Sounds of zippers opening and closing filled the night air at Simba Camp. It seemed everyone was visiting the toilet tent in the middle of the night. Staying hydrated on the mountain is critical to staving off the effects of altitude sickness, but it comes at a cost of frequently needing to empty.
The morning breakfast call had all 24 climbers fitting into a large tent complete with chairs, tables, and all of the normal table setting needs. Meals on the mountain were amazing! No dried food packets on Kilimanjaro! Soups, chicken, fish, rice, noodles, desserts, and all, typically, more than we could eat. Luckily the porters didn't mind finishing the leftovers.
Our hiking speed was regulated by the guides. The Swahili motto on the mountain is "Pole Pole" which means "Slowly slowly" in English. Expend too much energy today and it won't be available tomorrow. Day 2 on the mountain took us from 8,858 ft to our camp at Kikelelwa Cave at 11,811 ft and over 5.6 miles of trail.
We made several stops along the way to take in the views and to have lunch. They set up the lunch tent for us to eat, and then broke it down and carried it on to the evening's camp site. This really is the way to camp! As the days ahead would prove, walking was quite enough to concentrate on as we got to higher altitudes.