Today AMS would come drift by me, knowing I was vulnerable and as much as I tried to push him away, he would soon overcome me. He would just abide his time waiting to strike.
Same old breakfast, a cup of hot chocolate and a piece of dry bread. I was beginning to feel weary but would not accept the weariness. Dehli belly, or should I call it Tanzy Belly, was still messing with my stomach, however my head told me I was fit enough to pull a tyre. After all what was a little tiredness. I've felt worst in the Hatfield McCoy marathon, having completed it with pretty much zero sleep.
Today would be a short day with only an ascent of 100 metres. As I went to pick up Amani, this time no one stopped me. I carried him to a flat part of the track and attached him on. As I began to pull and tug Amani over the rocks, he called to Kevin (guide), who decided we should carry Amani together. Kevin is a discerning guide, who could see when the "clients" needed help. I guess I needed help as I dragged Amani over rocks and sometimes flipped him over, and was thus told off by Uncle Pete not to burr the nuts on top. The nuts helped hold the screws that were securing the containers of peace messages.....or perhaps it was the Amani whispers telling Pete "things".
...and when I had some flat ground Jess and Jackie had other ideas......
Only soon after, I began to feel a little wretched. I had increased my water intake as well as had increased the lucozade tablets I was taking. My head was not feeling well along side my gurgling stomach. I decided to crunch on a lucozade tablet and drown it with more water. A sense of nausea overcame me. Just as Jess had climbed over a steep pile of rocks, I ran to the side and threw up behind the nearest bush. Jess heard and swung round with concern.
Jess: "Aunty, you okay?"
TG: "Yes absolutely. Today I have given myself to the mountain. I feel much better.....so much better! Yahoo"
I felt a little lousy, my head felt hazy, my eyes felt tired and it reminded me of when I threw up before my first marathon after eating a bowl of oat porridge. I still made it round the course and then slept loads after.
"Mary and Jess please just keep walking forward and DO NOT look back!" I commanded
Mary and Jess looked apprehensive.
"Keep moving......" I commanded again and at that moment I could no longer hold anything within. Mary and Jess wanted to come back to help me.
"Yes - I give myself to the mountain....." I yelled signalling them to move on.
But I kept on vomiting for a good 5 minutes, and Kevin came to console me. I wanted to be alone as I threw out of me what ever was in me, which wasn't a lot! And when I was finally done: "Thanks Kevin, I feel so much better now. Just a spiritual ritual we all sometimes have to do".
The top of the ascent was marked by rock cairns and sculptures (they have a name that I've forgotten). As we rested and looked across the valley, the clouds pulled apart and we were rewarded with our first sighting of the peak of Kilimanjaro glistening warmly in the sun. It was beautiful, but it was getting cold and we needed to be down for dinner.
Dinner! I forced a bowl of soup down and drank more ginger tea. I really needed to go to bed.
That night I fell into the abyss. I had drunken so much to ward off AMS that I had to fly out of the tent four times super urgently to relieve myself. I also found myself very restless and alert. Coca leaves are a stimulant and I am hyper sensitive to stimulants. A cup of coffee drunken in the morning can give me a headache and keep me up the whole night, and a can of red bull I drank once at 6am in the morning kept me awake for the next 2 days!
As the night continued and I tried to relax, my heart was beating hard and fast, reverberating in my head. I tried to deep breathe to slow my heart down, but this was going to be a long night. After the third time flying out of the tent to relieve myself, my nose began to bleed. Crap I thought......well at least I wasn't having to do larger dumps any more as there was nothing in my stomach to dump out! I wanted to sing a song to entertain myself using my heart beats as a metronome, but did not, so I would not disturb my sleeping buddy. All I could do was to try stop my nose bleeding and listen to my heart thumping itself silly. Dawn finally broke and I listened to the sounds of our entourage waking up to prepare our breakfast. A sharp pain was ringing in my head. My head was "properly hurting" and I was now suffering from the "worst ass" headache I have ever experienced.
Story to be continued over the weekend........