one known as “Summit Day”. Items for this night and day include:

A balaclava,

Thick gloves,

Hand & Feet warmers.

Tomorrow we are into single digits. 9 days and countdown.

Exciting times ahead.

First Steps

5 months today, and the group will be taking the 1st step on the climb up Kilimanjaro. I know the months are going to fly by, and soon the countdown will be weeks, rather than months. I would like to think that I am on track to get my fitness levels up. Having the hills and mountains of Scotland right on my doorstep is a bonus. Yesterday’s climb of 800 metres is likely to be no more than is expected of us, in 1 day. There will be 2 main differences though.

  1. It will be at much higher altitude
  2. We will be sleeping in tiny tents on the side of a mountain, rather than our own beds.

Today my local newspaper ran a story on my jaunt.


Volcano: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

Volcanic activity formed the three peaks of Kilimanjaro, millions of years ago. One of the volcanic cones, Shira, is now extinct and eroded. Mawenzi and Kibo, the other two peaks, blended together after subsequent eruptions. Kibo is now the highest, with the famous peak discussed yesterday, Uhuru.

It is not easy to believe that millions of years ago, the landscape of Kilimanjaro may have looked something like the activity that is shown in this video. This is an active volcano today.

Credit to US Geological Surveys

Edge of Lava Flow Mt Etna Picture shown at RIBI Conference Torquay

Tanzania: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

Tanzania, the country which plays host to the Kilimanjaro party, lies in the East of the African Continent. It has vast wilderness areas, including the plains of the Serengeti. It is one of the best places in the world to go on safari and try and catch a glimpse of the Big 5. It is also 1 of the countries where the wildebeest migrate. Now wouldn’t that be a wonderful sight to see?

Tanzania is not a country I have given a lot of thought to, as a holiday destination, but I am certainly looking forward to going there and experiencing all that it has to offer in the way of natural sights.

I cannot stop myself singing the words of a favourite song of mine, in the 80’s. Who remembers Toto’s “Africa”? If you need reminding, it’s here, enjoy.


Routes: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

There are several routes to the Roof of Africa, as this map shows.

Routes up Kilimanjaro

Routes to the Roof of Africa

The route that I will be taking, has been chosen for us by the travel company, as the one that has the most success route, which I consider a great plus point. After all these trips come at great cost, they are not your usual package holiday.

The Lemosho route is a quiter than most route, until the third day, when it joins another route up the mountain. It is quite possible that we will see wild animals and game on the early part of the trek. We have more time to become acclimatised, which sounds good to me, which comes at an added cost, as each day, adds to the expense of hiring porters, equipment etc, but for the better chance of reaching the top, who wouldn’t be happy with that? The way down is different to the way up. We come down using the Mweka Route, which is a descent route only.






Moshi: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

Moshi is a town in northern Tanzania, near the Kenyan Border. It is the town which is the gateway to the Kilimanjaro National Park. It is overshadowed by Mt Kili, and where we get to spend a day or 2 looking out at what we have lying up ahead of us.

If you watched the video on K, then you too will have seen that life in Moshi is geared up for the trekkers that are setting off and returning from the Kili climb, with porters and provisions galore.

Come back in April 2020 when I will be able to tell you more about Moshi and my journeys there. If you have already been, then pointers as to what I shold be looking out for, will be welcome.



Lava Tower on the Lemosho Route: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

The route that our travel company, 360 Expeditions has chosen is the Lemosho Route, chosen for its maximum achievement rate. It is not the shortest, but it is the one which lets you acclimatise most easily, and makes altitude sickness less likely. Very good reasons to chose this route over the others. Who knows, maybe I will come back soon and do one of the more difficult routes, and take in the parts of the mountain that this route misses. There is a glimmer of hope that I may be back for my 60th Birthday, to tackle another view.

On the Lemosho Route at , 4624 metres above sea level we will come across the Lava Tower, which towers 100 metres into the air. It is a volcanic plug, which is what we have on our doorstep, just off the Ayrshire coast, which features in so many photographs, in the shape of Ailsa Craig.

Ailsa Craig: Volcanic Plug off the Ayrshire Coast

There are also remnants of volcanic action on our beaches. These pictures were taken of rock formations on the Ayrshire beaches.

I hope you are enjoying this AtoZchallenge. Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments.


Kilimanjaro: Journey to Moshi, and Onwards

Kilimanjaro, the ultimate goal, the pinnacle of this whole adventure. What revelations will unfold along the way?

On a purely physical level, we are talking 5,895 metres above sea level. It is a dormant volcano, with 3 volcanic cones, one being named Kibo. (You can learn the name of the other 2 on letter M and S, days 13 & 19 of the AtoZchallenge) Luckily the last eruption was somewhere between 150,000 & 200,000 years ago, so think it is safe to say that it won’t be erupting again any time soon.

It lies in Tanzania, but borders Kenya.

It is nick named The Roof of Africa due to it being the highest point in the whole continent.

“When I signed up for this trip, I really didn’t know what I was getting in to!” (4 min 15 secs on the video)

How many times have I said this to myself. Watching this video has already made me realise that Moshi is not as I expected, although I am surprised that I am surprised, as what did I really expect from the town who is the gateway to the Kilimanjaro National Park and the funnel that 35,000 trekkers pass through every year? It was hardly likely to be a haven of peace and tranquillity was it? This video has disrupted my view on the place

What other things will reveal themselves to me on this journey?

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If this is the 1st post that you have read, or multiple times you have visited my blog, I feel grateful that you are here.Where have you travelled to, that had a big impact on you?

Have a great day. Namaste