Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kilimanjaro: That's a Lot of Walking!

What do you think about when walking, walking, walking for seven straight days? Not a lot! Often the extent of my thoughts would be something like this:

1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2

A lot of the time I simply focused on each and every step I took. Sometimes I'd get a little crazy and to keep life interesting I'd switch to:

left - right - left - right - left - right

And other times if the pace was quicker:

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

How exciting, eh? I found these little chants inside my head really helpful because I was able to time my breathing with my steps. Walking on rocky ground can take a lot of concentration!

Now, how about those times when the terrain was less demanding? Facebook statuses! That's what I thought about, if you can believe it! We live in a sad, sad world :) For example:

"It's safe to say that I've now mastered the art of peeing while squatting."

I can't even begin to count the number of times I peed behind a bush or rock, but I do know that I went through almost two jumbo rolls of toilet paper! We're talking once or twice every hour. When you're drinking between 3 - 5 litres of water a day, it's gotta go somewhere!

"I'm a savage! My fingernails and hands are crusted with dirt, yet I'm still eating from them."

It gets dirty, really dirty, and you'll just stop caring. I went through a lot of baby wipes during my morning "shower" each day, plus they provided warm water and soap, but the dirt just sticks. The first real shower you have after your climb is magical.

"Never again in my life do I want to eat soup, white bread, porridge, popcorn, cookies, or tea."

The food that was prepared for us was very good, but it did start to get repetitive after a while. What can you expect though, you're on a mountain! I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I actually CRIED (just for a minute, lol) at dinner one day because I knew I had to eat, was still full, but didn't want to make the cooks feel like their food was bad. Team Kilimanjaro feeds you an exorbitant amount of food because you're burning a lot of energy and they told us that eating helps let oxygen enter the bloodstream or something - but really - soup twice a day, every day? Tea four times a day? Eight million slices of toast for breakfast? Plus porridge, eggs, and sausage?! For the love of God, bring chocolate with you! I would have died for some :)

What's for dinner? Can you guess?
We noticed that a lot of the companies handed out boxed lunches everyday. Team Kilimanjaro served us warm food, at a nice little table for every meal. Excellent. I miss our assistant cook, Phillipo, who would introduce each soup as... fresh of cucumber, or fresh of carrot.
Above is an example of a main course for dinner. Pasta, vegetable beef sauce, and quiche of some sort. Believe me, this was only scraping the surface of food. I betcha, left in the pot was at least 6 more servings the same size. Plus some type of dessert.
This was my favourite lunch - grilled cheese! Plus soup to start, of course, and fruit for dessert.
Look, I'm so happy, there's popcorn for snack! Little did I know, there's be popcorn for snack :) Plus 12-15 cookies.

Do you ever think up facebook status updates in your head, or am I just weird?


  1. Oh I think up facebook statuses in my head all the time, but I only print the appropriate ones.

    Notice I don't have many status updates ;)

    I know the food must have been repetitive but compared to little boxed lunches, you guys were fed quite well. As you say, there's only so much they can prepare on a mountain.

  2. Yep, we were fed very well, especially when compared to other tour groups! Still.. no soup for me for a while :)

  3. I love your chants... it made me smile when I read that. Also, I love soup.... I could have it every day... but I suppose it could be very boring very fast if you have it twice a day. You are very lucky to have someone doing all the cooking and preparing your food for you... and not just boxed lunches.
    I sometimes think up facebook statuses in my head ... I love sharing what I am doing... to a certain extent. I also love reading what other people are up to. I really like it that you can update your status from your IPhone... it keeps us more connected when you are away on vacay.

  4. G, you're inspiring.

    I don't have facebook, it's just a fad. But if I did, I would come up with some doozey status updates like the following:
    -Just went pee
    -Just picked my nose
    -Just got home
    -Those boneless chicken wings from Pizza Hut are fabulous, but boy are they hot