Someone told me before I left, that I would leave a part of my heart in Africa. I believe she was right.
And not for the reasons that I thought, I think.
I got down the mountain by a 2hour, painful, painful climb on feet that are so bruised, battered, and miserable. I think I mentioned before, but maybe not, I've lost a toenail, and will probably lose two thumbnails before all is said and done. Kili is not an easy climb. Period.
Then I was given a snack, and we waited roughly an hour for the 'ambulance'. Now, I said that endearingly, as they did get me down the mountain, but if I had been losing a limb, I'd have been better off cutting it off myself and risking bleeding to death.
The ambulance gets there, and it's supposed to be a much better trip down than the one we took up to the gate. It was... mostly. Mostly, it was a way OUT, and I had Goodluck with me, and I felt... safe. Which I hadn't felt since the night before. I wasn't walking well, my own two feet were giving me a hard time... and, on top of everything else, about midnight the night I decided to leave, I developed traveler's diarrhea. How's that for a GREAT time?? I took two immodium, got 3 Cipro from a guide, and thankfully, that business went away fast...
Because after the 45 minute trip to the gate, you have another half hour or so to Moshi, where you're put in another vehicle (this time one with AIR... omg, I was never so happy to see air conditioning in all my life!!!!). I was so pooped this time, I slept (and talked in my sleep... oh joy). And that time, Goodluck did not come with me. I was alone in this car with a complete stranger. That should have scared me, just a little, right? At this point, I had to trust my guides wholly and completely... I had no choice.
You learn to trust based on gut here. You have no choice. Thankfully, my gut has not steered me wrong.
I got to the hotel, tried to get wifi, phone... anything... to work to let my wife know I was down the mountain... I couldn't. I got in the bathtub... where I stayed for at least two hours, constantly refilling, dozing off, soaking off Kili grime.
It was only after that, that I was able to reach her and let her know that I was down the mountain, safe, and only minimally injured.