These posts are a little out of order but I am trying to get all the cool stuff in here so hopefully its not too confusing. Yesterday, the day after the visit to the Maasai village, we climbed Mt. Longonot, a dormant volcano. We drove about an hour and a half to the mountain and on the way we could see it in the distance and it looked menacing! Huge! Once again, like a big ski mountain in NH or VT. We started the climb and only about ten minutes in I could already see giraffes on the side of the mountain to my left. They were really far away, probably 1,000 feet or more but it was still really cool to see wild giraffes. We climbed all the way to the top and I took my time going up so that I could take in the view of the Rift Valley and the other mountains in the distance. It was really steep and much more of a workout than the Ngong hills. I used my walking stick that I got from my Maasai friend and that actually did help a lot. By the time I got to the top I was exhausted but it was all worth it because just as I came over the peak the mountain opened up into a huge crater (the original top of the volcano). It was absolutely breathtaking. The circumfrence of the crater was 10km around and our guide said it would take 4 hours to walk around the top because of all the peaks that we would have to climb up and down. There was smoke coming out of the side of the inside of the volcano and I did walk about 25 minutes over to check that out from the top.
The view from both sides was absolutely amazing… We spent about 45 minutes hanging out on top, taking pictures and eating lunch. When we all went to trek back down, me and Wamai were the last two on top and Wamai went an opposite way then everybody else and pulled me along. All the sudden he was running down the mountain! jumping off cliffs and avoiding boulders it was crazy. He is nuts! He told me to come run with him so I did for a while, almost breaking my ankle twice and then when we got to a really steep slope I stopped and watched him fly down the rest of the mountain. Me and Emily, who started running with Wamai and I as we ran by her, struggled down this steep slope as Wamai shuffled down it and then kept on sprinting. She went ahead and I stopped to sit on a rock and look at the view. I was searching the side of the mountain for more giraffes but I couldn’t see any. There was such a peaceful silence up there. I was all by myself on a mountain over looking the Great Rift Valley in Kenya! I tried to let that sink in while I listened to the silence that has been such a rarity on this trip.
It was broken by the sound of Asha and Sara-Kay laughing as they slid on their butts down this steep slope. I got the whole thing on video it was hilarious. After they passed I started climbing down with the last group that passed me. We took our time going down and noticed a pack of about ten giraffes all eating leaves off of the trees on our left. It was so cool, I got some pretty good shots of them and Avery got some awesome pictures.
We finished the climb to Wamai filming us as we emerged at the bottom. He had been down there for about an hour waiting for us. The climb was incredible and the views are truly once in a lifetime sights. I’m glad I captured them on camera so everybody at home can see what I was able to. These two climbs have motivated me to hike and climb more. I want to come back and do Kilimanjaro some day because I heard it is long but not that difficult and I also want to hike in the US now. Aunt Kathy if you are reading this, Katie and I are definitely coming to hike that mountain that you can see from your house I’m so excited! Mom, Dad, Erin, and Julie we should go up to Attitash or some mountain in NH in the summer and climb it I think it would be awesome. Maybe we could stay with uncle Tom or something. Chile will be awesome too, I wonder if I’ll be able to do any climbs in the Andes.
Alright I have to go wash my clothes now. Night everybody!