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Towards the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (part 1)

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Author: Valentina Kirilova, Ukraine, Kiev
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- Are you sit? - Sit! Sit! I Sit down and watch where you're going! Be careful with that loaded сart! Don't kill anyone! It's my fault! - It's hard to hold him with your left hand! - Hard? Stay at home, don't go to Africa!

You should tell your friends on FB that you went to Kilimanjaro with a broken right arm. Probably the majority would sign in. Who wants to read the manuscripts of the divine? Only people like you...
- Hm... you, I see, are gone! Listen, please sit on the left shoulder and let's talk, because the military patrol was already wondering if I was talking to myself...
We're at Frankfurt Airport, waiting for our flight to Addis Ababa.

So, friends, listening to my guardian angel's true wish, I would like to know that I went to Tanzania with a broken right arm and three spitzes in it. I did not explain why I did that to myself, so please don't hesitate to explain it to you. I just didn't want to give up my encounter with the African beauty Kilimanjaro and I felt strong enough to do it. Krupka!

Everyone gets to the airport of Elimanjaro by their own means because they come from different countries. The communication in the newly created Viber group in the form of exchanging dots and cakes promised a good atmosphere, and the proclamation "bad people do not go to the mountains" added to the confidence in a successful meeting.

Весела компанія на сходження Кіліманджаро

So there are ten of us: nine men and how many women. Dmitro is our experienced leader, brother and friend. The laughter and the heat of the first evening of our acquaintance was a bright table, and the table grew with the support, the interaction with each guest, and the shared bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. 
We were united by the desire to reach the highest point in Africa, one of the seven peaks of the world. Do not challenge, do not storm! These empty words when it comes to the mountain, its constancy and your timing, its 100 km in diameter, 5,895 meters above sea level and your 160 cm above the bottom, Her five climatic belts and your 36.6 degrees Celsius, her age-old tranquility and grandeur and your dyad of unnecessary thoughts, false in their importance. No! Not to hurry, to go, to go home, to sit on her knees, to cry when a yellow-gold pile of sunlight looks straight into the night, to see the snowy cap of Kibo, which can be split by melted waters in the next ten years...

The next day at the gates of the National Park our group increases by 30 people. These are local leaders, porters, cooks. We have to carry everything uphill: gas bottles, fans, cold blanket, a table, food in portable refrigerators, our large backpacks with sleeping bags and warm clothes. For four local leaders, our dream of reaching the summit is simply a licensed job, which they are able to do with peace and quiet. By registering, taking on their shoulders all sorts of wages, ruin.

Never have I been afraid that in Africa there is such a juice-green, fertile country of Tanzania with its mellow winds, shrouds, vicinal forests, alpine bows, tundra, and high-mountain desert. So I would have lived in the fullness of Khai and enlightenment, but still stereotypes.

Африканська сенеція

- Hello! My name is Baraka. I will walk beside you and support you where your right hand is deficient. I'll be your personal President Baracko." The strong Tanzanian, who looked like Michael Clarke Duncan on The Green Mile, held out his hand and gave me a big grin.

"Catch your breath!" - he repeated, the phrase with which I ascended and descended from Kilimanjaro, the phrase with which I would go on living far away. "Take your own twist! Go on with your life!" - That's how I reinterpreted them for myself.

Разом з портером Барака

In coordination with the leader of the group, we follow the 50/10 principle, i.e., we climb for fifty minutes and rest for ten. Everyone goes at their own pace, the leaders wait for the decision to stop for ten more minutes and resume the pace. Everything in the mountains - the time, the weather, the sourness, the problem. You have to pace and walk! The best meditation!

After the regatta, it is especially important to renew breathing in these places. People are precious and mysterious. At once in the course of fifty twists I get to the designated place already a few times saying to myself: "That's it. I'm going to die! I can't take it anymore! Every now and then I walk with my hand raised from my forearm, so that I don't blurt and someone says: "Valiusha, the free touch!" and screams a whirlwind of laughter at everyone.

The third day of walking along the rocky mountains, sometimes my knee reaches the level of my nose, and I cannot do it without Baraka's mighty hand. Porters with bales on their shoulders, necks and heads are wandering into the line of people. Some of them, drenched in sweat, still manage to grasp my gaze, put their hand to their hearts and give me a brief insight.

We see the snow-covered cap of Mount Kilimanjaro! We hurry up to her, because for the last hundred years she decreased by 80%. Not that it disappears before we get there, we have only a day to walk and a night to go.
At the last stop we take pictures, we are fooling around and we are happy. The night of the walk... had I known what the night would be like...

Штурмовий табір Кіліманджаро

The father: "And I thought the night of the assault tomorrow ..." was sighing and excited when during the discussion Dmitro clearly put all the accents, said that in the morning we are ruining to the assault tabor Barafu (4,670), after finishing, we carry out the acclimatization ascending to a height of 4,800. We take the evening and untwist the bags in the sleeping bags. The recommendation "trying to sleep" for me was invalid. The body might have fallen asleep, but the gurkiness of my heart and the pulsation of my brain did not allow it.

