Kilimanjaro Climb – Day 4: Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

Day 4: One more day: Barranco Camp – Karanga  Camp – Barafu Camp 4600m – 9h

Luckily I managed to sleep quite well after the bad news I had heard the night before. That’s what I didn’t really need, another night without sleep or rest.

At the dinner last night I kind begged for 2 headache pills from Max. I had a small headache and I knew it was about not drinking enough water. I promised to him that I will drink more water and got the magic pills. Morning  came and the headache was gone. No other symptoms of high altitude either. So I was ready to go!

We arrived late yesterday and did not see THE BARRANCO. Or the Wall. It was a chilly morning and we all were waiting for the sun warn us a bit. And to warm the feet to cause the wall was damn impressive. With cold feet, you might slip and.. Let leave it this way. Never heard of people dying on Barranco Wall. Never searched on Google either. Too scared to do that. I think. Luckily, as I was saying we did not see the Wall yesterday. Otherwise, nightmares!!

Baracco Wall Kilimanjaro

The climb of the Wall was about to take us one hour and a half to two hours. Wasn’t that hard. Wasn’t that dangerous. But there are some points on the climb when you actually kiss and hug the rock simultaneously. It’s like instead of kissing a hot girl you kiss something cold. Like dead. Cause a wrong step and you are, dead.

There is no break time on Barranco Wall but after 2 ours of slowly and cautiously climbing with a heart rate above the limit a well deserved break comes on the plateau! Amazing view again, no camera again. I felt so bad and said for not taking photos! But I have to keep the batteries alive for the final climb. If I will manage…

2 hours up, followed by 1 hour going down! A decent descent, but what goes down must go up! The climbing path in front of us is so..long to put it this way!  Don’t know why, but for me this part of the ascent was the most difficult one. I had a small break every 10 minutes. To drink some water and to rest a bit. The last meters were done so slowly and finally I manage to make it to Karanga Camp. 15 minutes delay from the group. But I wasn’t the last one. 3 more persons were behind me. It was not a easy ride for the rest.

For extra acclimatization day, the climbing day ends here. For us it’s only a lunch break. I am already at my highest point ever reached, above 4000m above sea level. Feel a little proud, but there is not time to celebrate my little success. Yet. For the first time in 4 days I am not hungry. I barely manage to eat half of a bowl of soup and some potatoes. Seems that at high altitude you lose your appetite. That’s an excellent diet method! Live above 4000m and you might lose weight!

The landscape slowly  turns into semi-desert. Even if we are at 4000m altitude its very hot. The sun is very strong and lucky I put some sun cream on my face at the previous camp. Otherwise, some burs would have had appeared.

Sun is becoming stronger as we approach 5000m. We go pole, pole. 3 days and a half of climbing and tiredness is here. And I know the day is not over yet and I have to save as much energy as I can.

The desert view is brilliant. Everything is almost red. With some patches of gray and  white on the top of  Kilimanjaro. We cross a valley and the route is not that exhausting. Final part of the route is a bit difficult, but we had worse in the previous days!

It’s 5 PM. Tea break in UK,; the 5 pm news on a Romanian TV station; stupid and crazy topic news. And I am at almost 5200m. Call that stupid or crazy! Today we had been on the road more than 9h. And the day isn’t over yet!  Barafu Camp is our last camping before the ascent. And here I am.

The tents are already installed and 30 minutes rest its about to come. I am not allowed to sleep or to rest right now, but I don’t care. Rules are to be broken and I am damn too tired to follow them. The wind is so strong that I barely manage to sleep a bit; that noisy it is!

Next is the last supper. I hope not in this life. I feel I am privileged to have dinner at such a high altitude!  Nobody has any appetite, strength to smile or energy to talk. Everybody is probably trying to save as much energy as they can. I hardly eat anything, again. Today I think I survived with air and water. And some chocolate bars. Got some British brand; so good and I felt bad again because you can find it in the middle of nowhere in Africa and they are not available in Romania, in the middle of Europe!

Everybody wants to go to sleep. We have less than 4 hours to rest before the final ascent. But Max is very slow today. Food comes late, he comes late to check our blood pressure and our oxygen level. Maybe he is tired too. He was running up and down all the time during the ascent. Don’t know from where he has so much energy!

Finally, we have the green signal! Go to sleep and try to rest a bit! First, I got dressed in the climbing clothes: 2 pairs of socks, one pair of paints,  2 T-shirts, one mountain jacket, the gloves and the cap. So cold it is in the tent even with all this clothes dresses! Don’t want to think how it is outside. My mind is so clear as its the air outside.

I only manage to sleep 2 hours. At midnight Charlie-Charlie comes. It’s time he is saying. Not Good Morning as in the rest of the days..Yes! It’s time to kill the bastard, the Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Peak!

Sorin Inside Tent

by Sorin

Sorin is a freelance travel writer. He is an experienced travel writer and traveller. Since 2012 he explored more than 60 countries on 4 continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Currently is based in Romania after spending the last 7 years in Myanmar.