Waking up at 2720 metres was less of an ordeal than I thought it would be. Walking out of the hut, the sky was a little overcast and the chill in the air was refreshing to say the least. I love that cold air on my skin and waking up a little cold sometimes.
Last night I went to sleep with a mild headache and my feet were aching. This was not from my brand new hiking boots either, it was just walking for 5 kms through the rainforest up and down and round. I slept very well and felt great when my eyes opened.
Todays journey would take us through the end of the rainforest and into the moorlands of this great mountain. The path well trodden and the wildlife slowly changing and somewhat disappearing were the perfect indicators of this phenomenon. We went through this strange middle ground that was like the bush in Australia that you see near the sea on the eastern coast of my home state of New South Wales. It was truly remarkable. One of the other Aussies on the journey noticed it to and we smiled and thought of home.
As we moved higher and higher in altitude I noticed a visible change in the way I was moving my body forward. It was going from a long stride to a very much medium stride and I was beginning to breathe a little more frequently. This was my first real experience of altitude as we reached approx. 3300 metres. We stopped for lunch for about 45 minutes and there was a strange mist that would roll in and surround the grasslands and it would threaten to rain, without success. We were being truly blessed with the weather we were having. A little overcast but still dry and cool. Just what you want when hiking…………….
We had about another hour and a half to go before we reached camp 2 and the clouds were now below us on the left hand side of the trail. It was truly amazing to be walking through the clouds and peering up at some incredible rock towers to the right. The Mawenzi towers on the right were closed to tourists and climbers as the rock is apparently very unstable and there have been many deaths there.
As we approached 3600 metres the landscape began to change a little again and the moorlands began to disappear and the trees shrank down to the equivalent of the Australian scrub. These weird Jurassic looking trees were spread out across the grasslands. Beautiful wildflowers began popping up and the occasional bottle brush type thing would be right there in front of us. The flowers were tiny and they were stunning. Up and across the little foot bridge and up around the corner and there was camp 2. Horombo Huts we as far as we were going today and we would be sleeping 6 to a hut.
We walked in and all registered our arrival. Signing in and registering at each camp is a great way to keep an eye on the number of people that are at camp and that also descend. I wouldn’t think that with the number of people that go on this journey each year that many get left behind, but apparently it has happened in the past. Its time for a nap and then dinner and more sleeping. Oh and a few games of arsehole………great game and so much fun with the group………good people.