On 29th, February Sam Tucker said goodbye to his family and friends and left his home in the Mediterranean town of Fethiye to travel to Tanzania.
His purpose for this journey was to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro to raise money for the HAYDOS Animal Care Home in Ortaca.
Sam kept a diary while he way away and on his return he spoke with Lyn Ward about his adventure…
Picked up at 9am by my support team (guides, cook, waiter and porters); the three hour drive to the main gate passed quickly, as I got to know the people who would turn out to be my amazing and fun loving family for seven days.
We drove through the Cultivated Zone, the first of five zones on the mountain, to reach the Lemosho Gate, the beginning of the trek. Along the way we spotted the glamorous Colobus Monkey and the Velvet or Blue Monkey.
After three hours we arrived at our first camp, Big Tree (2,700mt). My last thought before I fell asleep was ‘this trip will be an adventure of a lifetime’.
Woken at 6:30am. After a full breakfast, we leave the camp for our onward journey. The guides lead us out of the rainforest to heath and moorland where I could see my goal; the majestic, glacier capped Mount Kilimanjaro in all its glory.
After a ten hour, 20 km, trek we retired at Camp Shika (3,800mt). As always, I’m looking forward to my hot coffee with popcorn and cookies before dinner.
Made our way into zone 4, the Alpine. As we ascended, the climate became frigid and the scenic landscape continued to change. Instead of tall trees, we saw small shrubs and dramatic boulders. These huge rocks are a result of the last volcanic eruption spitting out balls of lava. I felt like I was on a sci-fi movie set with these ancient and dramatic natural wonders.
Heading towards camp, I discovered an interesting shaped rock standing high above other rocks in the perfect shape of an angel with wings. I named it “Angel Rock.” I hope one day my claim to fame will be as the one who discovered Angel Rock on Mt. Kilimanjaro!
After eight hours of trekking we stop for the night at Landslide Camp (3,900mt)
Today we climbed the Barranco Wall (4,200mt), one of the most challenging sections on the mountain. Steep, narrow paths cut back and forth along the rock face, making it a “scramble” on all fours at times. We then continued on to the Karanga Valley through a landscape that looked like a Japanese Garden with giant Bonzai trees. Today was a shorter trek at five hours over 7 km. We arrived at Kanya Camp (3,900 mt) in time for a hot cooked lunch. I can see the beautiful summit waiting for me in the distance!
Today we arrived at Base Camp from where we will start our climb to the summit. We entered the last and final zone, the Desert. There are no longer plants here as the climate is too cold to sustain life; the landscape is ‘Martian’ with only rocks and huge boulders. Its other-worldly appearance gave me goose bumps as I know I am nearing the summit.
We reached the camp (4,600mt) at lunchtime.
I will now rest before an early dinner for tonight is the night! We begin our climb to the summit late this evening; Kilimanjaro here I come!
IT’S SUMMIT TIME!! Up at 10pm for an 11pm departure.
At temperatures of -20 degrees it was important that I was dressed warmly; 3 layers of clothing, hat gloves, scarf, buff and head torch! We were trekking in total darkness and had to be careful not to fall or twist an ankle. Setting a slow place to prevent altitude sickness, we made our way towards Uhuru Peak. Finally the sun began to rise behind Mawenzi Peak (5,100mt) revealing the spectacular landscape surrounding us. We kept on pushing upwards as we could see our goal. Finally we reached Stella Point (5,756mt) from where we could see the 8km wide volcanic crater. The real beauty is the glacier, of which only a half square mile remains. After a last 45-minute push we reached the summit. Welcome to Uhuru Peak (5,895mt), the Roof of Africa with dramatic views of Tanzania, Kenya and Mount Meru.
I very happily staked out the British, Turkish and HAYDOS flags as a reminder of what I have accomplished; to raise money for HAYDOS, a charity I hold dear to my heart.
‘My dream came true; I reached the summit of Kilimanjaro!’
Saturday March 12th was the day that HAYDOS and their friends and supporters had the chance to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to Sam, one of their most amazing supporters. Sam had just returned from his fabulous Kilimanjaro trek, so how better to welcome him home, than by having a party! The location was the always-welcoming Cubana Bar in Hisarönü. They opened their doors, kitchen and barbecue for us – and what a great spread they provided. Later there was a raffle, with the first prize appropriately being won by Türkan. Turkan and Sam each gave a small speech. Special thanks also went to Diane and Rosie Sillick who have been so focused in their support of HAYDOS.
Turkan said, ‘everything started with Diane and Rosie and their belief and support in me and HAYDOS. Without them, we would not be here’. A superb night!
To date the amount raised by Sam is 5,000 TL.
You still have time to make a donation if you haven’t done so already.
You can do this by making a payment via Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org and type SAMK in the box so the team knows it is a sponsor payment
To find out more about HAYDOS please visit: Facebook: HAYDOS Animal Friends or www.haydos.org
To find out more about Sam and his great work for charity please visit: www.facebook.com/onemanmanypaths