My climb up Kilimanjaro 2014

Jambo! (Hi in Swahili)

I haven’t mentioned this on here, but on the 8th February 2014, a team of 8 people (including myself) left the UK to summit Kilimanjaro (the World’s largest free standing mountain). We were doing this to raise valuable money for a local children’s Charity (www.sparkleappeal.org) who cater for children with severe special needs.

The trip was hugely successful for me. I made some new friends, which is always nice and cemented those whom already I already knew. We had high expectations because the expedition was for Charity. Raising money for a worthwhile cause always focuses the mind, so, we trained for the climb and heck … we even cut down on the beer… 🙂

The trip was hard. We laughed, cried, eat, slept and poo’d (a lot) together in a very intense week where the headaches, the runs and altitude sickness cost us 50% of our team. On summit day, we were up at 11pm for a dawn summit and during the ascent we lost our 5th team member. Surprisingly, fitness didn’t appear to be the best preparation….????

We had 4 expert guides whom encouraged us every step of the way. We summited a little later than planned, triumphant to have witnessed stars you could ‘touch’, gigantic flashes of lightning, a 3am frost emerging in front of your eyes and a light flurry of snow … all in one night. We celebrated at the top as best we could. Hugs, handshakes and pictures were exchanged. Snacks were wolfed down to replace lost calories. We were exhausted but more importantly, without our team… 🙁

Our walk down was childlike almost… sliding in the frozen white snow and soft volcanic ash. When we reached base camp again, the team had moved on, back down the mountain to a lower attitude. We had one hour rest for lunch and a snooze.

 

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By the time we caught up with our team, we had walked for 25 out of the past 29 hours…. that was insane!

It was mixed feelings of course. 3 had achieved, yet 5 had not. Happiness on one hand yet misery and sadness on the other. There was consolation though. The 3 of us who succeeded felt the drive and positive wishes of the others drove us to success. So, our achievement was theirs… simple!

The walk down took us through barren fauna and then rainforest. Remarkably, that part of Tanzania is green like the UK. In fact, there are many species exactly the same. Things like fern, grasses, Rosemary (yes I know) and wild parsley. Birds were similar too. They have a bird remarkably like our Robin, Swift’s on migration of course and a Rook that was a size of a mini Eagle. They had no fear and ended stealing our food on occasions…. 🙂

At the final breakfast, we tipped all the helpers (27 in total). We hope we gave them enough to make a difference. Indeed, we gave extra clothes and equipment to that they could go onto the mountain next time in the right gear  :-o

We took the 4 guides 2nd 2 cooks back to our hotel for R & R (thoroughly deserved). We treated them to lunch with beers and pizzas. We laughed for another 4 hours. They finally understood our UK humour and began laughing with us too. It truly was a magnificent time. We also exchanged our email addresses and Facebook contacts details to keep in touch in the future.

Now back in the UK, I am in the process of sending an old iPhone 3 and some signed ‘How to Raise Children Successfully’ book for them too. They loved that they met an author, which was a privileged feeling for me too.

Ok, I know that I have rambled (which was nice), but what lessons have I learnt from my journey

  • To grow, you must challenge yourself …  and your comfort zone.
  • To get what you want, just help others get what they want.
  • Benevolence is a trait highlighted by Aristotle. By exercising this law you get things back from the most unexpected sources. The more you give, the more you get… Always remember that we are always better off (a lot) than others, so share the abundance around.
  • They do say Hakuna matata!

You must of course be fit and healthy too to enjoy such a trip, but that’s not a bad trait to have in life anyway!

So, far we have raised £8k (ish) against our goal of £10k. Still time to collect though. On that point, if you want to give to my team and me, then go here:

http://www.justgiving.com/kilimanjaro-2014-Newport-Businesses

As always, thank you for reading my posts… I love ya!

 

Llwyddiant!

Wayne/Joe 

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Leave A Reply (6 comments so far)


  1. samwelpeter3
    4 years ago

    Wow.!!!it so amazing to see this so now I believe you are a nice Author


    • admin
      4 years ago

      Hey Sam! Thanks for leaving a great comment here.It was great to meet you and the team and I look forward to keeping in touch. I am posting a copy of the book to you today along with something sweet for you to eat. Give my regards to all your chums…. love always, Joe


  2. samwelpeter3
    4 years ago

    Don’t ask youself who is this.?It’s me Sam your guide


    • admin
      4 years ago

      I knew it was you! 😉


  3. samwelpeter
    4 years ago

    Thanks so much for everything but did you write the name to whom the copy of the book go and those sweet gift to eat before posting..??


    • admin
      4 years ago

      Pleasure, my thanks is with you too! Sure did… I also included a note for Ari to make sure… Thanks again, Joe