Final countdown to Kili

Monday, February 12, 2018

In less than a month, I will board a plane to Tanzania.  It is hard to believe that a Sunday night tweet in September would bring me to 5895 meters.  I thought I would send you an update as to what I have been doing to prepare.  I tend to overplan things because like any good Girl Scout, I like to be prepared.  There is still plenty of time for you to borrow kit, book flights, and get your jabs though if you are still thinking about signing up.

Starting to put essentials into my suitcase.
Since I last checked in, I have been sorting out my kit and vaccinations.  I made £400 on eBay, selling stuff we had around the house but didn't use.  Not only was my husband happy because we were less cluttered but I saw my Kilimanjaro fund increasing. I also started asking my outdoorsy friends info if could borrow things, like hiking poles, gaiters, and rain gear.  These items I knew I would only use once, so it seemed silly to purchase them brand new only to store them under the bed.  For snacks and a waterproof duffle bag for the porters to carry, I hopped on Sport Pursuit to see what great kit they had on offer (you seriously need to join their flash sale website). I ended up with Bounce Balls and protein cookies to satiate my sweet tooth mid-climb.  It is going to be hard enough without Diet Coke- I can't imagine doing it without chocolate!

Walk-In Clinic reception area
The vaccines turned out to be a bit more complicated.  You can read about my experience at the Walk-In Clinic, where I reviewed in detail with the GP what the risk factors were if I got sick on the side of a mountain in Tanzania, in addition to my upcoming trip to Thailand.  Over two appointments, I ended up with three jabs, one fizzy vaccinated drink, and a prescription for anti-malaria tablets.  These treatments were divided up over two appointments to avoid lots of shots (which could result in sore arms) and one vaccine had to be ordered in.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to the anti-altitude sickness pills so I will not be able to bring them with me.

Plane ticket confirmation
My flights are now booked, which makes it seem like this is really happening.  I found flights for about £600 on Kenyan Airlines using Google Flights.  The outbound overnight flight made it very tricky not to be traveling for 24 hours straight just before some serious physical activity.  Hopefully I can catch up on my sleep the day before we start our ascent.  I could have found a cheaper flight if my work had been more flexible with time off.  But £600 is less than what I pay to go home to USA so not too bad on my travel budget scale.

I am excited about my new boots.  Oldland is not.
Doing research for this trip, I found A Walk in the Park and Kilimanjaro:Tips for the Top books to be insightful.  Both describe other trips that people with little to no experience climbing big mountains have taken.  These contained a lot of the stuff I wanted to know.  How bad are the toilets on the mountain?  Will I be able to get enough sleep?  How cold does it feel at night?  How many spare batteries will I need?  There are many blogs out there too with similar info.  I have also started looking through the Swahili phrasebook my mom got me for Christmas.  I am posting seven mini lessons up on Instagram if you would like to learn a few key phrases.

"Thank you"
We have our Facebook group set up for the women on the trip to get to know one another before we set foot in Moshi.  I am also still working with Ellis Brigham for our discounted shopping night in London for all the women who register for the trip.  This will be the perfect time to talk to experts about our trip and select exactly what you will need, while sipping on some celebratory fizz.

I would really love to have you come along.  The deadline to register for Kilimanjaro is 20 February, so this will be my last email to you about the trip.  If you have any questions or want to discuss logistics, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  Please remember to use my name as a referral to receive your free gift worth £30 posted to you or I can bring it to Kili for you.

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