Once again, the order of these pictures is messed up. A lot of them are just taken during the hike, but I'll explain any that need clarification. When we got to the second camp, it was sunny, but extremely cold! In the picture above, Sarah and I were sitting outside trying to block the cold wind and soak up the hot sun all at the same time because the cabin was freezing! Below, is a picture of a butterfly that landed on the wood beside us. During the whole trip, there were thousands of butterflies. Little white ones like the one in the picture. Apparently there was a butterfly migration going on. I didn't even know butterflies migrated...I should look into it more..but it was sure pretty. A lot of the time it was like being in a snow-globe of butterflies!
We got to the second camp in the afternoon and decided to climb Little Meru since we had time. It's a nice little mountain, but it was steep and made us realize how big the real Meru is and the view of the trail we would take that night (pictured above) looked a bit scary to us. We started to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into since we were even a little nervous when climbing and descending the trail up and down Little Meru.
Sarah and Lilli on the trail up Little Meru. You can see our little camp below with the green roofs.
View from Little Meru
Salim is a crazy guy, but we couldn't have asked for a better friend and guide on this trip!
Sarah leaving her mark at the summit
Salim, Sarah, Lilli, and I at the summit of Little Meru. I forgot I had put the feather in my hair earlier in the hike and that's why it's sticking out of my head in this picture. A few things have changed about me since living in Africa, but I don't normally wear feathers straight out of my head..just to make that clear.
This is our cook (and guide), Samson. His food is amazing! He hiked up the mountain with it all on his head too and he's super friendly and fun. Our Swahili improved a little as we attempted to use it all the time with him. I tried to teach him how to smile big for the picture, but he told me that is only what wazungu (white people) do. So this was the best I could get.
I would find out later that Samson wasn't only a good cook, but also a champion mountain climber, encourager, and motivator. As embarrassing it is to admit this, he (almost literally) dragged Sarah and I up to the summit the next morning during the last hour. Every footstep and hand hold was found thanks to him.
Now we go back in time to the sunrise on our second morning. Salim, above, is holding the sunshine in his hand.
the view in front of us at sunrise.
the view behind us at sunrise
Beautiful Lilli and her blue eyes
Arrival at our second camp
Our "day 2" picture just before we started hiking.
Before leaving, we had delicious hot chocolate and tea to warm us up as well as a tasty breakfast made by our rafiki, Samson!
At least 2 or 3 hours of our hike on Wednesday was up stairs.
I tried carrying my backpack like the porters do it, but I only lasted 5 minutes.
Here are some porters passing us...
It's humbling to stop and let these guys trot ahead of you. They are the real heroes!