We woke up again at 6 a.m., completed our morning rituals and started to walk. This camp was much colder than the previous one. Martin got frozen last night and could not sleep enough. I woke up with cold feet. All tents and grass were covered with ice. So, we had to put warmer clothes.
Tip: it gets very chilly up there! Take your warmest jacket and a sleeping bag for freezing temperatures!
The scenery on the way up to Lava Tower, our acclimitization goal for today, was much rougher with almost no plants and a lot of dark lava rocks. It resembled more of a lunar landscape with very unwelcoming atmosphere. However, I was enjoying our walk. We were going today in a faster, more comfortable pace. The porters and other tourists were not bothering us any longer: there was enough space for all. I tried to concentrate on my breathing technique and on the surrounding nature but my thoughts where about the guides and how and when I should approach them and apologize. I found a good time sport during the day to aproach them and eventually to apologize.
Behind us we could still see Mount Meru piercing through the thick clouds. In front of us Kilimanjaro was becoming bigger and bigger. Now we could better see its ice shields. The fog was trying to catch us. It was quite windy and cold.
After awhile we saw finally a huge dark rock of Lava Tower. I also spotted a frozen waterfall on Kilimanjaro. Soon after we reached Lava Tower where a yummy warm lunch from our wonderful cook was already prepared. I was on the seventh sky level of happiness to be finally in this warm kitchen tent and to have something to eat.
I was also proud of our team for being so fit and keeping one pace. During this ascent we walked often in a complete silence. I heard only the sounds of our steps, of our breath, and of our hiking poles. This was a great feeling of being a part of this small team and of sharing these great experiences with them.
After the lunch we started our hard descent through a mysterious valley. A thin line of fog was slowly sliding in front of the black rocks of Lava Tower. In front of us the clouds emerged and we started to descend into those uncharted territories that looked completely out-of-the-world and extraterrestrial. The vegetation here was also completely strange and different.
I felt like I am in some sort of a sci-fi movie. There was something mysterious in every aspect of this landscape. I noticed that some of us got very tired, but soon we could already see the tents of our destination camp, Barranco.
At Barranco I checked the public toilets. Well, maybe that is the reason why I did not poo since the start of our hiking: the toilets were absolutely disastrous and reminded me those on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. I preferred to pee onto the stones but not in those filthy and smelly toilets.
Tip: For the big toilet business it is better to order a special chemical toilet for 30 USD per trip in order to conserve the environment and avoid going onto the stones.
At the camp there was some signal and those with connection gathered around specific rocks to send messages to their beloved ones or to check the latest news. Some even called their friends.
I did not have a connection and was happy about this digital detox. Finally no Instagram, no Facebook, no Netflix, no WhatsApp, no emails, and no worries. Instead, I was occupied with long-run plans and new ideas. This was possible because I was free of constant distraction and stress. I could finally think about my future plans and come up with new ideas also for Pink Summits. From now on I should practice this digital detox more often.
Christian was helping a girl in a neighbouring tent. She was experiencing severe altitude sickness and shock. I saw some other people had also difficulties with adjusting to the high altitude. Hans Martin had a slight headache. Martin and Steffen experienced a weak pressure in the head. I also experienced some headache that was swiftly gone.
Tip: take medicine against the high altitude sickness in advance! We took diamox half a tablet twice a day. It really worked!
Tomorrow morning we will be all fine and ready to go to the next camp. The start is one hour later than usually. So we can wake up at 7 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. Finally, some more time for valuable sleep!
P.S. For more detailed overview of the day with pictures and videos, have a look at my Instagram stories titled “Kilimanjaro”.