The responsible Baraka asked me to show him my outfit and ammunition, which I was wearing to "assault", as funny as it may sound, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. I took everything I had brought from Kyiv, I told you, my friend, tell me what to wear. Baraka takes every warm river, looks at it and puts it on a separate pile. Checks how many thermal pants I have and tells me that two thermal and one protective layer will not be enough, you need more protection from the wind. The belief that at the top there will be -20 comes together with removed from the portrait of the air ducts, which the baraka recommends to put on top of my three. The broken arm, blood flow is sporadic and no glove will fit through the outside of the spitz nuts, we decide to wrap it in a sleeping bag and wrap it tsupko with a free shawl. You have established this soldier of the storming corral? The good news is that it was already dark and there are no lights:).

According to Dmitry's decision, we ruined the first at 23:00, so we could go to the light. Pondershy decided and will fire us. Orest, a young children's surgeon from Warsaw, reaches us. Some of us are still trying to sleep, and the psychologically nervous ones are lasciviously chomping at the bit.

After pulling everything tight, wrapped up to the tip of my nose, I get out of the swoop, take the stick in my left hand and go for the "assault". Ah, on my forehead I also have a lighter! I am convinced that most of what then finds its place in the "Guinness Book of Records" people did either out of stupidity, or out of ignorance...

Сніги Кіліманджаро в ранковому сяйві

Heaven! My God! What a sky! Black, low, with bright shining stars that you can reach with your hand! But now is not the time for epithets and metaphors! The crumb of ruin. In a wild crock, in a third of the whole crock. My breathing is calm and even, my words come out only at urgent moments, the sourness is less and less. We are going. A year, another, the third ... the sixth. I die several times, then come back to life and go again. Uphill! To the top! For what purpose? Why can't you sit in comfort? Shut up... I'm just walking... just walking. My head is empty. Nothing to think about. Not a single problem. I'm walking. This is the moment of the highest meditation! No more thoughts linger in my head... my mental nerve...

God, where am I? Looking back, I see a long rope of lightning people who started after us, lightning in a black mountain, which can not be seen, but the fleeting of their lighters gives me strength to go further, I have already gone as far as that! I will go! I will go! Oh no! I look up into the hills, I do not see mountains, people, only a twisted spiral of lichttarians into the black sky. I do not want to go there! It is so high! I'm coming.

Soon! Soon Stella point, but at the briefing Dmitro said that our goal - Uhuru Peak, and there near a year. This letter with greetings! This is the Norwegian woman with her boyfriend. She's laughing, probably glad she made it. What a wonderful laugh she has. Why another woman's voice, she is being led by two men? No, I am a Ukrainian, my psyche is carbonized, I am not afraid only because I went to the Kilimanjaro ...

Where's the sun?! Never before have I wanted to see the sun like that. It promises to appear, the gold pouring out around, the cap of the volcano Kibo overflowing with gems. It is cold. The sloshes are rolling with frozen cheeks! The sun!!! The sun kisses my face! I love you, sunshine!

We're here! All of us! 
Our Dimitro writes dryly in his report: "100% convergence! Of them - 4 vegetarians, 5 omnivores, 1 with a broken arm!"

Група на вершині Кіліманджіро

To go up the mountain is one thing, but to go down from the mountain is another. It is difficult, because the overachiever's emotions unbalance you physically and emotionally. As in the life formation - the set goal produces desire and gives strength in its achievement. The whole potential is focused on this. On the descent you loosen up, you think of yourself three times better than you really are. You have been going uphill for seven nights, you are tired of resisting, inertia carries you downhill. The acceleration of a vertical fall on a vertical surface with pebbles and other stones completes the job.

Kilimanjaro tolerates the presence of people not for a long time, it is an African samitnitsa, active stratovolcano, one stroke of which can change everything before the end of the world. Low temperatures and low winds drive unhealthy guests from the mountain. The least I could see at minus twenty minutes was our girls, stripped down to their shiny skin, pulling on their thin skins in order to take spectacular photos. My cotton hat complements their images and looks really good. We pose together and begin the descent to the tabor. It will take three more years.

My companion Orest has fallen and hurt his leg. We walk a long time in the morning as completely as we went down. We look like the cat Basilio and the fox Alice from "Buratino's Prygoda", Baraka is our Karabas. Reshta theatrical corpse already in the tabor. The generous enthusiasm of the audience helps to realize: I did it!

Залишки снігів Кіліманджаро

When we have finished, we burn out our sets, the porters put their important bales on our shoulders, we put our backpacks, which have already grown on our backs during the walking tour, and we go out the other way to the Mweka Camp tabor. The notification that it will take another seven years is accepted as normal and does not cause any emotions. At the end of the day my FitBit recorded 33 km!

No, here we will not see the shower cabin and did not drink hot water, my hair will remain under a thin rope, we just sleep in sleeping bags, but not wrap in them. It is warm and three times asleep.

We are already singing the farewell song Hakuna Matata, in the afternoon our friendly staff will sing it for us, we will have dinner, exchange contacts, distribute wine and go even lower - to the gates of the National Park.
The certificate for climbing Kilimanjaro obtained there will burn out this part of my life...

Велетенські африканські дерева

...and opens another one - two days of safari, a hotel in the masai and a flight to the island of Zanzibar, the birthplace of Fredy Mercury.

Life goes on!
Hakuna matata!

So much more to come!

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