Monday, October 24, 2011

Preview - Kilimanjaro

Sunset the day before the ascent from Barafu Camp at about 15,300 ft.

Above the skies, above the pollution and above whispy, rolling fields of cloud,s the heavens above a truly magic. The incredibly bright moon, unencumbered by man's airborne pollutants shines down like an astral streetlight, lighting up the mountain trail before us as we scrable up loose rocks and volcanic scree. The stars, are bright lights, often being mistaken for the head lamps of climbers much, much further up the steep scree slope leading up to Stella's Point at 18,ooo plus ft.

I take the luxury of a short stop, hoping my body wont cool down too much to leaden my muscles, I look away from the path eastward. The morning sun is waking up. Above, up in the thin air, literally on the roof af Africa, a fierce blood red and golden yellow band stretches across the entire horizon in front of me, curving slightly across the horizon. The first signs of day break after an icy cold 6 hours in minus 15 degrees.

Up here, above the kingdoms of men and clouds, we are not welcome as guests by the god peaks of Uhuru or Mawezi. We are instead tolerated as slightly amusing pests, seeking visions of grandeur by attempting to scale the shoulders of immortals. The stars as always chirp their support but its the moon, with paternal warmth that today bathes our path with clear illumination.

Above and below me, hundreds of head lamps, form a human string of moving stars, all slowly in synchronized steps moving ever closer to the night sky above.

I grip my hiking poles harder, the biting cold is getting through my gloves and try to catch up with the rest. Behind the the golden band is slowly bringing light to the cold night. The cold wind swirls around my unprotected nose. My feet are still steady, the peak is close. Nice. Just a few more steps.

Not a bad way to spend a morning...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Best and FIRST Birthday Surprise Party

I'd like to thank the Girlfriend of Chindi who pulled off this two months worth of planning to catch me off guard for my 42nd birthday. It was of course held earlier as i was going to head out to Africa a few days before the big day.

My cupcake birthday cake basically has elements of the toys that are lying around the house as well as the Lego figures of me and the GF. What you wont see in this picture are the flyers with pictures of Cinderella, Beauty and Snow White hanging from the ceiling of Bubbles Bar (a testament to my gay magnetism or maybe it was just them hinting that i am a bit of a princess).

I really thought it was going to be just the two of us and one or two friends having quite drinks. To J, Ah Turner, Ah Chanzzzz, Ah Chongzzz, The Captain (thanks for that flaming shit), Ah Lim, The Tree Hugger, Ah Me, Aunty Yvonne, Az and the rest of the gang for working with the lil GF to pull this surprise off.

Nice feeling to have a surprise party. There's a first for everything. I would appreciate less of princess flyers. The Toy Story ones were fine.

I still havent grown up enough it seems....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Off To Africa

My first trip to the dark continent. bringing up memories of Gods mUst be Crazy, Roots, Kunta Kinte, King's Solomon's Mines and a whole slew of old school Safari movies (yes including Born Free) and yes i am that old.

So i attempt to scale Kilimajaro. My last endevour at that height therebouts (19,000 ft) was almost 20 years ago in Nepal when i crossed the Thronglar Pass.

Now with injuries to back, knees, ankles and some minght say my mind, i am taking this little jaunt up Africa's highest peak.

See you guys in two weeks time!