Every day exactly at 6:30am the night draws back and makes space for the new day. We woke up early in order to enjoy the spectacular view of the rocks across Shira camp partly covered by the sun, partly covered by the shadows. And just about 500m below them begins the kingdom of the clouds.
Our time to enjoy the view is limited. We have about 1 hour to have breakfast, pack everything and get ready to departure.
Regardless of the morning rush, the stunning view of Kilimanjaro all lit by the ray of light makes us remember why we are here.
We leave the camp around 7-ish. Alex leads the column followed by Josephat and me (Georgi). Nobody talks. Only the radio of our guide breaks the silence with some suahili gospel music. The surrounded by frozen lava stones path is very steep helping us gain altitude really fast. Josephat keeps telling us "pole-pole" or go "slowly slowly". It's extremely important to give enough time to our selfs to adapt to the altitude.
Moon alike landscape makes us think we are on a different planet. Only the few left green bushes tell us that even at this harsh weather conditions there is life. From time to time there is cold wind coming from any possible direction that reminds us we are at the mercy of the nature. Kilimanjaro may let us conquer it, or not.
The temperature is already above 20+ degrees. But we want to avoid winning again the "tractor driver sun-burn" contest, as it happens last year during our trip to Australia.
We decide to make a shot break to drink water. Yes, drinking water high in the mountain is essential for the altitude adaptation of any human body.
We have been walking for about 3 hours that day and all of sudden our second guide appear. About 2 hours later we reach Lava Tower at 4636masl. I ask Alex, if he feels okay. Seems both of us are very comfortable even at that altitude and decide to make our lunch break here.
Fully refreshed from the powerful lunch and the slightly cold wind we have to decent to Barranco camp (3972masl). The basic rule of thumb is walk high and sleep low!
Just few km down the road we end up under the edge of Uhuru peak, but it's impossible to see the top.
We have only 20min left till we get to Barranco camp. Already noticed that both of us with Alex start walking like drunken flies while our heads are about to explode. Josephat explains that all this it's caused by the altitude and the best solution is to get 1-2 aspirins & short nap. The view down the camp is amazing, but we hurry to find escape from the headache. Picture taking is the last thing we wanna do.
Just 1h later the headache is completely gone. I leave the camp and start climbing back in order to capture the magnificent view of Barranco camp just above the clouds before they start moving towards the top.
Mandatory quick check-in at the camp and decided to go to sleep early and recharge for the next day of challenges.