I cannot remember how and when the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro took hold. It might have begun as a vague thought sometime this year, but it’s a dream that’s been taking shape for the last few years, ever since I did the high-altitude trek in Ladakh in August 2003. That was the start of the mountain madness, and the weekend treks in the mountains on the outskirts of Bombay only fuelled the mania. Moving to Dubai in 2005 put paid to that obsession, but only for a while. And now, Kilimanjaro beckons.
There couldn’t be a more curious bunch than the four of us who are doing this trip. Alpha and I have known each other for close to 4 years, through our blogs, then through emails and then the surprisingly lengthy phone calls. We’ve never met, although we’ve been in the same city on one occasion, and in the same country, another time. She’s tried her match-making skills on me a few times, unsuccessfully, I might add, and I’ve asked her for recipes a few times, which she still hasn’t parted with.
I know Pi, her husband, only through her (expectedly biased) posts, and I don’t know much about Nai, the 4th member of our troupe, other than the fact that he was Alpha’s classmate, and of good character - as I was repeatedly assured by Alpha when she tried to book us into the same room. The last ditch attempt at match-making might just have borne fruit, except that Nai’s wife wouldn’t hear of it. So separate rooms it is.
We still have about 7 weeks to go before we meet up for the first time in Nairobi. And a busy 7 weeks it’s going to be, with training, gear shopping, and of course, regular blog updates at The Kilimanjaro Blog. Your comments and encouragement, are welcome as always.