Facebook    YouTube 
 

| Home | Diary | Travels | Treks | Blogs |

 
 
 
 
Home > Treks > Kilimanjaro > Day 6 > 6.8
<< Previous | Next >>

The Main Route back to Horombo

The Main Route back to Horombo
 
 

FROM the junction we took the lower and shorter route towards Horombo. The track was very flat with a gradual downhill towards a gap between two barren hills. I thought the plateau could have perhaps been part of an old crater with most of the walls collapsed from perhaps a million years of erosion. Kibo was the most recent crater and Mawenzi Peak was the plug of what had been a much older volcanic cone. The plateau reminded me of Central Crater on the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand. It was a flat area surrounded by active and dormant volcanic cones. This was very much the same, only much bigger. I also noticed the regolith here on the plateau was a lot redder than the top. It was very Mars like, whereas the top was grey and very lunar.

Following the main trail along the Martian desert
Following the main trail along the Martian desert

The cloud was now well above us, covering only Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Conditions would be very rough at the top now. Soon I was seeing a few tufts of tussock to once more remind me that I was on Earth, and that we were entering a zone where things could live. There were huge boulders sitting randomly on the gravel. Most of us needed to use the toilet along that stretch, so we’d just find a rock to go behind. Only problem is that many thousands of other people over recent years have had the same idea, and there was a lot of waste and toilet paper around. The stench was pretty bad. Up here things in such cold conditions and the lack of living organisms things do take a long time to decompose.

Following the main trail along the Martian desert
Following the main trail along the Martian desert

It was about quarter past two when we went over the lip between the hills. The slope continued in a gentle downhill so technically it wasn’t a pass. Once across the lip the terrain changed a lot into the radial spurs and gullies draining any water from the hill now above us. The track responded by going up and down from spur to gully. Each downhill was a lot longer than the uphills though.

There was a little more vegetation now, but it was still very barren up here. My legs were chafing again making the going a bit slower than I wanted it to. At least I could keep up with the rest of the group though. There were a lot of porters passing us now, carrying their heavy loads on their heads going from Kibo to Horombo as if it were just an easy walk in the park. They were carrying loads for more people who will be attempting the summit tonight. Thankfully that was behind me now.

Porters travelling between Horombo and Kibo
Porters travelling between Horombo and Kibo

About an hour later we reached a rest spot. A small sign indicated this was the last water hole before Kibo. Traditionally this was where people filled up their water bottles for the trip to the summit. For us this was the first source of water now that we were low enough. I still had plenty of water in my camelback, but my lips had cracked to the point they almost had no feeling in them.

From here I could now see the long ridge rising from Horombo along which we had followed the other side just yesterday morning heading towards Mawenzi Hut junction on the upper route. It was hard to believe this was just yesterday morning. So much had happened since then.

Kibo Peak covered in cloud
Kibo Peak covered in cloud

The last hour or so to the hut was rather difficult going for me. I was starting to slow down and I gradually lagged behind the others who all seemed to be making good progress still. Jaseri stayed back with me. He seemed to be struggling too, but as our group leader, didn’t want to admit it. For him admitting he was struggling would cost him his job, and may cost the jobs of his sons as well. The others in our group very gradually extended a leg ahead of me upon leaving the last water hole. An hour passed and they were all about a hundred metres ahead of Jaseri and me.

The air felt noticeably thicker now, but I was exhausted from having been walking for fourteen hours since midnight with only an hour of sleep and another hour of rest. It was very difficult going.

Then I heard the soft thud of something falling. I looked back. Jaseri had fallen on the ground. I asked him if he is okay, and he stood up dusting himself. I stayed back with him to make sure he was okay, still keeping the pace I could handle. Soon afterwards he fell over again. I was getting a bit worried as he was 64 years old and perhaps getting frailer than he cared to accept.

Horombo Huts in the fog
Horombo Huts in the fog

It was about five o’clock when I finally reached Horombo. The cloud was quickly descending and quite foggy now. It was very quiet at the camp. Jaseri and I checked in, before he led me to my bunk room.

My gear was in the room, and the others had arrived about five to ten minutes earlier and were already resting there. Thankfully my slightly slower pace wasn't too significant. I quickly unpacked, then went with the others to the far dining hut where we had dinner.

Dinner
Dinner

Dinner was rice with peas mixed in, a beef casserole, and plenty of hot tea. Despite such a massive day of achievement none of us had anything to say – we were all too exhausted to talk, even Mark who normally always had plenty of stories to tell. Perhaps he was quiet because he thought he was going to lose his son at Gilman’s Point early this morning.

Once dinner was finished, we all slunk off to bed, exhausted from such a long day. We had another long day ahead of us tomorrow, but at least we would be spending tomorrow night back in the comfort of the Marangu Hotel, the best part of which will be a nice warm bath.

I took off my anorak, crawled into the sleeping bag and fell asleep almost instantly along with the others. It had been a huge day.

View all photos...

<< Previous | Next >>
 

 

 

About this Page

Date:

 

Location: Country:

 

Latitude: Longitude: Altitude:

17 August 2011

 

Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania

 

3°06'S
37°24'E
4700 - 3720m ASL

 

Google Maps Link

 

 

 

Jeff

Where is Walkabout Jeff?

 

 

 

Jeff

What is happening in Walkabout Jeff's hometown?

 

 

 

Jeff

Who is Walkabout Jeff?

Any normal person's idea of going out involves going to the local pub for a drink with a few mates. Walkabout Jeff isn't normal.

 

Read more...

 

 

 

Follow Walkabout Jeff

Facebook    YouTube

 

 
 
 

| Home | Diary | Travels | Treks | Blogs |

 
© 2001-2019 walkaboutjeff.com - Copyright - Disclaimer - Who is Walkabout Jeff?