My Kili challengers are all back in Dubai, I had 4 hours there to drop off stinking clothes and pick up suits before flying to the UK.
Most of the 19 will be back at their office desks today, probably staring aimlessly at a computer screen whilst reflecting on an incredible 10 days adventure. Which is what mountain climbing invariably does - 10 days of beauty in nature, laughter, fun, camaraderie, physical exertion beyond what thought possible, pain, tears, heartache, joy, support, nurturing and help.
Add a humbling visit to Lashaine Primary School near Arusha - and the knowledge that over USD 100,000 will shortly be heading there to build new classrooms, offices and equipment - and you pretty much get 5 years of experiences in just 10 days.
Kilimanjaro may be just a "walk" but it is a big mountain that is ascended extremely quickly and is thus largely underestimated. Huge congratulations therefore to the 11 who reached Uhuru and the 5 who reached Gilman's Point and commiserations to Greg and Nirvana who just failed to reach Gilman's but who got so much out of the trip regardless.
For me, far from any disappointment at not summitting, it was a total pleasure to lead a fantastic group of people train, prepare for and - apart from the final night - reach the top. They all went well beyond their comfort zones doing something that was by far the hardest thing they had ever done. But, most importantly, we had a team that acted as a team. I am really proud of them all.
The 2nd G4G group are presently commencing their ascent, led by my old friend Gary Melhuish. We wish them all the very best.
Will write on altitude next blog.
Quote of the trip: "I've just blown my nose for the first time in a week and can taste the vomit from 3 days ago" (Vaughan Sears, Park entrance)
Gulf 4 Good "Trek to the Roof of Africa 2010" participants:
Patricia Anderson, Malcolm Bell, Tanja Bohm, Kabir Seth, Caroline Dredge, Pat Evans, Nirvana Govender, Nabil Habbouche, Amir Khan, Jamie Knights, Amin Nasser, Samantha Nasser, James Nicholson, Vaughan Sears, Gireesh Shivanand, Ronnie Smith, Greg Smith, Sharon Taylor-Jackson, Matt Warnock.