At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Mt. Meru hike day two... the next level!

If you missed day one, you will want to start reading here...

Because of our late start on day one, we had not arrived at Mariakamba Hut until about 6:30pm Monday evening. The first day hike had not been that strenuous and we were feeling pretty good. We had done about 9 kms (5.5 miles) uphill, rising in altitude 915 meters (3,000').

Our ranger Dominic had set a fairly slow pace and we weren't doing much more than 2 km/h. They really stress that you need to go slowly for proper acclimatisation, and a higher chance of success of achieving the summit. 

We got to bed at about 10:45pm that night. The accommodations were better than expected, but the walls were paper thin and one of the Russians in the room next door snored like a freight train. I don't understand how people who snore can sleep themselves!

Unfortunately, due that, we did not sleep well. Not only the snoring though. They stress how important it is to drink lots of water, but that means getting up during the night two or three times to go pee! So you're supposed to drink before going to bed, and drink as soon as you get up. And while hiking, so we each had to carry 3 liters of drinking water while hiking.

Day two was going to be a shorter hike of only 6.0 kms (3.7 miles), but much steeper gaining 1,077 meters (3,500') in altitude. Also, there was an option to do an extra 3.0 kms (1.8 miles) before dinner to further acclimatize, and we fully planned on doing that. 

So starting off tired was not an ideal situation.

We were woken up at 6:30am. The porters bring bowls of hot water to your room to wash with, as well as a hot drink. We had a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or fresh ginger tea which is very popular in Tanzania.

Clear view of Kilimanjaro at sunrise.

And a nice view of the summit of Mt. Meru.

Kilimanjaro at 7:20am.

7:30am we headed to the dining hall for breakfast.

They feed you really well! Our cook always made too much food. Too much is far better than too little!

Breakfast starters with millet porridge (not my favorite, but I ate it!) and fruit.

Breakfast main course of eggs, sausages and cassava flour crepes.

It was a good breakfast and we had full stomachs to start the day! They also give you snacks to carry along the hiking route.

We left the camp at 8:30am, and arrived at Saddle Hut at 1:30pm. So it took us 5 hours to do the 6 km (3.7 mile) hike!

Here are some photos of the route...

Heading uphill!
Can you see the female porter coming up behind us?

Yet another view of Kilimanjaro.

Now she is ahead of us!

Me and Dominic.

View of Little Meru Mountain.
The plan is to rest at camp, and then climb Little Meru that same afternoon!

Zoomed in on Kilimajaro.

Our guide Mudy, with Ruth.

Scenery along the way.

Again, we were doing this part of the hike with our guide Mudy and new friends Spencer and James and their guide, as well as our ranger Dominic.

We didn't see as much wildlife on this part of the hike, but he greenery and vegetation were still beautiful, as well as some of the views.

Another porter heading up faster than us!

Lots of interesting vegetation.

Heading higher.


Heading higher, with a view of Mt. Meru summit.

About the half way point at 10:50am.

Me, having a snack.


Another mushroom.

Change of vegetation.

Taking another break.

When we arrived close to the Saddle Hut, there was a distinct change in vegetation. Besides that, there had been a forest fire through here in 2015 and things are only just starting to green up again.

I made some notes when we arrived, and one of the things I said was that my hips were a little bit sore, and my feet were a little bit tired, but other than that I was feeling really good. 

We relaxed for a bit while lunch was prepared.

It was after 2:30pm when we had lunch.

Lots of these White Necked Ravens around.

So after lunch we did the hike up to Little Meru. It took us an hour going up, and about 40 minutes coming down. Besides the views, this is a good hike to get your system used to a little more altitude.

Saddle Hut.

View towards  Mt. Meru which is in the clouds.

Scenery along the way.

The trail that we came up.

Mt Meru cleared up!
That is where we will be heading in only a few short hours!

Views near the top of Little Meru.

We made it to the top of Little Meru at 5:00pm.
3,820 meters (12,533 feet).

Mudy, Kevin, Ruth, Shabiru.
Mudy and Shabiru will both be accompanying us on our summit attempt.

The trail we will be doing in the early morning in the dark.

Heading back down.

We made it back down and had dinner between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Then we had a half hour meeting with our guide Mudy, where he prepared us for what was to come. Then it was time to go to bed! We would have a 4 hour sleep and then be awakened at midnight. Then we would have a half hour to have a quick "breakfast" at midnight, and then another half hour to get all dressed up in our layers and winter gear and then set off shortly after 1:00am for a five to seven hour hike to the summit at 4,566 meters (14,980 feet) .

It all sounds very strenuous... and we were about to find out just how strenuous.

Stay tuned... next post, the summit attempt.

Nice deal on this Home Workspace Office Desk.

