‘Jambo! From the Kilimanjaro song, meaning hello, welcome to my blog!
My name is Carol, and almost 2 years ago I decided to revisit a nemesis of mine, and attempt to climb Kilimanjaro (and this time reach the top!) Prevented from reaching its heady heights in 2011 because of a blizzard, I returned in February of this year, reaching the roof of Africa at 09.00 local time on February 11th. I undertook this as a personal challenge, to prove I was finally fit again after fracturing my back in 2015, but it also seemed like a good opportunity to raise money for a good cause.
I have an adopted brother / friend / general tormentor who has had MS for 10 years. He often eggs me on to do crazy things (while he sits and drinks tea), and so I gave Ian the chance to choose who I raised funds on my wee jaunt up a mountain. He chose Josephs Court, which he attends twice a week.
I walked the Northern Circuit – 53 miles over 9 days ascending ultimately to 5,895m above sea level. Kili is an amazing place, not only formed from 3 volcanic ones from a large dormant volcano, but also playing host to four very different biomes. You start in rainforest where if you’re lucky you might see Blue and Colobus monkeys (I did)! Then up into Moorland and Alpine Desert before finally reaching a moonscape like environment at the summit. So there is plenty to look at to try and take your mind off any pain!
And there were times of despair! Fighting the fatigue and breathlessness and blisters, with no hot shower at the end of the day can wear you down mentally. But the songs, jokes, laughter, scenery and the peace from my usual hectic days made it all worthwhile. And who knew that mint imperials could become worth more than hard currency by Day 5!!
My biggest tip for fundraising would be to do regular updates if you are using a site like JustGiving. Most of my donations (~80%) came in after I posted an update, with almost 40% coming in after the event itself! I am giving a couple of talks in return for donations, so there is still some more to hopefully come in, but so far I have raised £1,200. Well worth a few lost toenails and some blisters!’
You can still sponsor Carol via her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Carol-Cotterill1