They did it!! We received a text at 8.30 am telling us that Audra, Annemarie and Paul had made the summit, it read:
We did it in eight hours, bloody tough but worth it. Feel a bit sick and got a bad head. Got an eight hour walk to next camp now, love to you both x
I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to get that message. I was so proud of them all I could burst and immediately text back to tell them how bloody amazing they were. It was so great to be able to text home and let all their families know that they had achieved something so awesome.
News came later that everyone except Scotty, Megan and Claire had made the summit and I really felt for those guys, knowing they were so near and yet so far. I hoped that Scotty and Megan wouldn’t beat themselves up over missing out on a photo by a piece of wood and that they would focus on what they had achieved at such a young age.
Karen arrived during that morning and we all gathered round to hear her story and see how she was. It was clear that it was no party up there and Karen was shell shocked that she had seen a lady at deaths door on the trek down. We heard later that someone had died that day and it seemed more than likely that it was the lady Karen had seen.
I felt for Kim who had stayed on the mountain and made the summit on her own having had Donna, Paula and then Karen taken down from her group. At least Annemarie and Audra had each other.
We excitedly made plans to go to the Marangu gate to meet everyone as they arrived back and asked the main man from the African Walking Company to make sure we were there at the right time. The day went by in a bit of a blur to be honest and I can’t really think of anything that happened. I had developed a chesty cough, not surprising really given the amount of chest infections around me, so when Helen took herself and Embesi off to another more local hospital to check out what facilities they had I decided to sit by the pool, the weather having made a turn for the better.
My ipod got a good airing that day as I switched my ears off to all going on around me. I couldn’t wait to see the others and I sat wishing the day away.