Friday, October 04, 2013

Tanzania: 5 more sleeps to departure

I have been checking and re-checking my lists and itinerary. I've already set my out of office email to start on Tuesday after work. I've set my work voice mail as well. This weekend Sharm moves (starting today) so I'll be cooking lunch for the moving crew and dinner for us and Sharm and her family. Lunch will be vegetarian peas and rice with sides of pan fried fish. For dinner, one of Trent's friends who is helping with the move wants my curried chicken as payment. So tomorrow I'll be spending most of the morning and likely the afternoon cooking. I already baked a cheesecake for Sahana's birthday which is tomorrow. She'll be 9!!
I hope to go out on Sunday to Miami for a 14.5 km hike with the +Prairie Pathfinders. The weather is supposed to be quite nice - a high of 16C- and dry. Yes you read that right. Why go to Florida when there is a beautiful Miami in Manitoba? Then it's a Fall supper with turkey and all the trimmings. We had a feast when we went to the Rae Trail several weeks ago followed by a community supper at St Claude. I couldn't believe how organized everything was and the desserts! WOW! At least 8 different kinds of pies but alas I could only taste a couple because I was famished and had a great turkey dinner.
TO top it off, there was a box outside the hall on the lawn with quite a few spaghetti squashes that someone was giving away. So I got a big one which I cooked a week later. If you've not had spaghetti squash, it's wonderful. Tastes almost the same as flour spaghetti without all the calories.
I am looking forward to the Fall colours. Manitoba in September has to be to most pretty time.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Tanzania: 6 days to departure

This is my second week of taking my once a week malaria meds. I did not have a reaction to it last Thursday but Monday night I started getting stomach pain (one of the side effects) that lasted till this morning. I don't know what taused the pain but it may have been the meds. Perhaps it worked out of my body by this morning only to have to start another pill tonight.
I packed almost all of my gear into my duffel bag which now weighs 25 pounds and it barely fit and that's without a sleeping bag and mat. I brought up my large suitcase and of course the packed duffel bag does not fit into the suitcase. I also have a separate bag for my safari and Zanzibar which weighs 15 lbs. I'm now up to 40 lbs. 
I have one of two options: 1) I get a larger suitcase (which I have) to put the packed duffel bag and my safari bag into; 2) I empty everything from the plastic bags that are now in the duffel bag and the safari bag, pack everything into the suitcase and re-pack my gear into the duffel bag when I get to Kilimanjaro. 
I am limited to 50 lbs total weight so the larger suitcase cannot exceed that weight anyway. How come I didn't read about this on a single blog post or climb website? I must have watched at least 2 dozen YouTube videos as well but nowhere does anyone say how to get all your gear to pack small enough and limit all of it to 50 lbs.
Trent offered to lend me a down-filled sleeping bag (I was going to rent one in Kilimanjaro but I am not feeling confident about the ability of the sleepign bags there to keep me warm). Tomorrow I'm going to try the larger suitcase and pack all my stuff into it and hope that it doesn't exceed 50 pounds. Wish me luck or I'll be wearing one set of clothes for 8 days! No. No. No. No. No. That is not even a possibility. I'll make it fit.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Tanzania: Temperatures at various elevations

What can we expect on the mountain in terms of +Kilimanjaro weather forecast? We'll start out at about 30C (87F). As we start to ascend, it will get progressively colder roughly 1 degree C for each 500 metres upwards.

The forecast for the 8 days that we'll be up there is somewhere in the range of 10C (50F) on the first day to about -6C (21F but will feel like 10 with the wind-chill) on summit night. Now these temperatures may not seem that cold but we'll be out there for 8 days without benefit of a warming hut or open fire. And on summit night, it'll take us about 5-6 hours to reach Gilman's Point and another 1.5-2 hours to reach Uhuru Peak. So that's almost 8 hours of those temperatures.

Donna (one of our group members) said that her daughter's friend summited last week Friday in near blizzard conditions. We can only hope and pray that we won't have to contend with that, but we are prepared.