Ever wondered if you could climb a mountain? Maybe one of the Seven Summits? What if you are a middle-aged, unfit, inexperienced business woman with a sedentary job? This is the story of one such woman who decided to leave her office job in Sydney and go climb Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa.
She tells the tale with wry humour, undaunted – well, only a little daunted – by the difficulties of spending nine days and eight nights on the slopes of the mountain, dealing with no running water, hours of uphill slog, high altitude – and what do you do about the toilet thing, anyway?
The African mountain is a very dangerous place and several people die up there each year. But this is the story of how and why anyone in their right mind would try to touch the snows of Kilimanjaro.
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Review of ‘Mt Kilimanjaro & Me’
This is Annette Freeman’s account of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. An interesting tale, told with wry humour, of what it is like to spend nine days and eight nights on the slopes of a mountain a long way away from things like running water. Granted, being part of a well-supported expedition makes many aspects easier but the walking still has to be done: at high altitude, uphill, and one step after the other.
I’ve never felt drawn to climbing mountains, but I very much admire those who take on such challenges and triumph. There’s a lot of preparation involved: a very high level of physical fitness is required, and no-one can acquire that overnight. Just reading about some of it made me feel, well, quite inadequate. And I know that it had to be exhausting if Annette couldn’t find the energy to read much at night.
Annette’s account is not just about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro: it’s about identifying and meeting challenges head on. Mt Kilimanjaro is a dangerous place and a number of people die there each year. But there is a beauty, evident in the photographs, as well as a sense of challenge which draws people to climb it and to touch the snow, and to see the glaciers.
This is Annette’s personal account, but it also gives some insights into how well organised some expeditions clearly are. I smiled at the visual of artificial flowers at the dinner table, wondered about the quality of the battery in Annette’s MP3 player and felt sad that one member of the group was unable to reach the summit.
This account will inspire some to climb their own mountains, while at the same time satisfying armchair travellers like me.
– Jennifer Cameron-Smith, Amazon.com ‘Top 1000’ Reviewer