Climbing Kilimanjaro was something both Rabi and I was really looking forward to. Sitting here at the hotel afterwards it´s hard to realize that we actually did climb Africas highest mountain. I could write a whole essay about the hike and go through day by day but i´ll try to describe it rather briefly. Warning - long post!! Neither Rabi or me had done much hiking/ trekking/ mountain climbing before so we were very excited and a bit worried at the same time cause we had no idea what to expect. Our equipment were checked on the night before the start of the hike and we didn´t have to rent that much stuff. The only mistake we did was that we didn't rent proper sleeping bags, we only rented sleeping linen which would supposed to be enough but it turned out later that the nights were really cold and we ended up freezing most nights... On the evening before the start of the hike, we met up with my australian friend, the one and only Damien Mickenbecker!!! :D We studied in Berlin together 2,5 years ago so it´s been a while since we last met. He will also join us to Zanzibar after the hike. We were 9 people in our group climbing Kilimanjaro together. On the staff side we had 4 guides, 2 chefs and 22 porters with other various tasks. While hiking we only had a daypack carrying ourselves containing water, camera, some snacks and extra clothes. All other equipment did the porters carry for us. We did the route called Lemosho which is supposed to be one of the tougher ones but also a lot nicer from a scenic perspective. The first day we didn´t go for very long, about 2,5 hours until we reached the first camp. We walked for about 4-6 hours every day and we had a pretty slow pace, which was good cause the body needs the extra time to acclimatize to the altitude. Climbing Kilimanjaro isn´t a walk in the park. You don't need to be the fittest person in the world to make it to the top, but you do need to have the right mental attitude. It´s truly a challenge which we didn't expect to be that tough. Most people experience some kind of minor altitude sickness and the most common one is headache. From the 4th day into the hike I think the whole group had it until we came back down from the summit. We were supposed to do the climbing in 8 days but we ended up doing it on 7 days cause on the 5th day when we would do a acclimatization day we skipped that day cause everyone was feeling well and making a try to the summit one day before would mean that we´d had another day to reach the summit if we´d fail on the first try. On the summit day they woke us up at 00.00 to get ready and start hiking at 01.00. The reason for that is that we could be at the top and watch the sunrise. The last walk up to the top was steep. Walking in the pitch black with only your headlamp as guiding light was really cool (you didn't think that until afterwards). At this point everyone was very tired, cold and exhausted cause the last days there hasn't been much sleep or much food (the appetite often decreases the higher altitude you´re on), so we were very low on energy. The temptation of quitting at this point is very tempting...luckily none of us are quitters. ;) The altitude has a weird effect on the body. Taking a 20 cm step forward made you feel like you´d just ran a marathon. You became very tired for almost no effort at all and it was going on like that for about 6 hours. Suddenly it started to get a bit brighter. You looked back and could see a silhouette of the mountain as the sun began to rise. We kept on walking and for every step we took the ground became brighter and brighter. At the point when we almost didn't have any energy left, the sun came. We all sat down to look at the sunrise and it was just breathtaking. Watching the earth´s curvature with all the clouds very far down and seeing the sunrise.... theres no words for that. As we all gained some more energy from the sun, we continued the walk up to the summit. This part was extremely hard but eventually we arrived to Stella Point, which was the first top we reached. We all sat down for a while to rest and while resting I began to feel nausea and five seconds later my small breakfast was lying on the ground in front of me. If you think this would change my mind to reach Uhuru Point (the highest point of the mountain), think again. We only had 45 min left of walking to Uhuru and i started to lose my balance. So the last bit I had to have help walking cause my feet wouldn´t obey my head (very weird feeling). Eventually we reached the Uhuru Point and for the first time in our lives it actually felt like we accomplished something great. Our minds was just overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts. We didn't stay for ver long until we began to go down again. Some hours later we were back to the camp were we began our last climb and everyone took a nap for some hours. After the nap we walked for about 4 hours more to reach a lower altitude before bedtime. The next day we came back to the hotel were it all started and we were all looking forward to a nice hot meal (we had pizza) and a hot shower. After that we passed out for a couple of hours before heading out to the night club. You gotta celebrate that you´ve been on Africas highest mountain, right? ;) Some pictures from the hike :) Truly an amazing experience that we most probably wont be doing again. Next stop...ZANZIBAAAAAAR!!! One team, one dream!