I wonder if today was what the group had anticipated. When you go off on an adventure it must be quite hard to know exactly what to expect, and then when you get to where the good bits should be happening I guess sometimes they are not quite as exciting as you had thought that they would be. That isn’t to say that you don’t have a good time, but sometimes you don’t really enjoy it until after the experience is over! I must admit that sitting about in damp conditions with cold feet would not be my idea of fun, but then I suppose that that was just the means to the end in this case. Quite often you have to go through the mundane to find the spectacular …
Day 19 – 3rd August
There is very little to write about today. Matt H and I rose early to make jam sandwiches for everyone’s lunch. After breakfast of porridge we set off for day 2 of the trek.
The first half was similar to yesterday,
but the jungle eventually gave way to heath not unlike English parkland.
We were only walking for about 4 and a half hours today, we arrived at Mude camp for half past twelve.
This leaves me with a lot of time to kill and little to kill it with except cards.
Apart from chafed shoulders, I am feeling fine; Mount Longonot was much harder than Mount Elgon so far.
We have been going slowly due to altitude, we are currently at 3,500 m and Wagagai Peak is at 4,321 m. Tomorrow is supposed to be very tough; 7 hours up to the peak and then 3 back down.
This camp is pretty damp and cold, it is bearable but having cold feet saps the spirit over time.
Today has mostly been whiled away by singing and playing with the fire which the porters somehow made with damp wood. At one point the sun briefly broke through the fog before disappearing again. We met some American travellers who said there was ice on the peak which doesn’t bode well.
Dinner was rice with lentils and some kind of tomato sauce which tasted delicious.
Today I learned the lesson of starting a days walk with very little kit on and then stopping as few times as possible. Hopefully I will be brave enough to do this tomorrow when it is freezing cold at 5:15.