And in Canada...


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Connie and Barry! There were some gorgeous views along the way. :-)

  2. Would love to see the dude/dudess who carried the picnic table up there on their head. WOW!

    1. Lol, I know right!

      We found out that everything was carried up the mountain to build the second camp (Saddle Hut), everything! We can't even begin to imagine the manpower that it took to do that!

  3. Wow! Reading these posts with baited breath!

    1. So glad that you are enjoying our posts! :-)

  4. Replies
    1. Actually the first two days of hiking weren't bad at all, neither one of us were exhausted and we really enjoyed both days, it was the third day that was the killer! That was definitely a challenge and a half.

  5. Loving your adventures, would like to have tried this in my younger days

    1. So glad that you are enjoying our posts!

      There are still older people doing this hike but out of the groups of people we saw we figure we were most likely about the oldest, although there may have been one or two Russians that may have been close to our age. It is definitely a hike you need to be good and fit for!

  6. I am so excited about your adventure and can’t wait until the next post. I would love to be with you. At least I am with you through your post.

    1. We are so glad that you loving our adventures, especially on this hike.

      Through our posts you can feel like you are here and see all the beautiful scenery without having to endure the physical work we are going through with the hike, lol. :-)

  7. Quite the Adventure. Great Pictures.
    Looking forward to pictures from the summit.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, it is definitely an adventure and climbing Kilimanjaro will be even more so.

      You won't have to wait long, Kevin has already posted our third and hardest day of hiking, we hope you will enjoy it.

  8. Is the hike only humid at the beginning? Are you experiencing high humidity in Arusha?

    1. Yes, and I don't know that we would even say that it was humid, it certainly didn't feel like it even though we were in a rainforest.

      No, we haven't experienced any humidity in Arusha. Kevin actually mentioned last night as we were heading to bed how dry it felt.

  9. So exciting to see and hear about your adventures! Cannot wait to see if you make the summit. Crazy hour to get up and climb. Stay safe!

    1. We are so happy that you are enjoying our posts. Kevin has the next post up already, so you don't have to wait long. :-)

      They get you up at that hour for a few reasons, one because it is a long day of hiking. Secondly they say the night air is better for your body and for climbing. Thirdly, if it is going to be a sunny day you will be out in the elements more, the even if it is chilly the sun is very strong. Lastly, I think they do it so you don't see too far ahead at what you have to do to get to the top, you might just want to turn around instead, lol.

  10. What a gorgeous hike! Sorry about the poor night of sleep the night before. I can't sleep with noise of any kind, so the snorer would have made for a tough night, plus the bathroom trips. I have found that I can usually survive one bad night of sleep and be just fine the next day, but if it continues for more than one night, I suffer. I am hoping that you got better sleep this next night!

    1. It was a gorgeous hike, we really enjoyed the day.

      Kevin is very much like you, I think I may be a little better than that but not by much. Thankfully it was only that one night with the snoring guy beside us. However our next night wasn't a whole lot better because we had to get up at midnight and with bathroom runs during our "four" hours of sleep it really wasn't a good sleep either.

    2. Good earplugs is the solution. Fifteen years of boondocking next to airports,
      railroads , freeways, Mexican fireworks and loudmouth animals taught me that lesson.

    3. Kevin has tried several different kinds of earplugs in the past and hasn't found that it totally takes away the noise but it certainly helps dull it down. I had ear plugs with me but I forgot to pack them in our gear for the hike.

  11. I am loving your adventure and amazed at the variety of food that they hauled up there. You sure are well taken care of. Thank you for your detailed posts.

    1. We are so happy that you are enjoying this adventure. :-)

      It really is quite amazing the amount of food that they carry up and the fact that it is all cooked on one burner. Brasili, our cook did a fantastic job feeding us with good food and a nice variety of it.

  12. Loving and living vicariously through your eyes! Can’t thank you enough for your detailed posts and photos. Glad to see you are really well fed and watered. I would have loved to try that cassava flour crepe. I felt dizzy and headachy as I was reading and imagining your hike to Little Mt. Meru. Lol! How in the world could you do a more strenuous hike with only four hours of sleep?! You guys are truly amazing! Bravo!

    1. We are so glad that you are enjoying our posts and experiencing this adventure virtually through our eyes. :-)

      They definitely feed us well! It is very important to a successful summit to eat lots and drink lots and our guide and waiter/porter kept on us about this.

      Lol, Little Meru was a piece of cake compared to "Big" Meru. I am not sure that we even got out of breath, we are made to go up slow and easy and it really does make a huge difference. Mt. Meru was a totally different story. As we were climbing Mt. Meru on our summit night/day we couldn't figure out how we were going to do it either! We are very proud of our accomplishment.


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