Day 4 was not my day. Despite the ascent ahead of us looking quite tame from camp I didn’t feel confident from the off. The 4 hour average sleep time was starting to take it’s toll on my motivation, my muscles felt heavy and the thought of carrying any weight on my back was unbareable.
Concious of how far we’d come and how much further we had to go I reached for the poles in attempt to take some pressure off my knees. With no energy to front a brave face I kept convo to a minimum and attempted a slow and heavy plod.
An hour in, at our first rest point of the day it all became too much. Not wanting to dampen the spirit’s of any of my team members i spotted a rock with my name on it. Poles down, bag dumped and my body slumped it felt like game over.
Two big deep breaths and along came the boohoos as I tried to focus My blurred vision on the plains of Africa 4200 metres below. Thanks to my sunglasses it took a while for anyone to clock the mini meltdown. As stunning the view was it was all too overwhelming to take in and added to the sinking feeling in my heart.
Five minutes in to my internal toddlers tantrum and Dad’s 4th attempt of trying to get my attention to smile for the camera he realised I was in need of a back pat and pep talk. Having been by my side for every mountain meltdown prior he knew exactly what to do…take the piss and get me laughing (whilst sneakily emptying my back pack of any unnecessary weight and filling my face with energy tablets).
A good ten minutes of shouty swears and insults later, it was time to move on. I’d had enough of the poles, they felt like a hindrance so i strapped them back on my bag, hit shuffle on the playlist and hopped back to it.
The landscape continued to become more desert like and baron with the temperature feeling noticeably cooler from here on. Sneak peeks of the summit from behind the clearing cloud kept spirit’s high and flatter terrain encouraged a faster pace.
Energy and motivation fully restored we started the descent to camp. Tough on the knees and lower back I took my sweet time admiring the views and learning about the cactus from our guide.
The entire day had been tough on us all. It was evident that we were all missing our loved ones. Despite Dom’s best efforts to connect us all via his portable wifi, the lack of easy contact was affecting morale.
I did however manage to receive news that my just giving page had reached 555 and had some amazing support messages from home come through.
Day 5 promised excitement and fear for all as we attempted the Baranco wall!