Day: January 17, 2023

Kili Day 3: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp via Lava Tower

After yesterday afternoon in the clouds, today dawns clear and we have sight on the mountain above our camp.

There are a lot of people here, and a lot of kit to be gathered up and carried by the porters.

Our team are ready for the day. It’s cool, but bright.

The morning was a long slog uphill – about 800m of ascent over 6.5km. The vegetation was getting sparser, but we had a view of the mountain to encourage us.

Not quite as processional as yesterday where overtaking was largely impossible, but a long ribbon of people snaking up the mountain. We were in awe of the porters carrying everything including the kitchen sink, while we just had daypacks.

Faith and Mary take a quick break.

As we got higher the clouds rolled in – not above us but around us – and the terrain became rougher.

We eventually reached Lava Tower, where they had erected the mess and kitchen tents (and our loo) so we could dine in “comfort”. It was decidedly chilly in the damp breeze so shelter was essential.

The Lava Tower could just about be made out in the mist. Finding the way down was also tricky!

The afternoon was a descent of some 600m on wet shale (“hike high sleep low” being the mantra for avoiding altitude sickness). On this side there was some pretty weird vegetation, made even weirder by the mist. Well, maybe mizzle rather than mist because we got quite wet despite not sensing precipitation – should have worn my waterproof not a down jacket! Also note that the photos are from GoPro as the regular camera was stowed away to keep dry.


It was still pretty damp when we reached our next camp, tents perched between the rocks, the walk to the toilet tent a short but challenging adventure!


In the safety of the tent I took off my socks and inspected my legs and feet. Sunburn from Ngong Hills still shining, and swollen where the socks didn’t compress them. Still, felt OK.