So the training is done. Over Christmas and New Year the final two hills in my preparations for Kilimanjaro were completed. First was Slieve Donard on Boxing day, the second was Tinto Hill on 2nd January. Both were wild. The thing I learned when training for marathons is the training runs were not just about getting miles into your legs, they were also about learning. Learning what it is like to run in rain. Learning how to carry water. Learning how to talk about nothing for hours on end. Learning, learning, learning.
These final two hill climbs were no different. Donard taught me I can cope in winds gusting in excess of seventy miles an hour and Tinto taught me my gear can cope in sub-zero windy conditions. I also learned on Tinto that my footing isn’t great on icy paths (don’t believe the line “There won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time” from the BandAid single of Christmas 1984. There bloody will and most of it will be on top of Kilimanjaro!) This is a worry and in a nutshell highlights my concerns about Kilimanjaro. I haven’t prepared well enough. I haven’t been up enough hills, I haven’t tested my kit fully, I am not even sure I have broken my boots in properly. And I am about to walk up the largest free standing mountain in the world.
There is so much conflicting information about what to expect. So much new information everyday. For example yesterday someone mentioned to Karen that our torches should give out red rather than white light to avoid attracting mosquitos!!! Pardon? Is this true? Why has no mentioned it before? Do we not leave mossies behind fairly early on?
Seven days time we fly out. Seven days later we will summit. Then I will know if I am prepared.