Wow, this has been an amazing experience so far. The trek has gone so smoothly and I really like everyone who I am climbing with. The trek started at around 11,000 feet and the summit is at 19,300ft, so we will do about 8000 vertical feet over the 7 day ascent. The scenery here is really beautiful. Every day as we climb higher, the flora and fauna change. At the beginning, we started in a damp rainforest climate with lots of song birds and colorful flowers. On day two, we entered into the ‘cloud forest’. Still damp and wet, this has less fauna and a lot more moss and shrubbery. The next day, we continued through the cloud forest and began entering the drier climates. Full of volcanic boulders and mossy alcoves, this part was really unique and beautiful.
So far the trek itself hasn’t been too difficult. The days are certainly long with 6+ hours of hiking, but the steepness is tolerable and I’m not having any problems with altitude. Everything morning, we have a medical test to make sure our blood oxygen levels are higher and our blood sugar is up. They also perform this test before we go to bed. The guides set a good pace and make us take water and snack breaks every 20 minutes.
The food on the mountain has been SPECTACULAR. Far exceeded my expectations. The porters make us a hot meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast always consists of a porridge or oatmeal with brown sugar and bananas. Lunch varies every day, but it always starts with a soup. Thus far, we have had spaghetti, baked chicken, fish soup and sandwiches. And dinner, similar to lunch, changes every day. But everything tastes really good and keeps me full all day long. Plus every meal has hot chocolate!
The camping has also been very comfortable. When we arrive at our campsite, the porters have already set up our tents and placed our sleeping bags and mats down. The tents are prepared for the heavy night winds and stay surprisingly warm. We also have a bathroom tent with a bucket and water for us to use. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the accommodations we’ve had. I certainly chose the best expedition group on the mountain. We’re living like kings!!