The day is here! The van picked us up at 9am. We stopped a few miles away on the side of the road to pick up the porters that were coming. There were 11 of them! This seemed like a shockingly large number to us when we first found out how many accompany a group of 2 people – we told Freddy, “we are not kings – we don’t need that many.” But he told us, “this is the right number – this is how many go. With 1 person, we send 9 porters.” Each and every porter was all smiles as they boarded and greeted us with “Jambo!” Once the van was packed to the brim, we drove 3.5 hours to the Landerorossi Gate, with frequent potholes providing the signature “African Massage”. Fortunately, porters are not allowed to carry more than 20kg, so all our bags were weighed at the registration tent. Then we were off.
Adam was nervous for the first few hundred meters. Day 1 in the jungle was filled with frequent stops to look at different vegetation. There was some occasional heavy breathing. We arrived at Forest Camp at 9,500 feet. Just after we arrived, it started to downpour. Calvin took our medical readings and we ate a delicious pasta dinner with vegetables. We are in our sleeping bags now at 7:30, and we’re exhausted. We’ve had no problems with the elevation yet! All in all, the first day was easier than we expected.