A Pair of New Boots… And a Countdown

I did it. I bought my hiking boots for Kilimanjaro.


As I’ve said earlier, Mount Kilimanjaro has been in the back of my mind from before we even moved here, and the idea of standing on The Roof of Africa before we leave gives me goose bumps. Not that we have plans to leave anytime soon, but just in case.

The boots are pretty much it so far, but nevertheless it feels different now. It feels like I’m in. Let the countdown begin. I have seven months to go till that fateful first week of September 2012.

No reason to fret yet, other than a nagging feeling of now needing to start a new blog counting down the days, like everyone attempting a Kili ascent seems to be doing. And finding a worthy cause on behalf of which to now start collection donations.

Well, I can barely keep up with this blog, so for better or worse you’re going to have to put up with me making the occasional Kili post right here. All I’ll consent to is creating a new category called Kili Trip which you will find on the right under Topics of Interest, should you wish to follow my Kili musings directly. I know I know, not one of the most creative names for my new venture, but under the new motto of Pretty Good is Good Enough found in my New Year’s Resolutions, Kili Trip will have to do for now. So, no thanks, special Kili blog. I see it just like a vacation home: Some people love to have one, or several, but to me the only thing that comes to mind when thinking of a vacation home is: “I’ve got to take care of ANOTHER one of those?”

The reason I bought the hiking boots now rather than later is twofold. 1) They were on sale at the moment, and this being South Africa, where shoes of any kind are inordinately expensive, shoe sales demand your immediate attention. And 2) they should be broken in before the trip. I have plans to put them on in the mornings and walk to school with the kids (and perhaps even carry their bags, though definitely NOT on my head), but for the week I’ve had these boots, they have been sitting in the closet and the kids have been walking to school by themselves. See, that’s why I bought them so early, so that I could have plenty of time to procrastinate.

I also bought a day pack.


The day pack is the only reason I, who is not known to want to go hiking, ever, am even contemplating this crazy undertaking. Let me explain.

It seems like scaling a mountain, and not just any mountain but one of a certain magnitude, is something one should have on one’s bucket list. Well, I’m never going anywhere where my toes will freeze off or where I’ll have to scale sheer rock or ice faces, so most of the eligible mountains are already not making the cut right there. But Kili, being close to the equator, doesn’t seem all that threatening. And what’s best of all, this being Africa, a Kili expedition comes with plenty of help. Mainly this means someone else is going to carry my bag, leaving me with just a little day pack for a jacket, water and camera. For the rest we were told to pack a duffel bag, which the porters will then carry on their heads.

I cannot wait to take a picture of this, because I’m still working on a “Africans carrying stuff on their heads” post.¬†Except they will probably be way ahead of me jogging up the mountain, and I will never even see them.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I’ve put on the hiking boots. If I start this early, maybe there is a chance they’ll be broken in by sitting at the computer and writing my blog.


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