DAY 3 pole


the third day, john and julia rallied amazingly well considering the night before. for me, the day foreshadowed the pain to come- or at least should have.

Machame 3rd day of a 6 day climb you walk straight up to the Lava Towers. these are the huge remnants of the volcano eruption.

from this point you are only 3 kilometers from the top "as the crow flies." as we were ascending to towers, i realized i was suddenly going at a snail's pace and julia and john had bounded ahead of me. true, the climb was very steep, but not so much steeper than areas before. i couldn't understand why the top was not getting any closer, but my breathing was getting more and more labored.

pole pole sane
(very slowly) i finally arrived at the towers. it was freezing cold at the top. so cold that my hands were burning. julia and john chatted and enjoyed lunch, but i could do little more than sit in a tight ball, shielded from the wind by the rock.

i was so nauseous from the altitude i couldn't look at my lunch, but stuck to chai. stanley encouraged me to eat a boiled egg, though after one bite i fed the rest to a lone chipmunk that appeared at my feet. who knew chipmunks would be in such a cold, high place?

at the time i was glad it wasn't snowing, but it is quite sad to think barely 7 years ago it was covered with ice and now it is barren. it is might be hard to see qualitative evidence of global warming, but here on the mountain, it is undeniable.

almost worse than climbing to the lava towers was descending from them. to have come so far up only to go down!!! oh it was terrible. you work and work for your goal, only to back track all over...

this was the day we climbed up then down, then up and down through the ridges to get to the opposite side of the mountain. then, on the way down into the valley in which we would spend the night, we had to climb along a frozen stream full of loose rocks.

in the middle of this we came upon a large boulder with kiswahili graffiti as well as the line "jesus lives" scrawled across it. here we are in the middle of one of the most beautiful places in the world, one of the few places nature can still be glimpsed as feral, raw power, and man has to find a way to mark it, demean it as just another spot for human waste!

as i shook my head in disgust, i slipped and twisted my ankle. typical. pole.

our 3rd campsite

hobbling along over the treacherously insecure rocks, the last 20 minutes stretched into over an hour as we tried to preserve my foot. at camp, i immediately took some meds and elevated it, hoping for enough recovery to continue.

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