The thing about climbing a mountain is that once you’ve reached the top, you have to come back down. All the way back down. In this case, it was approximately 15 miles and while we took seven days to get up, the opposite trip was accomplished in one. Some members of our group felt that the downhill was actually harder than the up. No matter what your stance, it had to be done. Along with our guides, gear, porters, and some much-needed sustenance, down we went. All the way to the gate where our journey drew to a bittersweet close.
It must be said that it takes an entire team to get a small group of hikers up the mountain. Guides provide key details about the days ahead and serve as fearless leaders (and sweepers) on the trail. Chefs work magic in a small tent, creating dishes that could be on the menu at most restaurants. And porters do the thankless work—carrying all tents, water, food, and other supplies shared by the group along with the hikers’ bags and their personal items. How do they carry so much, you ask? Well with their heads, of course. They truly are supermen. So while we were the ones receiving the congratulatory high fives on day 8, the team that supported us were the true victors. How many men does it take to get six hikers up Mt. Kilimanjaro? Twenty. And I am thankful for each and every one of them.
Photos have been added in the tab above. Enjoy!