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Originally published at Rodney's Blog. Please leave any comments there.

machame-route-kilimanjaro-map-i4

The Morning

This morning I woke up and I felt even better than Day 2! I felt almost like someone replaced the old Rodney and put a new one in his place. All of my aches and pains were gone as was my tired. I did my normal stretching and yoga exercises to get my mind and body in the right frame of reference. I felt really really good! I felt good enough to begin to post video blogs and to start to take my own pictures. So without further adieu, the first video blog of the climb! I decided not to do any editing, so you’ll see just how loopy I get the higher we get up the mountain *lol*

We climbed really interesting terrain today on the way to Barranco camp. This day was different because we climbed far higher than we actually slept at. They call it “climb high / sleep low” as a way to acclimatise. Christina and I continued to take the trek slow and easy – enjoying the scenery and wondering aloud why people actually pay to this to themselves :) Even if we weren’t trekking any faster than before (we are still usually the last to arrive to the next camp site) I think my increased energy level was noticeable to our guide Ashard, who gave me the nickname “Simba” (from the Lion King) as a result of finding renewed strength and energy. Not only was I feeling energetic, but I was also even eating more normally again. Today was the first day I ate an energy bar and sports drink without feeling like I wanted to vomit. It’s hard to describe how good I really felt. The summit (and the gold certificate confirming the summit achievement), didn’t just feel within reach – it felt inevitable!

Now of course, some pictures, finally courtesy of both Christina (majority) and me. We got some really good pics on the way to towards Lava Tower and on Lava Rock. At this point, only the most hardcore vegetation and animals can thrive up here, but the rocks and the trees were actually quite beautiful to look at.

IMG_6438 (Small) IMG_6435 (Small) IMG_6430 (Small) IMG_2343 (Small) IMG_2335 (Small) IMG_2331 (Small) IMG_2330 (Small) IMG_2323 (Small) IMG_6425 (Small) IMG_2318 (Small) IMG_2313 (Small) IMG_6389 (Small) IMG_6372 (Small) IMG_6362 (Small)

I'm going up there - one way or the other! :-)

I’m going up there – one way or the other! :-)

IMG_6320 (Small) IMG_6275 (Small)

Back at Barranco camp, we managed to get their before the rains which was cool. This was also the first day that I was capable of signing myself in at the camp site registry. When you’re firing on all cylinders the hike feels even greater than great! We were tired and exhausted. Christina continued to impress me with her sheer energy and determination. The day to sum it up, was amazeballs!

My afternoon video blog – and today you get a special treat…you even get a view of my pimped out crib! Again, the video is unfiltered. I think it’s more honest that way.

So after our climb, I took a nice long nap before dinner. And then we had dinner. I ate dinner with ‘determination’. After 2 days of not eating and dropping not only water weight (a side effect of diamox is that you pee a lot…so much so that I can up with an awesome in-tent invention in order not to have to leave the tent to pee), but muscle mass as well (I managed to drop a pants size in 48 hours). After dinner we always have a meeting with Ashard to order to have our briefing for the next day and what to expect. The briefing was really cool as Ashard told us that in his experience, you can never judge someone by their first day on the mountain. Some people start out weak and get stronger. Others are strong out of the gate and get weaker as time goes on. It was the emotional boost I needed. Knowing that his confidence was increasing in me helped to make me stronger inside and outside.

I’ve learned to have a healthy respect for Mt Kilimanjaro (especially when we pass those point where if you step incorrectly you’ll die…). And to believe in myself again.

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