At 8.30am, we were collected from our hotel by Evans Mwangi (our guide), Frances (our cook), Frederick (the driver of our 4×4) and a couple of passengers to drop off en-route. The journey involved a quick stop at the equator (sign marking this at the point) for photo opportunity and puncture repair! We also stopped for a long lunch at Nanuki, a small town at the base of Mt. Kenya. Meanwhile Evans and Frances collected supplies for the climb and our porters, FIVE (!) wonderful men who would carry the food and our heavy rucksacks! Once all the introductions had been made, all packed into the 4×4 and headed for the Sirimon Gate to Mt. Kenya.
Not including the stops, it was approximately a three hour drive from Nairobi to the Sirimon gate (2,500m). From here we were meant to walk to the first camp but, as we were a bit behind schedule, we drove most of the way and walked for 1/3 of time allocated for that day, i.e. one hour. Starting our walk at 2,800m it was a gentle climb through rainforest on a beautiful sunny day to Moses Camp (3,300m).
Moses camp has the largest suggestion box we had ever seen though none of us contributed anything to it. Important features of the camp (hut) include:
- the most amazing views up the mountain to the summit and down over the Aberdare plains;
- a number of dormitories with bunk-beds;
- a long corridor with tables for dining;
- 2 indoor flushing loos (with large gaps in the wall to the outside elements);
- washing facilities in the form of outside basin with freezing cold but clean mountain water;
- note – no electricity;
Frances and helpers prepared us a delicious dinner of steak, vegetables and roast potatoes. As there is no electricity for lighting and we were exhausted, we hit the sack at 9pm. We had a dormitory to ourselves, which was just as well as we got a fit of the giggles a couple of times and hooted with laughter on a number of occasions. Part of this was due to the fact that it was freezing cold (-10C) and we were swapping suggestions about keeping warm.
RECOMMENDATION: BRING THE WARMEST SLEEPING BAG, KNOWN AS A 4 SEASONS BAG, WITH HOOD; REAL THERMALS, INCLUDING HAT.
Another moment of hilarity ensued after one of our party informed us of one of her travel tips – knotting used underwear so that you know you have worn them!!