Tag Archives: africa

Bucking Barranco!

Climbing the Barranco lava wall of Kilimanjaro was by far the highlight of our week-long ascent up Africa’s tallest volcano – that is, after the final leg up to the summit via Stella Artois Point. It’s the bucking bronco of Kili – as it’s easy to get thrown off it as it’s so steep (!) : a 300-meter sheer wall (or so it seems at first)…

Here she is:

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Read on: What? Up that?…

Conquering Kilimanjaro.

Now for some detail on our expedition to the top of Kilimanjaro: pics, commentary, impressions and debunkings…

Ready, steady, go!…

Day 1: Lemosho Gate – Mti Mkubwa.

  • Altitude: 2400m > 2800m
  • Distance: 4km
  • Average speed: 2km/h

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And we’re off. Ahhhh, so nice to be in Africa at Christmastime. With Moscow under a foot of snow and Western Europe wet and cold and miserable, what better place to be? :)

Our first day was suitably equatorial to get us into the African spirit…

Read on: Five days and one night to the top…

Flickr photostream

  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024
  • Japan / Jun 2024

Instagram photostream

Ho, ho, ho: Kilimanjaro!

At Christmastime (“ho, ho, ho”), what better to do than… climb a volcano in Africa? That’s what I asked myself in November of last year… 

…Wind forward six weeks, and there I was, at the summit of Kilimanjaro!

“The first stage of altitude sickness is euphoria: the individual becomes animated, excited, amiable, chatty… almost ecstatic. The second stage is lethargy: the person becomes despondent, sad, bored, subdued and sluggish, with no wish to converse and no appetite.”

Those are the notes I wrote based on the talk our guide in Tanzania, O.R., gave us not long after our arrival in the country. But I think she left the next stage out (she didn’t want to frighten us, after all); so let me add it: The third stage is fatal: a swift worsening of one’s physical and mental state and… hmmm, like O.R., I’d prefer not to go into it. Let me just mention what you’d need if approaching this third stage: oxygen mask, injected medicine, and a call to an SOS medical helicopter service – all ASAP.

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http://instagram.com/p/BAZe3gQuiQI/

Read on: Oh my Google Maps! What an adventure we had…

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Going bananas.

I always believed bananas fell into one of three categories: ripe, unripe, and, well… fried :) Of course, there are also normal size bananas and mini ones (much tastier).

A visit to Tanzania literally opened my eyes – it turns out that the whole banana theme is far bigger, convoluted and diverse than I imagined.

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This is the view we got of the roadside “fruit and veg” stalls:

Read on: Truly amazing berry!…

New Year on Kili

Hello to everyone in this new year!

I hope the holidays went off well, without too much collateral damage, and that the winter break has proved useful for the mind, body and cultural development. All the usual stuff. But now it’s time to return to my tales, travel notes, reports and photos.

Starting the year as I mean to carry on – quietly… Yeah, right!

You need to start the year with a bang! Like this:

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No matter who I talk to about Kilimanjaro, they’ve either been to the summit (the majority) or intend to go there in the near future (the minority). A few days ago I joined the majority – on 31 December 2015, to be precise, I stood at the highest point of this volcano. And saw in the new year on Kili!

Due to Internet and time constraints here, the details will have to wait. For now, all I can do is have a little moan about the fact that for this kind of expedition you need to prepare well in advance and very thoroughly. It wasn’t easy.

My Gabon–Israel–France–Monaco Grand Prix.

Haven’t been posting here for a while. The reason being that last week turned out to be horrendously hectic – without a single minute to spare for putting fingers to keyboard. Now for a bit of catch-up…

From last Monday to Saturday I managed to visit four countries on three continents: Gabon, Israel, France and Monaco. To do so six flights were necessary – on average one per day. Now, I’m no stranger to tight-schedulism, but last week was just daft: such all-out non-stopism is just too much for the body and soul. It took me the whole of the weekend after to get back to normal again.

All the same, though there wasn’t time for writing – there’s always time for snapping. Herewith, then, a quick photo-textual report of my very own international Grand Prix last week, split up into the four respective ‘laps’…

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Read on: First stop – Gabon…

Morocco: +1.

Salam folks!

My list of the countries in the world I’ve been to has just had a +1 – Morocco. My total now comes to 72, including Antarctica. Kind of sluggish plusses of late being added to this list, but I guess that’s mathematically unavoidable the longer the list gets, and of course the list takes no account of the multiple repeat trips I make to a handful of countries…

So here I am in Morocco – in the city of Marrakesh (sometimes referred to as Marrakech, but never Marakesh/Marakech!). We had our annual European Partners’ Conference here. We normally have this somewhere on the European shores of the Mediterranean, but this year we fancied having it over the other side of that pond – on African shores. The conference was great – dynamic, fun, useful, interesting and entertaining. And an F1 replica racing car was present for the occasion.

But that’s all you’re getting re the business bit of the trip. Now for the cultural bit…

More: Morocco – a very interesting place …