SPA UK Sandesh 2017 - Page 38

‘THE DREAM TEAM’ - ‘DID IT’ Kilimanjaro climb for Charity by Champak Mistry Namaste All I am the Secretary of SPA (UK) Loughborough Branch and below is my account of my challenge with my 3 brothers-in- law and banevi that we endured in Nairobi and Tanzania in September 2017. 11 years ago, I travelled to the Andes in Peru and then onto Machu Picchu at the age of 40, and then 4 years ago with companion Jasuben (Sandesh Editor now) from London we successfully completed The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge in wet and slippery weather conditions. I have also on several occasions climbed Snowdon. My 3 brothers-in-laws; Balubhai and Navinbhai from Rugby, Kishorbhai from New Zealand (ex-Rugby), Arvind banevi from Hull and I decided to take up the challenge to climb the highest mountain in Africa - Kilimanjaro. We started our trek at 1,850m (6,000ft). To begin with we walked at “POLE- POLE” pace pronounced (POLAY POLAY) in Swahili meaning SLOWLY SLOWLY as instructed by our main guide Martin. We walked for 4 hours (4km) through the forest trails to our first campsite MTI MKUBWA CAMP at elevation of 2,650m (8,100ft). Day 5 - After breakfast we continued our climb. The trail gradually steepened and entered the giant heather moorland zone. After several stream crossings we continued over the Shira Ridge pass to reach the SHIRA 1 CAMP at 3,610m and Our trip was 2-fold; firstly, to climb Kilimanjaro and secondly onto the SHIRA 2 CAMP at elevation of 3,850m (12,600ft) to accompany my 3 brothers-in-law from Rugby to visit where we finally arrived after walking for 13 hours (24km). Nairobi, Kenya where they were born. It has been 50 years since they left their birthplace, so we decided to revisit to trace back their memories of Africa and meet up with the Shah family they have not seen since leaving Kenya in 1967. Day 6 - From Shira Plateau we continued our journey Eastwards up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of KIBO (one of the highest peaks). The next part of the journey entailed walking through the Alpine Desert towards Day 1 & 2 - We arrived in Nairobi and began to familiarise the ‘LAVA TOWER’ at an elevation of 4,600m (15,250ft). ourselves with the locals. We visited the Westland area We then passed the ARROW GLACIER and headed down where the majority of the Hindu community lived. We met up to BARANCO CAMP at elevation of 3,900m (12,675ft) after with the Shah family which gave us the opportunity to bring walking for 6 hours (10km). We came back to this level to back the memories of the old times in Nairobi. acclimatise our bodies to prepare for the summit day. Day 3 - We took a long bus journey from Nairobi to Arusha Day 7 - After breakfast we continued on a steep ridge up and then onto Moshi to our Kilimanjaro Cran e hotel. On the Baranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and to the junction route we crossed the border from Kenya into Tanzania and which connects with the Mweka Trail. Again, walking through captured the views and sites of the barren countryside, Alpine Desert zone, we marched onto KARANGA CAMP at passing the Masai Mara tribes with their herds. We also saw 3,995m (13,070ft) after walking for 4 hours (6km). elephants, giraffes and wilder beasts in their natural habitat. Day 8 - After a freezing night in our tents we woke up to Day 4 - After meeting our 3 main guides, Martin, Patrick and frosty ground. We started our climb to the next camp Leonard, 25 crew members, including the porters and cooks, completing the South Circuit which offered views of the we left the hotel to travel to Londorosi Gate at an elevation summit from different angles. We eventually arrived at of 2,250m in the Kilimanjaro National Park. The whole team BARAFU CAMP at 4,673m (15,280ft) after walking for 4 welcomed us by singing a local Kilimanjaro song. We all hours (4km). We settled down, rested, enjoyed our dinner danced before starting the epic Lemosho trek. and prepared ourselves for the summit day. “JAMBO JAMBO BWANA HABARIGANI MZURI SANA WAGENI Day 9 - Despite my oxygen level of only 53% we began our MWAKARIBISHWA KILIMANJARO HAKUNA MATATA” final climb to the summit at 5am between the REBMANN 36 vol. 42 | Prajapati Sandesh 2017