Our first morning on the mountain. Breakfast consisted of porridge, toast, fruits, eggs and sausages – but the porridge was no ordinary oat porridge. This was ragi porridge: purple-grey, lumpy and formed a thick skin if you didn’t eat it quickly enough. However, it was deliciously sweet and filling. It you ignored the colour and texture, I found it a wonderful start to the day.
We set off around 8.30am to the next camp – Shira camp (3830m), where we arrived around 3pm. The scenery was definitely no longer thick jungle; but moorland with lots of rocks and shrubberies, and occasional spindly tree. We were now above the jungle cloud line, and got some spectacular views of the clouds which looked waves in a vast white ocean. To the right of us was the spectacular Shira Plateau, a series of high ridges.
After our arrival popcorn and tea, we went for a short altitude hike, which we also did the night before. This was just a 30min walk upwards to help acclimatise. On this little walk we went past a cool cave, and got a glimpse of Kibo (what the peak area is called) between the clouds. It was really exciting to see the peak properly for the first time!