Follow the adventures of Kirstine who walked the Te Araroa Trail, a continuous 3,000 km walking track from Cape Reinga to Bluff, New Zealand from 29 October 2014 to 19 February 2015. Other adventures include climing Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro, mountain biking in Rwanda, trekking with gorillas in DR Congo and many more.
Mar 15. Mintos Tarn (4200) to Meru Mt Kenya Lodge (3000). 1200 meters descent.
0900 - 1130 (2 hours 30).
I had to get up once during the night and
the mist had cleared revealing the impressive stars again. I was cold when I
got back in my sleeping bag but once I had cinched everything tight and added
an extra hat and jacket I got back to sleep.
Today was a late start so I was up at 0800.
Breakfast was Porridge, Sausages, Omelet, Pancakes and fruit plate. We left at
0850 with just Zachary and I while the others finished packing. The route was
well defined but rocky path through volcanic terrain. The Gorges Valley was
below to the right and at one point we could look at where it dropped off
steeply with a waterfall coming down the steep face. The vegetation was sparce
and still alpine and I could see how big the mountain plateau is. We continued
dropping and entered some scrub which was hip heigh.
Looking back up Gorges Valley to the peaks
There was a couple being guided up by
Jerimiah who had escorted me from Nairobi. They had a guide and 4 other people.
David and Basta caught up shortly after and we continued to the camp that was
an option for me yesterday. It was pretty uninspiring tucked in the scrub and
limited views so I was glad I opted to stay by the tarn yesterday.
Now we were on a dirt road for another 7 km
to the Mt Kenya Lodge. At the Lodge we had one chalet to ourselves. There was a
lounge area with a fire, a kitchen and a room with 3 beds and a bathroom. The
guys lit the fire for the water heater and I had lunch while waiting. Lunch was
baked beans which had been jazzed up to taste really good with onions,
courgette and some other things. This was served with noodles.
This is the normal fruit plate
Looking back at the mountain
Once the water was heated I had a shower
and washed my clothes, putting them outside to dry but keeping an eye on them
as Zachary had mentioned monkeys around. The guys disappeared to their accommodation
elsewhere in the camp and I relaxed reading.
At 1500 David served afternoon tea of
popcorn and digestive biscuits with hot chocolate.
At 1800 was dinner of Buttercup Soup, a
vegetable stew with chipati bread and a fruit platter. The camp caretaker lit
the fire and lamp. As Zachary was explaining the plan for tomorrow it started
to rain quite heavy and I was glad I was not in my tent anymore. The guys left
and I spent the evening curled up in the comfy chair reading.
I went to bed and discovered that the bed
was really narrow and I had to be careful not to fall out. There were sheets
and blankets but it was cold so I stayed fully dressed and had a hat on and my
hot water bottle.
Mar 15. Meru Mt Kenya Lodge (3000) to Nairobi.
I was up at 0630 and this time packed all
of my stuff into my own pack. After another huge breakfast we left at 0730 and
walked 20 minutes down the road to where the LandCruiser was waiting. The weather
had completely cleared and it was warm and sunny. On the way there were Hyena
tracks quite fresh on the road.
David, Zachary, me and Basta
We were in the Landcruiser for nearly an
hour driving down a dirt road which was in much better condition than I was
expecting. For much of the descent the vehicle engine was off and we just
Just a little mist blocking visibility. Luckily this only lasted for 10 minutes
Interesting Paint Job
Once in the town of Chogoria I said goodbye
to the crew and Alex drove me back to Nairobi taking 3 ½ hours.