The Atlas Mountains & the Kilimanjaro trek

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MY EPIC JOURNEY TO THE ROOF OF AFRICA

Posted by JALAL on February 25, 2010 at 8:09 PM Comments comments (0)

6th February 4.05pm

This is it my Kilimanjaro Trek. I can’t believe how time has past since my Altas Mountain trek.

I have been given a lift by my dear friend Mounir, which was very kind of him to drive all the way from Dunfermline to Perth then to take me to Edinburgh Airport, I would not expect anything less from him.

I have checked in via Internet yesterday the Edinburgh –Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Nairobi so I did not have to be in Edinburgh 2 hours prior but I did just in case the road was busy, but it was straight forward. My flight to Amsterdam has just been announced 45 minutes delayed – What a Start!! But I’m still positive and in the right frame of mind, so far ha ha ha. I’m staying tonight in Amsterdam Airport Hotel, the thought of staying all night at the airport with no sleep – no thanks – I have done it before many times going to Morocco in Gatwick/Luton and I can tell you it is not fun. My flight tomorrow is at 9am in a Jumbo jet – never been on one and so I am looking forward to the journey.

Just been told to move to another gate so see you once I have boarded……

 

7th February 2010

 

The flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam was fine with a 45 minute delay. I had to pick up my luggage in (Amsterdam) instead of Nairobi, which I had the chance to do, but I refused to minimise the risk of loosing my bag, so I had to go through passport control to pick up my bag and go back through passport control to get inside airport where the hotel was, I had to come out through passport control again to register my bag and back again through passport control (4 times) which I did not mind. The hotel I checked into is a self service one and it is like a cabin on a ship, it was luxury, very small and very clean. I went to bed at 10.30pm and was up again at 3am, I slept well and could not sleep after that so I was watching TV until 5am. Had a shower (probably last before the end of my trek!)

I have checked in my bag and it took me 20 minutes to get to the gate, I was the first one. I have just seen the plane I will be taking off on, it’s a Jumbo Jet and it is BIG!!! Very exciting experience for the journey.

What a start to my journey to Africa, the biggest plane I have ever been on 747 what space and what service.

 

Been upgraded to Business/First Class what a treat, glass of champagne to start with, I refused obviously, in my seat where goodies, toiletries, flip-flops, magazines, blanket, pillow etc. Personal TV screen, 80 movies, yes 80, kids TV, games (who want to be a millionaire for example!) Hand control is also a type of mobile phone, I could have phoned anybody from the plane it would have been cool but guess what I did not bring my credit card because I did not think I would use it. If I had known about the phone on the plane I would have brought it.

 

To start will we had snacks of nuts crisps, juices been told to ask for anything I want. 2 hours after we had lunch. A menu was given to us to choose, I could not believe it. Anyway it was incredible and the service was top class, we had more drinks, we had ice cream, we had coffee, more snacks, it was non-stop. I can’t believe it in the TV screen there are 20 different books, you choose a book and you can read it, music, CD juke box, 7 languages and every language they had 20 artists and every artist has all their songs, so much entertainment no wonder with a long haul flight.

I can’t believe it I usually get bored and frustrated in a 3 hour flight to Morocco, but I just checked my watch it has been five and a half hours and I am fine. I had one walk and I’ll go for another one soon. The plane is full one or two seats empty. Surprisingly most of the passengers are Europeans, very few Africans.

Sorry just been offered more drinks and snacks see you ha ha ha…..Just checked the flight in the tracking information on my screen

Altitude 34,988ft

Ground Speed 526 miles 9848km)

Temperature -43 C (outside)

Time to destination – 2 hours

 

I can’t believe we are in the south of Egypt past Sudan. The map in the screen is like earth Google. We will be passing Kilimanjaro and the sky is very clear, my heart just started to beat very fast because of the excitement of just seeing it from the plane. I need to calm down a bit long way to go.

Guess what? Dinner time I could see them putting stuff in the trolley with drinks (red boxes) I think it is cakes etc I am just guessing, I can’t believe the amount of food they are serving on the plane. The plane holds 415 passengers and I could count the empty seats in my fingers.

8th February 2010

The flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi landed on time but by the time the plane taxied off , took nearly an hour because of its size, so I was a bit worried about missing the next flight to Kilimanjaro.

