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Sunday, 26 September 2010

And now it's all over.....

Those of you that are reading this blog still, my apologies for the fact that I wasn't able to maintain daily updates...the signal wasn't as reliable as I'd hoped.

By now, you're probably reunited with your loved ones off the mountain, being regailed with stories of; 'pole, pole', long drops, skree running, d & v symptoms, how the comic relief bunch were 'molly coddled' up the mountain etc. etc. Enjoy these tales & realise what a profound affect this last week has had on all participants.

Now to the fellow Trekkers. It has been, without doubt, my greatest honour to have shared this Kili experience with you. Regardless of the heights scaled, Gilmans, Uhuru or the bottom of the mountain, you......we.....should take time to reflect on what we have achieved, and be proud of what it represents. Increased funding for Velindre, improved research into Cancer treatment & ultimately more cancer survivors......as life savers, we are heroes.

A special bond will be shared by us forever & I take great pride in calling all of you friend.

Let's make sure we keep in touch and maintain the memory.

Jambo, sante sana.

G xx

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sorry it's been a while

Currently lying in a tent, contemplating another day's walking!!

The signal has been really intermittent, so don't know when I'll be able to blog next.

Everyone is doing well, the 8 hour (mostly uphill) walk yesterday was a killer, but they're really looking after us with the food & we're getting plenty of rest.

2 days until summit day. Today is all about practicing on the skree slopes of Mawenzi in preparation for the terrain around the summit.

Yours in successful su..... Oh hang on, 1 more thing......

......long drops (holes in the floor used as toilets) are the worst thing in the world!!!!!!!

Yours in successful summiting.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

All in the hotel safe & sound

After a few false starts, the group was re-united this evening at dinner.

The briefing we had confirmed that we are in the most capable of hands. In addition to the Ultimate travel trek leader who has years of experience, we are also accompanied by a veteran of over 75 Kili ascents, a GP who has first hand experience of Kili & a team of local support staff and porters that make their entire living from assisting Kili ascents.

So if you are a family member of one of the group who has concerns of safety etc...... don't! We couldn't have a better team of people taking us up to the summit!

The hotel (hotel Impala) is of a quality that none of us expected.... Shame we're only here tonight & Friday night!

Lots of tired heads tonight after such a full travel itinerary over the last 2 days, so it's an early night, early start tomorrow.....& then the work begins!

To a successful summit.

Friday, 17 September 2010

And the first problem is.......

For about 15 of our group, today just got longer! :-(

The company delivering the internal flight have messed up the booking, consequently the unlucky 15 (would give names but not sure of all of them at the moment) will have to either:

a) Take an 8 hour coach journey

b) Wait until 8pm tonight for a flight! (it's 8.44am here, we're 2 hrs ahead, not 3 like in the original correspondence)

All in all, not the best of starts, but spirits are still high!

Flight one complete!

Well we're in Nairobi!

Lots of travelling still do, 1 more flight and a bus trip before we make the hotel.

Then early start tomorrow for another 4 hour bus trip...... after which, we finally start hiking!!!!

And they're off......

After about 2 hours of registration, we're finally on our Cardiff double decker bus on our way to Heathrow.

I note that everyone is taking this trekking lark really seriously and rushing for the top deck to maximise altitude exposure!!

Loads of faces I've not seen before..... Sure this is going to be the experience of a life time! All in high spirits......let's hope it lasts.

To a successful summit.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Twas the night before Kili.........

I have to say that my 100% excitement has now changed to 50% excitement and 50% trepidation......I know that when I set foot out of the door tomorrow morning I will be starting a chain of events that will ultimately end up with me on my knees sobbing like an overgrown baby, either because I have made it to the top of Kilimanjaro in aid of Velindre and in memory of my mum (and will be feeling that little bit closer to her), or because I haven't made it - and whilst I'll know in my heart that I've given it everything I have - I'll also feel like an abject failure and will feel that I've let my entire family (including my wife, son and unborn child) down.

Bloody hell, how morbid was that....anyway, I wont focus on that, bottom line is that me and my 50 new friends will be conquering Kilimanjaro. One way or the other, that overgrown volcano is coming off second best against us, the only way any of us wont make it is if the medical team stop us!

Normally a shy and retiring introvert I'll be doing all I can to get myself and everyone else up that 'molehill' - and you can help! I've asked the gang to invite friends and family to communicate with us through this blog, so feel free to post comments on my most recent blog postings and I'll do my best to get the message to them....think of me as a fat, bald Davina out of Big Brother!!! (only my bum doesn't look as good in leggings!)

Any way....here's to a successful summit!