Okay friends and well-wishers, enough messing around with safaris and red bananas and lounging by a pool. It’s high time we got down the business of scaling some of the bigger peaks in Africa. This post will serve as the kick off for the first of our true hiking experiences during out African adventure. On tap first? Mount Meru, which at 4,566m high is Africa’s fifth highest peak. The purpose of us scaling this lesser peak first was primarily to assist us with acclimatization, as well as giving our lead guide for Mount Kilimanjaro a chance to see how we might perform when it came time to the big show. This climb would take us 4 days and 3 nights, although the only real climbing day would come starting at day 2 starting at midnight. On that day, we’d be going for the summit. However, before we get to that day, I’ll write a post for each of the days we spent on the mountain, but try not to make them too long ;-). Also, since we’re on a mountain now, I’ve got a map to share with you, as well as a set of pictures from the first day itself. Enjoy those, then click on back and read the rest of the story.
Good news everybody. Today I can finally write about getting out of the safari vehicle and actually doing some real hiking. Mind you, I’m not talking about a multi-day challenging trudge or anything, but at least the dust in my nose would be from kicking at the dirt rather than by driving through it, so that’s something. Our first foray into the hills was a hike up Mount Lemagrut, which is one of 9 craters in the Ngorongoro conservation area. Although we’d be trekking up to 3100m this day, we were starting out at about 2400m, so the overall altitude gain and loss wasn’t going to be that great. This would however serve as our first acclimatization hike of sorts, and give us an idea how we might do as a group on the more challenging days ahead of us. This is also the first time I’ll be sharing a nice map of the trek with you all. As you might expect, I carried a GPS with me for most of the trip, and made a number of maps to show you where we went. Along with the map you can also head to flickr and check out the set of pictures and videos from the day. Once you’ve taken all that in and set the scene, come on back and read the rest of my tale!