Shira 1
Shira 2
Shira 3
Thursday 30/12/04
Happy Birthday!!!

Last night it rained and it rained and it rained. There was water dripping into the tent and the noise of the thunder and the lightening kept us awake until very late (or very early depending on your point of view). Managed to fall asleep eventually. It could have been worse. I could have been in my own tent that Ludwig was using. Putting it up the previous evening was the first time I had put it up for 6 months or more and I had forgotten to attach the cover that was positioned at the top of the tent. Without this cover the tent was not waterproof, in fact it was worse than not waterproof because water seemed to collect at this flat section at the top of the tent causing a waterfall in the tent. Of course if you have a tent to yourself you sleep in the middle which is exactly where the water was coming in. Needless to say we learnt from that mistake and it didn't happen again. The following days we also cut drainage channels around the edge of the tents to carry water away should it rain again. We had neglected to do this which made our situation in the tents worse.

Nevertheless we woke at 7:15. We could see the tents were filthy all over from splattered mud - that's how strongly it had rained down. Thankfully it had stopped raining.
We left at 8:45 to head for Shira camp at a height of 3840 metres.
Shira 4
Shira 5
Shira 6
The route to Shira camp was steeper than the previous day but still pleasant and relatively easy. We settled into a steady pace. The vegetation was less dense now and there were a lot more rock outcrops to the left and right of the route. We reached Shira camp by 11.30. The usual routine of putting up the tents (and digging drainage channels this time), sorting out our stuff . We let the tents and our sleeping bags dry out a little as they were still damp. It was still 15 degrees centigrade, even at this height (3840 metres) and a slight breeze helped the tents dry.

Had some tea and coffee and Sigi, Joe, Ludwig and I (Dieter was sleeping) walked along the route we would be taking about 1.5 km as the crow flies to a height of 4070 metres, approximately 6.67 km from Uhuru peak. We knew this because my GPS device told us so.
On the way up we had passed a young porter. On the way down we passed him again noticing he had not made much progress and that he was having problems with his load. He seemed very lethargic and his pulse was weak (maybe slightly exposed too  - it was cold there). We assumed he was heading for Arrow camp but he would never make it today.
Shira 7
We decided to return to Shira and inform Gideon (our guide) and get him to call the camp above to fetch their man. Further down before Shira camp we came across 4 or 5 porters and it transpired that they were looking for a porter who had 'missed' his camp (Shira 2) and had carried on unknowingly towards Arrow camp. They were 10 minutes walk away from him (he was up the mountain) but they were not moving just waiting. It might have been hours before they had found him.

We returned to camp and had an early supper at 16:30. Drank lots of tea. The weather had cleared up a lot. There was the occasional patch of fog but otherwise it was warm and pleasant. We just hung about outside talking as it was too early to sleep. Later in the evening we wandered around the campsite before retiring to the tents at about 20:00 .Could not sleep. Got up at 21:30 to go to the toilet - a good sign of acclimatizing (as is drinking lots). Could see lots of stars but it was difficult to tell where the constellations were (Ludwig and Joe had joined me to star gaze) as they were in different positions to what we were used to. I wouldn't have known even if I was at home. They agreed that we could see Sirius which was very bright. I believed them.

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