March 26, 2003

Mount Kenya - Day 1

I leave with Ken (Nairobi Backpackers owner) and Gerald (Mount Kenya guide) from Nairobi in the morning to Nanyuki, the base town to climb Mount Kenya. We reach it around twelve and stop by the city to hire a porter and a cook. At the same time I'm getting a rain coat that I rent for 550KSh for 5 days after some bargaining. The guy orginally wanted 1000KSh. 550KSh is still expensive and quite close to the price of a new one.

We drive toward the Sirimon gate (2635m) and we take a quick lunch. Ken leaves quickly leaving Gerald, the porters and I dispatching our items between backpacks.
Gerald is still arranging things at the entrance gate and ask me to leave with the porters around 1PM, he will catch up later during the way. Fact is that we do not walk very quickly and make frequent pauses which is somewhat understandable as the porter may have about 30kg of gear so it is easy for him to catch up.

I'm just surprised by the kind of food that has been taken for the trip, many cans of all sort, bottled milk, eggs... nothing has been really prepared for being lightweight. It looks like there is 20kg of food and 10kg of it being rubbish... It is a pain to transport, really. Any guidebook seems to use porters this way but it looks like to me it is some unnecessary luxury.. it's not like milk powder could not be used to save some weight.

We reach Old Moses Camp (3300m) around 4PM.

After hanging out around a little, and having dinner we go to bed early. Tomorrow will be a long day as we should walk for 6 to 8 hours depending on the conditions.

I'm having a terrible night. The sleeping bag that Ken gave me is of course tailored to his height and I can barely fit in until my shoulders. Plus I'm squeezed inside around them and I have seen more confortable way to sleep...this physical torture is nothing compared to the psychological one that I endure during the night. Gerald is apparently sick and suffer from diarrea and goes to toilets every hour. Due to the nature of the dorms and toilets I can hear just about everything...

It is also raining cats and dogs outside and I feel like we will have a hard time climbing in these rainy conditions tomorrow...

Posted by stephane at March 26, 2003 03:43 PM