There was a bit of confusing with reference to me picking up my luggage in Nairobi as I have been told from KLM staff in Amsterdam, so I went through the Kenya Customs but they told me I needed a Visa to enter Kenya. I told them I did not know and that I had a visa for Tanzania. After discussuib with the Customs I hear my name being called because I have already picked up a boarding pass for Kilimanjaro in Amsterdam so one of the Customs officers took me to the Kenya Airline where they find out that my luggage has been registered to Kilimanjaro from Amsterdam all the way through so I had only to go via transit instead of going through Customs to look for my bag, as I was walking in the tarmac I sowed down in time to see my luggage and it was getting loaded onto the smallest airplane that I have ever seen, from Jumbo jet to this 15 -20 seated!!!.

I took my seat and that is where I met Natalie a Canadian girl and by talking to her I found out we were doing the same trek, same day and same route.. A pleasant young lady and she is staying here after the climb to do charity work helping street children in an orphanage in Moshi. Good for you Natalie well done and keep up the good deeds.

We have checked into our hotel after driving from 40 minutes. Settled down, then had a drink in the bar to chill out for an hour and then headed to bed.

I had to sort out my bags into 3 bags.The bag the porter will carry (15kg),my rucksack and the bag I will leave I the hotel with clothes I don’t need.

 

Once I had done that it was time to put on my mosquito net for the first time and believe me it was not easy!! I tough it was a straight forward operation !!!! but I was wrong, it took me nearly half an hour to fix it.

 

The bedroom was very hot, I eventually went to sleep and woke up 15 minutes later by this noise I thought it was a mosquito I could hear it buzzing around the net so once I had put on my torch it stopped, so guess what? Yes you guessed it I had my head lamp on all night and I said to myself “I just don’t believe it” ha ha ha it was fine part of the adventure and I m sure it will get worse.

 

I was up at 6am and went for breakfast which was next to the pool in the garden “open air restaurant” and decided to go to the village with Natalie so we hired a guide who took us to the poor area and to the open market it was surreal. As a respect to them I did not take a picture, who am I to take pictures of poor people for my entertainment. We had lunch in one of the best restaurants in Town! We both had pizza which was surprisingly nice minus the though of the conditions of the kitchen and the hygiene.

Headed back to the hotel Natalie was happy to just sit by the pool but not me as some people will tell you I need to do something. I can’t just sit by the pool for the rest of the afternoon so I decided to go to the jungle for £8.00 to see wild monkeys and baboons but because its only 15 minute walk from the hotel the whole trip lasts for 3 hours, but because we had a meeting planned for 5pm with the Guide so it leaves me no time at all to go,I so wanted to go.

 

So swimming pool here I come. I spent the afternoon at the pool and talking to the staff and just relaxing and chilling out.

 

 

The briefing was done at 5pm with Zara tours Representative for 3 groups. UK Group, US Group and Scandinavian Group, once briefing done we are introduced to our Guide Alex and his 2nd in command and then went through the planning of the whole trek and all the safety issues too and we were told that the departure will be at 8.30am.

I had dinner with my group (Natalie is with the US Party we did not know until the briefing she will be sharing with a male). The dinner again was excellent (buffet) cold and hot. The hotel is full so the restaurant was busy once dinner was done I excused myself I wanted to sleep (8pm).

 

I had been given another room by the way, top floor over looking Kilimanjaro, because I had been chatting and got on well with the manager and the view this morning was WOW the biggest WOW you could imagine. It was there clear sky, the majestic Kilimanjaro and you could see the glacier WOW it was very hard to describe you had to be there.

After breakfast we had our luggage that the porters will carry weight to be no more than 15kg and started our 45 minutes drive to the Machame gate for the start of the biggest adventure ever I am about to experience : THE ROOF OF AFRICA , the road was okay but the driving was worse than Morocco.

 

Day 1: 7 hours, 18 kilometres

 

 I could not believe how steep it was from the first step until

We got to the gate registered again been given our packed lunch and started the trek

5.30pm ish with 2 x 20 minutes break. We were lucky to go through the rainforest without a drop of rain all day. Everyone from the group stopped talking after half an hour because everyone concentrating on their pace and breathing. We had seen a couple of monkeys jumping around but at this stage after the first 2 hours no energy left to use your camera.

We had 2 breaks once we got to the first camp the tents were ready for us, we started well before the porters and they overtook us with all the tents, chairs, food carried on top of their heads and they passed us, they were walking very fast (see photos) once arrived we’ve been told to choose the tent put down and day rucksack and fetch other bag the porters carried for us and then went to the mess tent for tea and popcorn (salty popcorn) to replace all the salt we have lost during the walk, by the way I drunk 4 litres of water.

