Archive for the ‘Diary – Impending Kilimanjaro Climb’ Category

Diary for an Impending Kilimanjaro Climb

This was a diary I started on October 11 but there weren’t any other posts. I have called everyone concerned, summoned my crew, invited 2 guests to join me on the climb and I will be posting regular updates.

I’m going to make another Kilimanjaro climb before Christmas. Friends expected my return to Africa only in January. Tomorrow, I shall telephone everyone and surprise them. Only Victor, my mountain guide knows and he has promised to draw up a plan that includes the usual painful diet. It would mean surviving on an unusual amount of carbohydrates, fruit juices, glucose, proteins and water before and during the climb. I’d say painful because it’s extremely hard to conjure up any kind of appetite while I’m mountaineering. The last time, Victor had to force me to eat. The battle stays mostly with having to combat a tough bout of altitude sickness.
Hopefully, this time, I shall carry with me the tenacity in which to reach the snow-capped Uhuru Peak without mishap. If so, and amid the total exhaustion afterwards, what a glorious present for Christmas I shall give myself. And let none of the usual chaotic drama among my beloved Tanzanians that always accompany an adventure in East Africa, go missing.
Chaos is turned into an art form and the utterly beautiful Serengeti Plains, an ethereal paradise for both man and beast. Yet, the half-naked Masai who stroll with dour resignation in the icy air, trailing affectionately behind their skinny cattle, would consider themselves to be ordinary folk.
The mountain pulls at my heart strings and makes me cry with affectionate longing. I have embraced it in a newfound attachment. I want to trek up the beautiful waterfalls, absorb once more the abundant wildlife and make proper friends with the close-knit community comprising the mountain rangers and the Chagra tribe in Uru Village. I must find a way to help them. Already, I feel they are my people in spirit.
Such is the intensity of the region’s beckoning and the exhilaration of the memory that my steps have turned without hesitation towards the vast plains that shroud and enfold it. When I am in Tanzania I long for Dublin and when I am in Dublin, I long for Tanzania. Such too, is the futile if not wry comedy of my life’s own exploits.