Day 2 — Jan 25, 2015
Today was the “easy day” only about 4 hours of hiking. As soon as we left camp, there were no more trees. We learned new Swahili today – we were told “Pole, Pole” (sounds like the Polly in Rolly Polly bug). It means “Slowly, Slowly”. We got in trouble from our head guide for hiking too fast yesterday (errr, talk to your assistant guide). So we hiked very “pole, pole” today… and still passed all of the other groups… but it was more enjoyable. I have a feeling we’ll be getting more and more “pole, pole” as we get higher up!
The day started off nice and sunny, but a few minutes after we got to camp the clouds rolled in with the wind and it got quite cold! So we spent most of the afternoon hunkered down in the tent. Especially when it started to lightly rain for a few minutes.
Just before dinner we went on a short little hike up to the ridge above camp. Passat when with us, showing us some really cool caves along the way, and then an awesome view. But really we went to help with acclimating, it was 200M higher than the campground, and tomorrow we have some really big elevation gain. Altitude sickness is the biggest risk here. Tonight we are sleeping around 12,000 feet at Shira Camp. The summit is over 19,000 feet and that will be the highest we’ve ever been… And 4 days is pretty fast to go from sea level to that high.
The food has been pretty good. We have a cook (required to have on the trip), and we eat in our tent since we took the cheap plan and didn’t pay for a mess tent. We get fruit, rice or pasta, some kind soup at every meal, and so far we’ve had meat at every meal. The first night was fish – which if you’re gonna have fish on a 6 day trek, you wanna have it on the first night! Today we had chicken… Which feels like it’s starting to be a little sketch. I mean it’s not like there is refrigeration, it’s cold at night but not thaaaaat cold during the day. I’m suspect, hoping that’s the last of the chicken we see. Our sweet porter “Manny” we called him because we couldn’t quite get his name, brought us hot water, tea, coffee and all of our meals to the tent. It was quite nice, especially when the temps dropped and the wind picked up, we could snuggle up in our sleeping bags and eat our meals.
The night was quite cold. It was ok in the tent (I did much better with the borrowed sleeping bag, Rick was a little cold with the knock off from Nepal, but he said with the bag liner and a bottle of hot water it wasn’t too bad). But when we had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom it was downright miserable!!! It’s pretty much unavoidable though… We are supposed to be drinking 5-6 litres of water a day, plus the Diamox meds we’re taking to help with the altitude make you have to pee. I was up 3 times and each time I thought I might freeze to death!