Dinner was called at 6.30pm beautiful did not expect it be so - delicious Cucumber Soup which has just become my favourite soup ever and I will Google it when I get home. One of the ladies with us is polish with an English boyfriend said it is as good as her mum makes it in Poland

.

First Dinner Night menu

Cucumber Soup

Fish and potatoes and cabbage salad

Veg. casserole

Bananas

Very Very Very good = everyone enjoyed it

 

7 out of the 9 of our Group had a mild headache I did not until later on but nothing to worry about at this stage.

Around 7.45pm I went to my tent which is where I am right now. I spent ages to find a flat surface in my tent but could not find it I have tried different positions but each time I am rolling to the left and them to the right on my back but my feet feels as though they are going down a slope. I know you are probably laughing, don’t because it is not funny!!!!!!

It is 8.45pm I need to get my pack ready and try and get some sleep and with the porters, cooks and guides talking very loudly and the other groups too I don’t know when everyone will go to sleep.

 

8.45pm bye for now and see u tomorrow for the second day of the TRIP

 

Day 2: 6 hours, 15 kilometres

 

What a nightmare, because we were the last group to the camp the ground left for putting up tents was not flat!! I have tired every position in the tent but no flat surface a nightmare and with the noise outside of the porters and the travellers everyone was talking very loud I was lucky if I slept an hour.

 

We were up at 7am for 8.30am departure. Alex has sent one of the porters first to get the best spot possible because all 200 people are moving in the same direction after a nice Tanzanian porridge, tea and coffee scramble eggs beef sausages we headed up again and harder than yesterday for at least 3 hours with 2 5 minute breaks until lunch time. The scenery started to change after 1 hour and we have been told to put lots of sun cream on and drink lots of water. Alex made us all walk even slower than yesterday which was great. Yesterday I was the last person walking because of the pace, I choose my own pace but today I was behind the guide and it suited my slow pace.

The first part of the day Alex was explaining about different plants, trees wild animals which took our minds off the walking.

 

We were walking in one line (right hand side ) and the porters were passing us carrying all the food, tents tables etc (see photos) the last half an hour before lunch was a different story all together, the most daring rock crossing I have ever done to date. He had to get his assistant to help us crossing some narrow places, no room for error, believe me one false step and it Goodnight Vienna!! We arrived for lunch the table was ready and again it was excellent

Lunch :

Tomato Soup

Tomato Salad and cucumber

Bananas and Mangos

Cakes tea/coffee

 

Everyone was very happy with lunch. When we sat for lunch the scenery was unreal on one side you could see the summit on the other side is the rainforest and after lunch we headed to the Baranko Hut via lava tour which

should take 7 hours but took us 10 hours.

After starting what looked like climbing a ladder after one hour my headache started to get worse yet, drunk lots of water but nothing happened next was nausea, sickness feeling I told the guide and he asked me if I wanted him to carry my rucksack but I said no I was fine at the moment but after another half an hour I started to feel dizzy and that’s when I stopped an he took my rucksack to get the weight off my shoulders 10 minutes later the cook took ill, lying on the ground shivering, vomiting and Alex told us it was serious and he had to get him down ASAP and that gave everyone a fright. Manuel (The cook) was so lively, since day one he was making jokes he was the life and soul of the party. Two porters tried to get him to his feet but he had no power in his legs so they had to carry him down to the nearest helipad which was a good hour walk, but because they cant afford it they had to carry him down the short route which is a very rocky route to the road where the ambulance is (2 hours to get here)

After seeing this and for 10 minutes after I told Alex I want to go down, he checked my tongue, eyes and said that he is confident and that I need to keep climbing to the higher altitude 4600m and I’ll be ok so I did. After another 2 hours climbing higher with no rucksack we arrived at lunch

 

Lunch

 

Fried chicken eggy toast

Leek soup and water melon

 

At that point I vomited and felt a little bit better after that I had to force myself to eat which was not pleasant and we took off again still had a bad headache. The walk today was the most scenic but all I remember is feet, feet feet one in front of the other for nearly 9 hours, with the cook and myself getting sick we added another 2 hours to the time, but no one complained as it could have been anybody. Once we got to our camp I felt a little bit better because we have come down in altitude ,today was all up and down to get the body ready and went to bed until dinnertime which took me 10 minutes to have it then I excused myself, all the party were very helpful and asking if I was ok. The following day I was fine – new man –

 

Breakfast

Porridge/pancakes

Toast

Scrambled eggs

 

I only slept 5 hours last night but still feel great but a bit worry with this lack of sleep and it still long way to go before summiting.

