Day two started at about 6 am. Our porter, one of the nicest guys I have ever met, Adam, brought us our birdbaths and we quickly washed our hands and brushed our teeth. Now before you get disgusted, that was about all we could do. I mean as soon as our hands touched the water, it was pretty much over. And honestly, I could have cared less, my teeth and hands were clean, so I was good. After we packed our gear we set out for breakfast.
I am not a coffee drinker, but the coffee on the hike was amazing. I mean, it wasn’t special, just an instant blend, but I really enjoyed it. I keep trying to re-create it, but turns out I don’t like coffee under a certain elevation. The rest of our meal consisted of a thin porridge, fruit, toast, and a dry egg. Breakfast of champions, I tell you what.
The terrain changed drastically that day. Where we had been on soft dirt, we were now pounding away on sand and gravel. The path, while clearly cut and for the most part clear, had rocks and boulders scattered in it. Parts of the path reminded me of tall, raised, cobble stone roads, but rustic and even more imperfect than you can imagine.
The best part of the day was the view. After about an hour of walking, the path completely opened up, and we could see for miles. We wound up the mountain, and it was absolutely breathtaking. As we walked, the clouds moved to meet us, and eventually were at eye-level. And then, just like that, we were above them. Crazy. It was crazy.
As we traversed, we chat with our guide, Salimu. Poor guy had no idea what he was getting himself into with us. I don’t know why, or how we got on the subject, but we spent a lot of the day sharing American fairy tails with him. It was actually really fun to share the stories of Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella with someone who had never heard them before. After hearing a few, Salimu told us a story he grew up with – and you know, I was in my happy place listening to his story.
He told us the story of a prince in search of a bride. He said the Prince wanted to make sure that he married someone who was genuine. He sent a call out to all the women of the land and told them to plant a flower. The Prince was to go and check on the flowers after two days, and the girl who grew the most, best flower, would be his bride. All of the ladies cheated except one. She was chastised by the other ladies, but she stayed the course, unwilling to cheat. She of course had the worst flower but of when the Prince came around, he saw the effort, the love, and the dedication she put into her work and he picked her.
I loved it. I loved that he laughed as he told us the story, forgetting and remembering parts. He had the best laugh. A dad laugh, if that makes any kind of sense. Salimu is just the best.
About five hours after starting the days hike, we made it to the second camp. At about 12,200 feet, Horombo was my favorite camp. It is situated on a cliff and with the clouds below you, you feel like you are on top of the world. It is mind blowing to stand on the edge of the world and know that what got you there was you. Times like that are rare, times when you think – hey, I am actually living right now – those are rare, beautiful moments.
SO, when we got to camp, we were greeted with my friend’s bag – thank the Lord. Our tour company was so kind, and had the bag carried up the mountain so my friend could be comfortable. She was incredibly happy to have everything she had planned to have.
After doing an acclamation hike to a point called zebra rock, we went to dinner, had a lovely meal with our friend the documentarian, and then hit the cabin for some much needed sleep.