From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Monday, November 5, 2012


Day 5 - 20th October 2012.
Barranco to Karanga.
Altitude : 3970m to 3995m.
Hiking time : 4-5 hours.
Distance : 4 km .
Terrain : From moorland plateau to cliffs and scree.

It was not a good night.
Could not really sleep , kept waking up, thinking about Kabir, and if he has reached safely.
(Well we got to know , he did, post 3000 m, he walked down 6 hours to the base, was in the hotel , had showered , was having eggs for breakfast, while we were waking up ,for a looooong walk )
Well I was very relieved as was everyone in camp...
He was safe and out of any danger...

Barranco camp ,while climbing the Barranco wall

Woke up finally before 6 am..
And put some some Michael Buble on ..
Really needed him to just just distract me with his honey voice ...

Breakfast today was omelette...
And can't even begin to tell you , how good an omelette with frozen peanut butter, and chunks of frozen butter smeared onto bread tastes...
Have also started drinking Milo, like my life depended upon it..
Well frankly if not my life , then my acclimatisation does depend on my liquid intake ..
So cheers to Milo...

Well today is a small trek ..
Just 4 hours...
Ha ha ha did I just say "just 4 hours" .. Yes please take me immediately to a hospital , it is definitely altitude edema ...

The Barranco Wall...
We had to go up the Barranco wall today ..

It was also Shallu's birthday..
But we all just kept quite , because in the morning when we wanted to wish her, "Shadrock and his rockers" we're still sleeping, as they work longer hours, they are the ones who carry everything up to the next camp , set it all up, start after us, and still reach , before we can say "Kilimanjaro" ...
So we all did not wish her, and just went about climbing the daunting looking Barranco wall..
But this climb was ok..
I'm not going to say that it was easy..
This big wall of rock, that you clamber through, and walk through, jump through, tiny areas and basically in an hour and a half you are done..
It's not super easy , but it is definitely happily do-able...

It was an amazing walk, because you are walking over the cloud line..
Actually above the cloud-line...

When suddenly a cloud envelopes you, and you suddenly feel freezing cold...
Well we have just been going up and down various hills and valleys and today after 4 days my calve muscles hurt..
Well I'm not going to start about my thigh muscles..
But it's all good ..

Through all our walks with our various guides, I have just been resisting the urge to ask my guide, " are we there yet?" ....
Jackson our guide, who I followed like Mary's little lamb..

Well only kids keep asking these questions, Zeke and Zene do all the time, when we are going somewhere ..

Today when I had my last hill to climb, I decided not to look up to my camp, because sometimes camp is no where in sight..
And today I had a very rocky trail ahead of me..

Barranco..The prettiest camp ...
So I decided to look down and across the paths that I had already crossed and feel happy about that, and just took one step at a time"pole-pole" and I slowly reached camp ...

Vikram said a very smart thing to us," Don't walk too fast that you need to take a break, walk at a pace that you need no breaks" and that's what we did, from the 2nd day onwards, as much as we could...

Since it was Shallu's birthday, we were all waiting for her to come, all the guides, porters, kitchen staff , everyone got together to sing and dance for her...
And slowly we all joined in..
You know it's kind of difficult to stop yourself from getting dragged into the infectious rhythm ...
Even though you are completely out of breath at this altitude...
We had an awesome lunch prepared by Rashidi...
And then they got Shallu a cake and sang , till every single person in camp was fed a piece by her, they kept singing "cakey-cakey-cakey"...

Well after lunch, I unpacked and packed my bag for the umpteenth time..
Got fresh clothes sorted for the climb..
Tomorrow night ...oh my god , it's already here...
This close..

And as it was a nice warm afternoon..
Was able to use deo ..
The little joys of life , on a beautiful mountain side...
And I also sprayed my favourite " Kenzo" hmmmm...
Now if only I could find a water-fall that was not freezing ...
Ok ok ...not asking for any more ...

We got into our tent , and Shallu and me were discussing , how scrambling into this tent , actually felt like we were coming home...
We arranged all we needed in the tent pockets , and settled our stuff..

And then we all sat in our food tent, and discussed what we wanted to eat, when we reached back down , and what we will eat , when we reach home...
The tent of immense knowledge and food ...

To mostly all of us , it was some form of dal...
Gosh we just kept talking about various types of food..
Vikram told us, quite in the beginning that this would happen...
And we had some hysterical laughs about various other things , I cannot remember now ..
I remember one thing, about all of us, we laughed like crazy...
And sometimes Vikram would say, craziness is a sign of Altitude Edema, and it's good we all knew each other, so would be able to detect it ..
Well we probably were all suffering from it, and that's why , the crazy laughter...
And thats that ..
It's no longer open to discussion ...

Oh forgot to tell you, we also do a huddle in the morning, and shout out "impododo" ..
Why ? Because it's a new word we learnt, and we love the meaning ....ha ha ha

Anish and Tara, we're feeling a bit under the weather, but know they will be raring to go by Tom morning ...
Yudi and me , continued singing stupid Hindi songs ..
Yudi and me...being completely FILMY...ha ha ha

And frankly it was just too much fun, never knew Yudi knew so many songs , and scenes with dialogues...
And I have switched to talking in Hindi, which in my opinion is pretty good, or then it could just be "altitude edema" , or then I have gone completely " keecha" or "crazy"..

