I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance
For better or worse Kilimanjaro beckons. This weeks learning points include:
- Carrying my 15Kg rucksack on 90Km of test walks this week has proved it's possible, but also really heavy! Water is the real culprit. 2.5litres of water is obviously 2.5Kg and as it stands there is no room for my Salomon Speedcross 2 shoes, that I hoped to take to go running
If it is really too heavy after day 1 I'll transfer some contents into the porters bag, which is currently weighing in at only 1.5Kg (Sleeping Bag, Peanut Butter and Nestle Power Bars !!)
- I understand that I need to take my Yellow Fever Certificate with me, I could be refused entry to Tanzania without it
- As a UK citizen I should really have purchased a visa before hand, but living in Switzerland this is impossible. I can't wait to the discussion this is going to generate at Border control Tanzania.
- British Colonialism has thankfully left us with UK electricity plugs in Tanzania
- You are best taking the US dollar to exchange into Tanzanian Shillings. Today Monday September 28th 2009 I USD = 1.305 TZS .
- I found out that you should be hiring 2-3 porters per traveller. Also they do not carry water. Water is obtained from mountain streams and purified by the cooks and then again probably by us. A porter should be carrying no more than 15Kg of your stuff, and no more than 25Kg total.
- My tests with 2nd generation Solar Powered battery chargers are the failure I had predicted. Once your phone and speaker battery is depleted a solar panel is not going effect a convining recharge, only a mains socket.
- Raidlight rucksacks and Carbon fibre poles are sufficiently fragile that I'll place them in a purposefully unattractive cardboard box box for air shipping. I'll discard the box on arrival. It's a nice gesture to donate some of your kit to the Porters or Guides at the end of your trip so there is less of a need to think how to bring it back.
- In addition to Powerbars I've settled on Kumquats as the ultimately practical trekking food. Since you eat the whole fruit including the skin (only the pips remain) and they are absolutely delicious. If you like oranges you will just love Kumquats.
- Due to peer pressure I'm taking a more cold weather gear than I would like. The dilemma is that no Google'd article or Guidebook is sufficently clear on the temperature profile at this time of year. When we get back we'll blog the real story. Did we need those big fat ski gloves and thermal trousers or not!!