Is climbing mountains supposed to be this hard?

Trip Start May 18, 2011
Trip End Aug 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Carnelly's Camp
What I did
Climbed Mount Longonot

Flag of Kenya  , Rift Valley,
Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today I climbed Mount Longonot. I thought it would be a relatively easy task. I was wrong. Mount Longonot is an extinct volcanic crater at 2200 metres ish high. The climb to the top is 4.5km, I know because I used my iPhone to track my progress via GPS. It was a hard 4.5km. The terrain is STEEP and the ground is made of a powdery sandy dust type substance, which means you take a couple of steps and end up falling back one.

I had again taken a Matatu to get where I was going on and doing so stocked up on some supplies for the walk, including some ginger biscuits and a strawberry yoghurt drink.

When I eventually made it to the top I was tired, sweaty and ready to eat my energy providing snacks. Unfortunately the heat had curdled my yoghurt, so it was ginger biscuits and water to keep my going. On my way up I had seen people covered in the afore mentioned sandy dust substance and I just discounted this as they had fallen over. So once you reach the top you can then take the trek around the creator, which is supposed to be around 10km, but can't be because in total I only walked 14km all day. After speaking to a few people I decided to walk the steep short way, for the long easy walk round and then down. This is where I gained my understanding of the dust covered people. At points you have to use all fours to scale the heights and by the time I had reached the summit I looked like I had been on the beach. It was pretty spectacular at the top and thoroughly enjoyable. However I was in a significant amount of discomfort, my new walking shoes were starting to give me blisters, and I was only just half of the way around.

I was joined at the top by a group of Kenyans on a church group trip. They were very friendly and I walked the rest of the way down the crater. This started off well, but I soon went quiet and just had to concentrate on ignoring the huge blisters forming on my heels.

The church group left me for dust, but I caught up and the base of the mountain and they were kind enough to give me a lift back to Naivasha town. I headed back to the hostel and went to work on getting my feet back into some kind of decent shape.

Besides all the moaning about my poor little feet I really enjoyed the day on the mountain, however it’s probably put pay to climbing Mount Kenya, my feet won’t recover in time, gutted! Perhaps I’ll go back to my original plan and do Kilimanjaro, even though it is twice the price of Mount Kenya?
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