Dinner was pasta and soup and , all we did is talk about food...
Dal , chawal, ghee, achaar, warm bed, shower...
Have not had a shower in 5 days, this now is a personal record , that frankly I want to break..
But then , I have been doing a "wet wipe bath" with freezing wipes, then deo, and then Kenzo that I love..

Well another night under the stars at Karanga, a brand new camp!
And the summit is just 11 hrs away ..

Mt. Kilimanjaro is actually a 11 hr walk from here..
It's been a tough 5 days, and my knees really hurt today..
So put violini on it, listened to music and decided to try and make a pillow , with another pull-over , since I have a crick in my neck..

Tom we actually try and "summit" ...
This has been fun , because of the company, but a tough journey , if I had to do this alone..
Its the energy of everyone together that pushes us all "skyward"...
No amount of info, can prepare you for this physical and mental journey, that you go through , once you are here..
It's amazing, but your legs just continue, it does not matter how far the camp is, it's like they have a map, and they just take you there..
En route to camp...

Your mind takes over , every other objection , your muscles may put up ..
Mysterious trails...

And your heart, it figures stuff out..
It's beautiful .

I'm just going to leave myself, in the hands of the one above and the plan he has for me..
I'm tired, very tired...
I'm sleeping in a sleeping bag, that's slipping down because our tent is on a slope, it's cold and my fingers are becoming like ice-lollies..
I went and cut all my finger nails so short, to avoid getting dirt stuck into them , and now they're too short to even clean, it's not cool at all..

What a day, my muscles are crying out, my right elbow hurts because of a past injury..
It's weird but any injury you may have incurred physically or emotionally, comes to visit you, when you are walking on a mountain..
Mr. Kili busy wooing me with pretty flowers..

I realised , all you have to do is keep walking , and it kind of stops, because , nothing and no -one can be with you if you do not want it anymore..
And Mr. Kili does not like it if , he is not of paramount importance..
So your aches and pains of life , just walk away, or stop ...

So, with the thought of the "summit" in my head ...
Can it get prettier...

Yawn.....I'm going to sleep ..
Tom is a brand new day

The OutCause Kili Cancer Team is supporting the Karunshraya Cancer Hospice.
Karunsharya means 'a compassionate abode' and that is exactly what the hospice is. Its a sanctuary that's offers support when a patient loses the comfort and security of a hospital as no further treatment is possible. They serve to bring peace and dignity to the patients life when the inevitable is close at hand. This institution that operates solely off the generosity of patrons such as yourselves,  have managed to help more than 12000 patients since their inception.

I am writing to you to humbly request that you and your close circle of friends please join the cause and help in the fight against cancer. The OutCause Team has pledged to raise money for this hospice so that they can continue their unbelievable work. Please reach out to family and friends and request that they be generous. All monies raised will go directly to the Karunshraya Cancer Hospice.


Patrons can make cheques out to the:
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The address for Karunashraya is:

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  1. every day of the summit is so exciting and you r a tough women i must say!! Is there anythng you cant do? you are truly an inspiration. i hope one day i am also able to go on such a summit.

    1. No i'm not tough...
      Far from it ..
      But some places , I just love to walk that's all

  2. Maria Maria.

    Are we there yet?? I hope this journey continues and I will nevr ask you that question. Ever. You've done kili and now take a break and then something else. Do it you dragon slaying, muffin baking red velvet loving, oh oh oh and mountain climbing zz hugging girl. It is also coming up to your favourite time of the year. Xmas. BTW was Yudi singing 'yu to hamne lakh haseen dekhe hain.. tum sa nahi dekha while u were posing. Thanks to you Mr. kili has been wooingus too with the lovely flaua and fauna and the breathtaking views. Waiting for day 6.

  3. Dear Sneha,
    Yup the favourite part of my year is coming soon..
    And no Yudi did not sing that song ..
    Posting soon ..
    Have a great trip

  4. Wow Maria,
    I read all your posts about Kilimanjaro at one go and i must say you are a one tough woman!
    Took me back to my memories of hiking Mt.Chocorua in New Hampshire a few months back. It was a steep, 9 hour hike. Thanks to the freezing temperatures we had black ice all over the rocks. finding out way through that ice with every bit of your body aching for help was all worth it as we reached summit. The view was breathtaking and for a few moments i actually forgot the pain! I also forgot all the mocking i faced as i had announced to my Indian colleagues where i was going for the winter journey instead of sitting in a hot tub and sipping some warm beverage! I forgot all the warnings about why a single girl like me shouldnt be roaming around the rocks and in a jungle all by myself and an american guide that i knew nothing about. It was all worth it in the end!

    but this lasted for a day and then what started was 10 days of limping, body ache and blood reports of vitamin deficiencies. My doctor laughed and said i had 'used up' all my resources.. haha and yet given a chance, i would do it again.
    and here you are doing this day after day, suppressing the pain and injuries that hiking is associated with. Kudos to you woman!! Keep Walking! Keep Experiencing!!