After the briefing when Alexe showed us the way we were going we all thought “You are kidding – climb that”…………. ( Barranco wall)

A steep rock face that required some real scrambling in most places, the use of both hands.

 

The walk stared very slowly again, slower than yesterday and we soon started to feel the difference in the air, and after an hour the view back to the empty camp and to the lovely waterfall dropping down in to the river valley we had crossed earlier.

This again bits everything I have done before regarding scrambling, it different, daring, and exiting and no room for error in some places, so

Alexe made sure we were ok and told us to take our time and watch where we walk because this is where most accidents happened.

At the end after the wall we were greeted by a small plateau with a stunning view of the mountain, we run in to several other group at the top of barranco, because that s were the lemosho route join with the Machame route that we are doing, after resting at the top of the wall we then set off for another 2 hours down into karanga valley and then back to karanga camp.

 

The weather in karanga camp was very cloudy and very crowded, probably around 50 tents,.

 

I was the last one again to reach the camp and I had to take the last tent, it was put in the worst camping ground you could imagine, and here we go for another sleepless night !!!!!1

After dinner I sat outside my tent just admiring the sky and the amount of stars is unreal, I started to count them hahahahah and give up after I got to 1000, only joking it was AMAZING AND THE STARTS WERE SO CLOSE, I could describe the sky again and again but you have to be here to really understand it .

I was up in the middle of the night with another sore head, and after taking some headache tablets I was able to get some comfortable periods of sleep.

I was up at 6.30 am, breakfast was at around 8 am, we took our time as the camp broke around us, the day had dawned with blue sky and the day was getting hotter and hotter so we all tackled our sun lotion like we were about to head down to the beach for some sun tans hahahaha.

 

This morning we are heading to Brafu camp 4600 meters, the last camp before the Summit we crossed plateau and past some awesome rock fields and towers and I was wondering if this is what walking in the moon looks like.

After a quick rest stop and a short steep, uphill climb we arrived at the Barafu camp at around 12 pm and our early arrival means plenty time to eat and to rest before we set off to the summit later tonight.

 

SUMMIT DAY !!!!!

 

The weather was very windy we had 1 hour rest and lunch, which was very welcomed. We had French toast type of Tanzanian pizza, vegetable soup after when we retired to our tents we have been advised to try to sleep until 5.30 pm when dinner will be served, the camp was very exposed on the bare slope and it was very very windy it was not cold ( Yet !!!!! ) as we probably expected but by 5.30 when we went for our dinner we started to feel the change of weather,

 

Dinner served at 5.45 (tomato soup (Homemade rice, beef stew I think , everyone seemed very quiet and once everyone finished their dinner we all went back to our tent for some more sleep.

 

Before dinner was served we had been given our last briefing and it was like back to school when everybody was listening to the teacher given a lesson, Alexe went through the safety issues and when he mentioned that he had oxygen with him in case of an emergency we all started staring at each other maybe wondering ( OK this is it !!!! D DAY!!!!! And hope everything goes well) , and I could tell you this is the only time in the whole trek when I felt very very nervous, but Alexe kept telling us we all going to summit and he was very very positive about the last ascent, so he tried to put as in ease but I could tell u I WAS NOT !!!!!

 

 

Again the sleep was impossible with all the noise and I end up having an argument with this French guy, who did not stop talking loudly, so I had to tell him to keep quiet !!!!! in the my best French hahaha and he did when he realised everyone trying to sleep at 6.pm, because of the last climb to reach the summit.

We were up at 11,30 pm, I had put nearly every layer I had before I went to bed, had coffee , torch, rucksack, 2 gloves , balaclava, hat, jacket , and headed off in search of the Highest summit in Africa. The Roof of Africa.

 

It was very dark and clear when we set off, everyone was very quiet and none of us really sure what lay ahead and all we needed to do and we did is keep one foot in front of the other until we reach the summit and someone else reminds you that u have reached it hahaha or you are enable to keep going because of the altitude and you have to head back to lower altitude.

 

We were accompanied by 5 porters to the summit in case of problems and one of us had to be brought down, and we started our last and long ascent.

