Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp(7/30)
I slept really well last night (finally!). The best nights sleep on the mountain. We got to sleep in late since today's trek is fairly short. Bed tea was at 7:30 am. We packed and had a leisurely breakfast. We let most of the porters and climbers take off before us. You could see the conga lines up the mountain. Leaving last was nice, we had the trail mostly to ourselves. This is where having a good guide pays off. He is concerned about his climbers and wants to make this an enjoyable experience.
We would have lunch at Karanga Camp since we will only be hiking for about 4 hours. I could tell I wasn't running on all cylinders today. So I took it nice and slow. The first part of the trek this morning required climbing up Barranco wall. The trail up the wall is very narrow (only 1 person at a time) and some sections require you to use handholds to get around boulders and such. So up we climbed. It was fun to climb up the wall. A change of pace from previous days.
Once on top of the wall we continued onward. We hiked up and down various sections. Close to camp we went down a steep section of the trail into a valley. At the bottom of the valley was a river. We crossed the river and then had to go all the way up the other side of the valley. Camp was at the top. Nothing like finishing the day working hard. I forgot to start the log on my watch today, so I do not know what the total elevation we climbed today.
Today we walked in the moorland zone and started entering the alpine desert.
The camp site is slanted. This required tent mates to be careful how they rolled. The mess was situated on a pretty good slant. You had be careful not to knock stuff over on the table.
So we unpacked and had a good hot lunch. Afterwards I read some and drank a bunch of water. The key to reducing altitude sickness is to drink lots and lots of liquids. You must stay fully hydrated. After a while I went to my tent and relaxed for a bit.
Dinner time and once again a fabulous meal. We had rice, cole slaw, meat stew, and fried bananas. Today was Ryan's 14th birthday. What a cool place to be for your birthday. I gave him a pack of neco wafers. Some others gave him some candy bars.
A cake was carried up from Arusha by a porter. We all sang happy birthday to Ryan and then enjoyed the chocolate cake. It was excellent.
The wind picked up tonight. The tents were flapping a little. I put in my ear plugs and heard nothing. I hope it calms down before summit day.