Day 3’s ecosystem was the alpine desert. The lack of oxygen meant there were not many plants or animals around – just lots of rocks.
The atmosphere amongst the group felt more serious (Buster Rhymes, one of our guides, told us off for taking too many breaks!) It was long day of walking and trying to acclimatising to the altitude. Our climb today saw us reaching 4600m above sea level to the lava tower (didn’t look too much like the tower I was expecting) and then back down to 3950m to camp. I am starting to feel the effects of the altitude now; getting headaches, feeling sick and generally feeling, well, hungover. I was lucky though, there were many of the group that felt a whole lot worse than I did.
It was also at this point that I realised I should have done some training, if you’re climbing Kili don’t listen to anyone that says ‘you can’t train for altitude.’ You can’t, but you will need to train for the 5 8-hour days of solid walking that you will be doing! I managed OK considering my severe lack of training, but my fitness level is higher than I actually expected – so all was ok.
Sleeping is still a nightmare, camping is killing my back and walking through and sleeping with all the dust makes you so dirty – I can’t wait for a real bed and a shower!