The higher point in Kilimanjaro is called Huhru Peak, we had to hike around the rim of the crater and after a couple of hours we started to notice the sudden changes of the weather ( Getting colder ) and to be honest with you I could not tell if we were separated in to small groups, all I saw in front of me is the same steps and boots all the way to the top.

I noticed despite the insulation of the hose of my camel back, the hose on my camelback had frozen, I tucked the hose inside my jacket for at least an hour, and after that I decided that after every drink I will try to blow the water back in to the bladder and empty the hose so that it will not freeze again and the trick seemed to work.

I hardly spoken to anyone apart from when we stopped for a quick break ((because it was too cold to stop any longer ) to say to the person in front of me ( Are u ok ?? ) and that was all the conversation we had until we reached the summit.

 

Just before 5 am, I began to worry about my toes, and frostbite, I have never felt that type of cold before, even with a very expensive pair of socks my feet were freezing, so I kept wiggling my toes as I was walking and that seemed to do the trick.

My hands were cold too even with 2 pairs of special gloves, it was just bearable and I somehow expected that it would be a difficult journey to the summit and kept asking myself ( what s next ?????? )

 

Another worry I had was if I have a headache or a migraine during the last ascent, luckily I was fine and was even tempted to have DIAMOXE tablets for altitude sickness before the start of our ascent at midnight but I resisted and I am very glad I did. I hardly noticed my surroundings just the persons foot steps in front of mine, however I will never forget looking up into the sky, the stars, and when I say stars you have to take my word for it they were huge and I mean huge, I felt I could just reach out my hand and touch them, it was magical, the stars were so so bright and some twinkled like diamonds no photo would every do what I saw justice, but the memory will stay with me forever.

On and on we trudged, no one speaking, too cold, too tired until I saw over the horizon at around 6 am daylight started to break WOW what a sight watching the sun rising slowly in the sky I witnessed yet another magical moment it was unbelievable, very hard to describe the feelings I had, I actually felt really emotional and I hadn’t even reached the top yet ha ha ha but the sun gave me hope and I suddenly felt stronger by the minute but each step was still a struggle but I knew most of the hard work been done and had to keep telling myself to keep going, nearly there, nearly there……..

 

Around 7ish I arrived at Stella’s Point and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro,it was a great feeling but I was really struggling in a big way with my knees which meant I was dragging my feet, but this is not a highest point of Kilimanjaro, the highest point is Uhuru Peak and to reach this I had to hike around the rim of the crater. There is no sign of my fellow travellers; it is only me and one of the porters as I was the last one to make it.

Uhura Peak looked so close but in reality it took me a further 45 minutes or so of pure hell to drag myself up to the roof of Africa, to be honest the only thing that kept me going was the thought of all the children who will hopefully benefit from the money I raise for the Children’s Hospice in Kinross, Perthshire

 

When I finally reached the summit my group was complete – we had all done it !!!!!!!!

 

I will try to describe what I saw the pictures I took don’t really do it justice, the summit was encircled with a layer of clouds, I was standing about the clouds!! How cool is that!! The view above he clouds was breathtaking, the sun shone off the famous Kilimanjaro glaciers and the crater was white and grey, it was beautiful in an eerie kind of way, unfortunately we only stayed there for 15 minutes as our Guide was anxious that we kept moving as it was really cold, and that’s where my knees sent a message to my brain that they had had enough.

 

The descent back to the camp was by a different route and hiked back round the crater to Stella’s point by that time the Guide decided to take my rucksack to see if that would help but unfortunately it didn’t and after a couple of minutes my legs just wanted to give way, immediately the Guide instructed two porters to take an arm each and assist me down to Barafu Camp which took just under 3 long, agonising hours combined with the biggest headache ever. It was 12 noon when I finally arrived in the camp, I went straight to my tent, we were meant to rest for 2 hours, have lunch and then head off again to the next camp which was a further 5 hour trek. The porters had already left for the next camp which is a trek of 5 hours all downhill but as the Guide saw I and 2 others would still require assistance he changed the whole plan and called the porters who had already arrived at the next camp, to pack up and head back up the hill to another camp which for us would only mean a 3 hours trek instead of 5. We all felt really bad for the porters who now had to carry everything back up again, these guys let me tell you are amazing; the load that they carry on their backs and head is incredible their strength amazed us all.

