When I tell people that I’m climbing Kilimanjaro (in just 10 days!) one of things I’m often asked is if I’m an experienced mountain climber. The answer to this is no. But I’m likely to tell you all about my Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and how much I love climbing/walking/nature/all of the above. The truth is that those treks were about 7 years ago now, and that I haven’t done this kind of climbing for a very, very long time.
So, to prove that my legs are still in working order and will cover the kind of distance required for Kilimanjaro, me and my trekking buddies Kate and Carina embarked on a weekend of hiking in the Dorking area. Over 2 days we walked around the Surrey 3 peaks, covering Box Hill (practically a mountain in itself) and around 26 miles. We had some near misses with some pesky dirt bikers trying to run us down, and got lost more than once – though we refused to admit this to ourselves or kind passing strangers.
What we learned:
1. Do not get in the way of a dirt bike, it will mow you down.
2. You must say ‘Hi’ in a high-pitched voice to any passing walker, it’s the code – if you don’t they will send the dirt bikes after you.
3. If in doubt, just keep walking – you’ll get there eventually.
4. It’s a bloody good job that we’ll have a guide taking us up the mountain as we can’t navigate for peanuts.
5. Our legs can take at least 2 days of consecutive walking and not fall off!
All in all a successful hike.