Day 3: Kilimanjaro Begins!March 8, 2011 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
Machame Gate, 1490m ASL
Up early to collect our hire gear and check out. On the bus by 8:30am before the 1.5 hour drive to Machame Gate.
Signed the registration book, took a few photos and headed off into the morning. We were paired with a couple our age - Tom (UK) and his girlfriend Sarka (Czech), plus a late 50s Canadian man named John.
The early stages were steep but smooth, definitely a vehicle track. Mostly rainforest and jungle terrain - very hot and humid, but thankfully no rain! Couldn't see much scenery due to tall trees and haze. Ate our massive packed lunches in a small clearing while marvelling at the porters going past with heavy backpacks and massive sacks on their heads.
Eventually the rainforest gave way to regular forest as we ascended, and we reached Machame Camp at 4pm. Had a bucket wash and some tea & popcorn before socialising with the others. Dinner was massive - soup, fried potato, fried fish, vegetable stew and boiled cabbage. At sunset, the haze suddenly blew away and we had a spectacular view of Uhuru Peak, 3km above us.
Once the sun was gone the temperature dropped sharply so we retreated to the warmth of our tent. Feeling tired from the day's exertions and not daring to brave the frigid temps outside, we went to bed around 9pm.Read more