All I could hear was the beating of my own damn heart. I stare blankly at my feet as I use all the energy I can muster to continue putting one foot in front of the other. I continue to ask myself the same question over and over in my head. “Will this be worth it?”, “I should have gotten a job a McDonalds”, “Why am I even awake right now”. I was in so much pain that I hadn’t even realized that the sun had started to peak over the curvature of the earth and illuminate the mountain before me. I lifted my head and turn around to see a line of people marching up this “hill”. I turn back around and look up to the sky and I see the summit. It wasn’t even two-hundred yards away. Suddenly all of my energy was restored and I began to pick up my pace. And that walk became a jog, into a run, into a face plant… only thirty feet from the sign that marked the tallest point in all of Africa. I picked my self up and sprinted towards the sign so that I could be the tallest person in all of Africa for just one moment. And I was. For that split second, I was at the peak of Africa.
I can promise you that there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the sun peak over the edge of the world as you stand at 19, 500 ft. People are hugging each other, giving high fives, and attempting to take photos without taking off their gloves. People are crying, and looking around just to take in the beauty of the world from so high up. Everyone started taking their last photos and packing up their bags. As much as I would have loved to stay at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro for forever, I could barely breath. I threw on my backpack and began my journey down the mountain.
Let me put this in perspective for you. We woke up at midnight to start the climb up, and we reached the top at six. It took us six hours to reach the top, and it took me thirty minutes to hike back to camp. Thats crazy!
This was not the end of our trip, but it was of course the pinnacle of the journey. We spent the next four days hiking back and during that time all we did was reminisce about the time we climbed the tallest mountain in Africa. This goes to show, Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. And trust me, Kilimanjaro hurt like heck.
This is my first of many blogs about trips that I have been on and places that I recommend, but let me tell you that if you travel to Tanzania and climb Kilimanjaro, you will not regret it for a second. I have grown so much as a person, traveler, student, and child of God. I will never stop recomending this trip and I will continue to talk about how it has affected me in future blogs.
Peace be with you always-