... it's June when I get a message, it's my friend Adalberto who writes me:
"what are you to do from 22 Dec to 03 Jan ????"
my answer: "nothing planned at the moment, what's on your mind?"
... this is how this fantastic journey proposes me, the trekking of the central circuit of the rwenzori mountains, the largest mountain range in Africa, whose main peak is the third on the continent, Margherita peak 5109mt. Study for a few days the various stages of the trip and what we are going to do, I have no experiences in the mountains with such challenging altitudes while my friend has already climbed the Kilimanjaro, but I like the idea and I confirm the departure, the following months we will use them to prepare ourselves physically (with two 4000mt climbs to practice with crampons and ice axes), a trek on the Gran Sasso reaching the summit of Corno Grande, some trek on the mountain near the house of Monte Evervisa and continuing to practice the passion that unites us .. the corsaaa !!
departure from Rome with a Turkish flight, stopover in Istanbul and arrival in Entebbe on 23/12 early in the morning ... short transfer and we are in the capital of Uganda KAMPALA.
We recover some sleep and in the afternoon with a local guide we do a nice tour of the city, kampala is waiting to be discovered !!!!
a special day !!!! .. it's my birthdayooo..we take a tour downtown, visit the national museum of Uganda, eat for lunch in a modern restaurant of a Ugandan chain "cafe 'javas" and go back to the hotel, you have to prepare everything ... tomorrow we parteeeeeee
departure in the direction of FORT PORTAL where we stop for lunch, along the way we meet people dressed up ... here CHRISTMAS are celebrated in churches with music, songs and dances, A REAL PARTY !!!! we continue our journey through plantations of the and various remote villages ... until you reach the base camp.
we reach the offices of the national park of the rwenzori mountains at NYAKALENJIJA 1615mt, we meet our two guides (Justed and John), the cook and our porters .. the group is complete ... last check of our backpacks and off we start our trekking , we cross the cultivated lands and the houses of the bakonjo, people of the mountains, we follow the course of the Mubuku river, we enter the forest and we reach the Nyabitaba refuge 2652 mt.
breakfast top .. omelette, toast and sausage .. good our cook !!! we continue the journey, the vegetative area is that of the bamboo forest, we cross a marshy stretch strewn with magnificent plants, we climb a rocky wall from where the moor area begins, today's arrival point is the john Matte hut 3505 mt
we cross the bujuku river and enter the lower Bigo Bog, a marshy area rich in vegetation.After a rocky climb we enter the upper Bigo Bog area where a wide valley opens up that will take us to Lake Bujuku, we skirt it passing a large area swampy up to our stage today, the Bujuku refuge 3962mt.
usual breakfast of champions and we leave ... we now pass our usual marshy stretches, we climb a steep rocky wall, we begin to see the first snowy sections we are in the Alpine area, quick stop for lunch (usually bar + fruit) and in the first afternoon we arrive at the Elena hut 4430 mt. a bit of rest and check all the equipment for tomorrow. TOMORROW IS THE DAY OF THE TOP !!!!!!
we share the refuge with two very nice Japanese mountaineers .. always laugh !!!
early departure, it seems to me around 4, today we attempt the final ascent to Cima Margherita peak (5109mt) on mount stanley, the first mountaineer to reach the summit was Prince Luigi Amedeo di Savoia Duca degli Abruzzi on 18/06 /1906 ... it is still dark outside, we pass the first icy sections, we start climbing, the path is a continuous ups and downs, sections of rock alternate with others of ice and snow, it is starting to get light and the weather is not 'our friend, it snows but the main problem is the fog, we go up we go up we go up we go up and we reach an altitude of 5000mt, the visibility is very limited, the tiredness is felt, the altitude too !!! .. we stop .. we we compare with our guides .. only 100 meters to the top are missing but we take the wise decision to go back .. HONOR TO US !!!!! ... we still have a lot of hours to walk to reach the shores of lake kitandara , we come that? already dark at the Kitandara refuge 4023mt .. tired but happy, aware that today we were GREAT !!! ..fast dinner and away in the sleeping bag.
we climb a steep wall in the direction of Mount Baker up to the freshfield pass 4282mt, from here we begin the descent through steep and slippery rocks to the kabamba valley, in the evening we reach the Guy Yeoman refuge 3261mt, this evening for dinner the cook prepared pasta in white .. Obviously no seasoning, a crazy glue !!!! I ate it, Adalberto despite the commitment is not there? succeeded!!!
last day of the trek to complete the circuit, about 7 hours of walking and here we are !!! we arrive at the base camp where it all started, handshake with Adalberto and viaaaaa ... we drive to a hotel near FORT PORTAL..managed by an Italian..dinner and toast to our company..two beers "nile special "grazieeeeeee
today transfer day, we approach ENTEBBE, we stay overnight near the airport in a wonderful Ugandan-run guesthouse .. where we enjoy an excellent typical dinner !!!!
wake up early and transfer to the airport, check in and go in..we are ready to board our flight that will take us back to Italy ... but something is wrong !!! a security alert the departure is postponed, in the meantime they take us to a nearby hotel ... we are waiting for the whole day. Fortunately the news arrives .. we can leave .. it is about 23 pm when the return journey begins, hello Uganda and thanks to Adalberto for involving me in this journey.