The trip started off on early Monday morning. Everyone slowly started to assemble in school at around 6:30. We got in the busses and just like that the whole journey started. And after a small tea and cake break at savage wilderness, we finally arrived at the gates of Mount Kenya national Park. First, we ate lunch at the bottom house and after about an hour we started our first hike. Two hours into the hike, we had only taken about two breaks. Our third break consisted of us putting on our raingear, as it had started to rain a bit. Though it was not too heavy, for the next two hours it rained, the reason we had to stop so much. After about four hours class 9 finally arrived at camp Judimeir and were greeted with some hot tea, while class 8 came half an hour later. Just before we were served some incredible dinner, we did a rundown of how our day was, and we were introduced to a map, we would have to work with for the rest of the trip. Our sleeping time (which was 9pm) was announced by Mrs Burmeister at dinner. And whilst class 9 managed this very well, class 8 had trouble doing so (and would pay for it on Day 2). Which leads everyone to day two!!!!!
Tom Eckoldt and Johanna Lattorff
It was day two where we woke up to our class mates shouting while everyone else was still asleep at 6 o’ clock. Half an hour later Ken came to wake us up with his signature wakeup call “Wakey Wakey.” We packed our big bags and our day bags and went to have breakfast, where we had eggy bread, beans sausages and bread with jam. We got introduced to our porter’s wo would be carrying our bags mine was called Ian Maina. We then set off on our hike. It took us about 1-hour to reach our first Landmark The weather station. We moved on and took a 30-35 min break where we used the nature given bathroom and fooled around in the tall grass (Elephant Grass). We continued after we saw class 8 arriving where we were so we left as fast as possible. After walking for about an hour, we took a short break. Well, we took pictures and had some snacks. We then continued for a long walk continuously going up the mountain. Our last big obstacle to head to leaky North campsite was a steep hill. After finally getting to the top, we could see our camp and headed down. There was a stream passing to the valley where the campsite was located. We then went exploring, walking and playing around the streams and looking for hyraxes. We then had chicken for dinner. We then had a debriefing and discussed our route for the next day. Since class eight had to go to bed half an hour before us because they were loud the previous night we stayed outside and talked. After then head into the tents, we noticed that it was extremely cold in our tents, had frozen over. Another cold night began.
Jaro und Wani
On the 16th of March 2022, at 7 am we woke up to a beautiful sunrise at the Liki North Camp. Getting out of our sleeping bags was a usual nuisance. Evenually, when we did get out, we had to start packing up. The freezing air didn’t make it any easier to pack. Afterwards, we began eating our usual morning breakfast, French toast, sausages and eggs with hot tea. After preparing ourselves for the hike, we all lined up and walked together to pick up litter. As they always said, “Leave the place even cleaner than you found it.” The Leiki North Campsite was soon as clean as a whistle.
And off we go, on to our adventurous quest, no hesitations! No stopping! And no turning back! After 250 meters walking uphill, we were already exhausted and decided to take a short break. The constant telling of jokes and riddles kept us going. Soon enough we took another break next to a flowing river, where we played Chinese numbers. As we continued our journey, we entertained ourselves by telling each other made up stories of our classmates, as superheroes on a vacation in Diani and on Mount “Pineapple juice” (renamed Mt. Kenya through our successful businesses).
Without further ado, we were making our way up the last mountain and finally we reached our destination of THE SHIPTONS CAMP! We were cold, tired and hungry. Our great, hardworking team provided a meal for us to eat. Suddenly, cold winds started blowing and down came the heavenly snow. 6 pm and we began eating our dinner and at 7 we were in bed. The endless nights never seemed to pass and the frosty air made sleeping impossible! At 11 pm, a loud, violent coughing came from the tent beside us. Our beloved Jaro, must descend the mountain…
Narain Bansal und Maurizia von Maltzan
“Wakey, wakey!!!!” Everyone left their warm sleeping bag, slowly crawling out of the iced up tents into -2°C.
We all got into a circle, for the guides to give us some information about the upcoming hike. But something was off. Although it was 2 a.m. and it was very dark the guides had a different facial expression. In a very dramatic way: “We have very bad news. We have lost 6 porters, 1 teacher, 2 guides, and lastly one of our beloved students.” The silence was louder than the aggressively flowing river. “New regulations for our 4900m hike to the peak have been made. I want you all to rethink if you really want to go to this hike. If you had difficulties with the past hikes in the last few days; you are not coming. If one of you has to return, we are all returning, no matter what. Everyone or no one.” Suddenly half of the people in the circle steped out and returned to their tents. After having our Chai and “delicious” Porridge we stood in a line, switching on our headlamps to eliminate the beautiful darkness surrounding us. Having that finished we started our ride or die hike. Would someone die? After walking for an hour we got a bit tired and got our “Twix [out because] it’s the best chocolate-bar ever try proving me wrong”-(Maria Klasse 9). Less then 30 minutes away from the peak when the sun started rising, the Kenyan flag was finally visible on point Lenana. But suddenly we had complications. If you have read our article correctly you would remember that we were told that “If one person has to go down, we all have to go down.” and that’s exactly what happened. Well, you may now think “what a pity” but it actually played a big role in surviving the fire and arriving safely at camp. Oh no! I’ve already spoiled everything. Anyways as we arrived at the camp and luckily no one died of the freezing cold. We all started packing our bags and got ready for the big hike of 16km to return to our first camp. After walking for around 10km we saw a lot of smoke. It turns out, there was a big bush fire which was about to cut our path. We started going faster and at some points, we even ran. The porters were helping us keep us safe and we were wearing face masks to protect ourselves from the smoke. Some students were running for their life, others were tripping over air every 10 meters and others were taking selfies with the fire. Despite the different approaches to surviving this crazy bush fire, we all made it out alive and healthy, except for the three burning buffaloes we saw at the weather station. When we finally made it to our final destination a car drove us to a camp next to the gate, where we spent the last night next to the Baboons. Lastly, we had dinner and a last talk about the crazy trip we had just experienced and called it a good night (except the superior class 9, who was playing UNO in a tent after their bedtime (Our teachers don’t know about this. Please don’t tell them))
Luca, Jesse, Maria
On Day 5 we woke up in the morning after the first good night sleep in a while. After the week we had had it was nice to wake up without the stress of packing our bags or getting ready to walk the whole day. At about 7. a.m. we got out of our tents after hearing the last “wakey wakey!!!” that Ken would use to get us out of our tents. Then we went to eat the delicious breakfast that our porters made. As always, we had eggy bread, sausages and baked beans like we had every other day. After our meal the porters came to our tents to pack them up and clear up the space for the busses that would pick us up later. When everything was clear and all the bags were packed, Renson called us to line up and thank our porters who helped us immensely to get through this week of climbing Mount Kenya. Without them this whole trip wouldn’t have been possible so we made sure to thank them each personally very much. Jesse and Tia recited a few personal words on behalf of the group and then, in true Corona fashion, we thanked everyone with a “fist bump.”
We then waited for our busses and when they arrived, we loaded our bags and walked to the main road as the busses had some trouble getting out of the campsite. As we were waiting at the main road, we saw the helicopter that was fighting the fire land to refill the water so that it could go out to fight the last embers of that fire. After the busses had finally managed to get out of the campsite we got in and started the long drive home. Halfway we stopped at Savage wilderness for a quick lunch break.
When we arrived in school all the Parents were waiting for us at the bus stop.
Arno Reblin and Raphael Lattorff