I AM SO EXCITED!
After months of planning, fundraising, researching, exercising, talking and thinking about it, there now seems to be less than a week to go before Innes and I set off for Africa to hike Mount Kilimanjaro!!
In the past couple of months, raising money has been at the front of our minds and although it wasn’t always easy it was a lot of fun. I am so grateful for all the help and support that I have received from friends, family and unexpected strangers in raising money and awareness for the charity.
Since we met our fundraising targets many other things have now taken over…
I am clinging onto the thought that you don’t have to be an athlete or super fit to climb Kilimanjaro. However, I have made a conscious effort and hope my countless trips to the gym, going on endless long walks, living on the treadmill, hiking in the Peak District and the Lake District and doing yoga will at least help me along the way. Fitness isn’t one of my favourite things to do so it’s reassuring to know that it’s not the be all and end all. All I know is that I want to fill my bag with chocolate and not energy bars.
My bags are almost packed which I am glad about as I have spent ages wondering how to be minimalist whilst having everything I might need. Filling two bags for different terrains, changeable weather, camping, exercising, going on a beach holiday and a safari is not an easy task to do.
Getting the kit together and figuring it all out was an adventure in itself. I made numerous trips, mainly with my dad, to Go Outdoors, Sports Direct, Mountain Warehouse, Craghoppers and Blacks etc. after doing endless online research. We even broke down on the motorway when trying to get a waterproof jacket, so I am glad that I finally have everything! Pink has been a current theme throughout and I have tried to pack the most colourful outfits, sticking with black would have been much easier but everyone needs a bit of colour in their life.
Half of my preparation for the trip has been done by reading blogs, lists and stories from other people who have done the climb as well as watching Go Pro videos, YouTube videos and documentaries. They have been so interesting and have helped me see what I am letting myself in for which I am still not quite sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing.
- Sorting medication and documents
Making sure we have the right medications and documents for the trip has been another thing to think about. My bag of medical supplies feels bigger than rest of the stuff on my packing list, but has to be taken just in case. After loads (and I mean loads) of phone calls and appointment at the doctors all the injections are done and dusted. Altitude sickness tablets were like gold dust and seemed almost impossible to come about.
- Home comforts
I am definitely making the most of having a comfy bed, running water and warm showers and don’t even want to begin to think about the toilet situation (or lack of) which is on its way. I guess we will cross that bridge when it comes. I don’t think I will realise how much I take them for granted until I have to go without them. My make-up and straighteners have been ditched as I have been reminded time and time again that it is not a fashion show.
- Independent travel
I keep forgetting that after the climb we are going on an African Safari and to Zanzibar, which is so exciting as a safari would be a dream come true. I can’t contain my excitement to go!!
There are a lot of things I am worried about, some big and some small but mostly all of them are outweighed by what I am looking forward to. Over the past month with my grandad falling ill my perspectives on things and priorities have changed, which has had me think even more that there is no better time like the present.
I can’t quite believe that the time is nearly here already. Saying I am excited and anxious would be an understatement. But, we are ready as we will ever be!
No more practice hikes, its time for the real thing!