Friday, September 26, 2014

Kilimanjaro Part 3: Machame gate - machame camp - shira camp

We woke up early that day. Me and Azad were room mates since Abu Dhabi. Thep acking was done quite simple and Enock inspected our stuff the night before. I never knew he importance of a carry mat until this trip! haha When everybody was ready, we were off from Moshi to Machame gate.
Machame gate is one of the few other routes people trek to Kilimanjaro. Deeno chose this route as it was the one he had used before. Seeing the programme i was a bit anxious and worried, as the demand to elevate in the number of days would predispose us to AMS. And AMS is bad! 
When we arrived at the Machame gate we saw a lot of locals waiting outside the gate. Apparently because of the ebola virus, the number of groups that cancelled their kilimanjaro trip was significant! Being peak season, it would be more than ten group at one time. There were few other groups as well but i guess our group was the biggest! 18 of us andthe ratio of guide;porter;trekker ratio is usually 3-1! And seeing our big entourage of people was amazing! Gila ramai! 
 What i reckon made this trek interesting is how we can experience different kind of forest as we ascend. Machame gate was about 1800m from sea level and being near to the equator, the rain forest is almost similar to ours in Malaysia. It was a familiar sight on the first day. The only difference would be the our weather's unpredictability of rain! Alhamdulillah we were dry but the first day work was far! Really far.. haha We started quite late as the assortment of guides and our stuffs took some time as it was near lunch time that we were off. In fact we took lunch before moving! 
We arrived at Machame camp (2834m) when it was dark. I could not really appreciate the landscape but what was obvious is the temperature! And what impressed me was the dinner tent we had! wahh.. the standard that they maintain is exactly like the expedition trips we see on TV. All our supplies were carried by the porters employed and they certainly prepared our dinner like kings. The table was complete and it starts of with soup before the main course and dinner. The chefs introduced themselves and certainly they know how to entertain us! What makes this trip good was the arrangement for halal meat for our meals.
 The vegetation for our trek to Shira(3749m) was bonsai like. Slowly the trees become shorter and we were more bare to the direct UV light. It was much steeper to Shira as compared to Machame. But the Machame way certainly took a bit sap of energy out of few  team members.I was walking with Azad and together we had one of our guides with us, Mtey. He was certainly knowledgable and friendly as he gave information about what to expect along the trek. He even introduced us to the vegetations of Kilimanjaro as we walk.
Arriving at Shira was a relief as we arrived late afternoon. It was cold and we had to wear our down jacket to be comfy. Abang Ayob went for the short walk looking at the famous shira caves. None of us had the energy to do so hahaha and we ended up in our tents til dinner time. I brought an SPO2 machine with me and it was interesting to look at the SpO2 levels of the participants. 90% looked good and i guess thats why Deeno chose us to try on this 6 days to the peak trip. 

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