This is a great story by Ian Kutschke and his day-to-day experiences on Kilimanjaro. I recommend anyone planning to climb Kilimanjaro to read this entire story.
Day 1 “Pole Pole”
I awoke to the roar of a truck engine rumbling down the street. It was 5:45 AM It would be a while before the alarms Lizzy and I had set would go off. My beautiful wife lay restfully in her bed. The day before she had magnanimously offered to pay for half of my ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. The cost was too high for one of us to go let alone both of us, but she knew that hiking up Mount “Kili” was a goal of mine ever since I read a hiking magazine that my brother sent me two years ago. Mount Kilimanjaro is a “walk up”, no rock climbing gear necessary. I love hiking and though I have done a bit of indoor wall climbing, with all the gear and some outdoor rock climbing, walking in the bush and over mountains was more in my element. With the loosey goosey run-around-town-style of organizing that is characteristic of lots of tour organizations in Africa, our tour operator had me trying on boots and gear and then Lizzy and I running to the bank finding US$ to pay for park fees. Now it was morning and we had to get the day started, as we were to meet with our tour organizer at 9:00 AM.