Day 2 began in the forest once again, climbing up and down for 2 hours until the trees began to thin and we came across the moorland. Out in the moorland we had very little cover from the African sun which seemed to make the day seem so much longer. It was pretty clear by the end of that walk that the sun had had an effect on us in spite of the thick layer of dust that covered our skin. As we reached camp we got our first glimpse of the peak since we set off on day 1, it was a relief to see how far we had actually come since then but still daunting to see how far and how high we had yet to go.
As the sun set, our leader Chunga, our guide Benson, and all of the porters gathered our group in the cold to sing us a Swahili song and then sang a prayer for us. They prayed for our good fortune and that the mountain would be good to us. It was an amazingly moving moment that will always stick in the memory as one of the many highs of the trip. By the end of the night we were nearly frozen solid and so retreated back to the warmth of our sleeping bags to rest for the longer days still to come. I’d never really appreciated how important a good sleeping mat was for retaining heat until that trip