 

When we finally arrived at the Millennium Camp our fabulous porters had again beaten us to it despite having to carry everything back up the hill from Mweka Camp. They had our tents erected, and dinner was well on the way, we all gathered in the Mess Tent and this was the first time we were able to talk about our success, we were all exhausted, once dinner was over I went to bed but could sleep so popped my head out of my tent around 3am just to look at those stars again and experience another magical moment and wished my wife was with me to share this experience.

Got up early the next morning and felt like a new man it is amazing what a half decent nights sleep can do for the body. We had breakfast which was delicious and had some fun with the porters who broke into song, - the Kilimanjaro Song - which we all joined in and clapped along with, these guys just don’t ever seem to get tired; they are always laughing and smiling all day long.

 

Last leg heading down again was to Mweka Gate a trek of 5 hours through the rainforest, for some strange reason it was easier for me to go quicker as it didn’t seem to hurt my knees so bad I even at one point broke into a little jog which if you had seen the state I had been in the previous day you would not have believed it, but hurrying on I left most of my group behind but suddenly stopped in my track when I heard noises of animals I think from the tree tops, really a bit scary as I couldn’t see anything but could hear something, tried to video this on my hand held camera as I walked down my face is a picture as I suddenly hear something getting closer the Assistant guide had now joined me so I felt okay to carry on and together we walked to the finish line the Mweka Gate where I was presented with my Certificate and told that I was officially the 5th Moroccan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and that was the icing on the cake.

 

The Mweka gate was full of activity and we had to sign in at the gate to show we had completed the trip and those of us that summated were given a certificate, there were other people milling around selling tee-shirts and souvenirs and there were even people on hand who would wash your muddy boots for you for a fee of course. All this took about an hour before our group plus guides got onto the mini bus that took us all back to the Spring lands Hotel in Moshi a journey of around 45 minutes.

 

Went straight to my room for the first shower in 7 days, it was great to feel clean and human again, I had got my second wind and did not want to rest so I headed down to the pool where I met different travellers some who had been to the summit some who were still to go , so it was great to share our stories and experiences with each other, the weather was fab really hot and the afternoon passed in a flash, before we knew it, it was dinner time and that is when I found out that a couple from my group – the guy proposed to his girlfriend at the summit of Kilimanjaro which also happened to be on Valentines Day so I decided to put on my Master of Ceremonies hat and stood up in front of the whole dinner room and announced the news about their engagement, which delighted everyone and they all started clapping.

 

 

I would like to thank everyone who donated money for C.H.A.S.

 I have never put my body or mind through such physical and emotional pressure as I had for this climb.

I had trained 6 days a week and nights for months but nothing could had prepared me for what I faced on the SUMMITING DAY,

I considered giving up on the third day but when I realised why I am doing it and for whom I am doing it , I got stronger and stronger.

I feel very proud of what I had achieved and to become the 5th Morrocan to climb Kilimanjaro !?!?!?!?!?!?! WOW.

Would I recommend the climb to other people, Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm????/ Yes and i will join them if they want.

 it is both rewarding, an eye opening life experience!!!!!!!!!

WHAT S NEXT AFTER KILIMANJARO ???????

WATCH THIS SPACE, IN A COUPLE MONTHS I WILL BE ANNOUNCING MY NEXT CHALLENGE.

WOULD IT BE MORE CHALLENGING, EXITING AND HARDER THAN KILIMANJARO, I LEAVE YOU TO BE THE JUDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT

SPECIAL THANKS TO :

MY DEAR MUM

MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS

MY NIECES AND COUSINS

MY WIFE LINDA

MY MOTHER IN LAW ROSE

MY FRIENDS BELLA & STEPHEN BAYLISS ( THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICES AND SUPPORT ;)

MY FRIEND MOUNIR AND HIS KIDS

MY FRIEND SIMO, HIS WIFE AND AMIR

MY FRIEND STU

ALL AL IBRAHIMI FAMILLY

ALL AIT BOULAHCEN FAMILLY

ALL EL ATTIR FAMILLY

ALL CHIGUER FAMILLY

MY COLLEAGUES

THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE MORALE SUPPORT , VERY VERY MUCH APPRECIATED

REGARDS

JALAL AL IBRAHIMI ( JOE )

 

 

D DAY MINUS 11 DAYS

Posted by JALAL on January 25, 2010 at 6:03 PM Comments comments (0)

:roll:Hi everyone

 

 

I cant believe it , it s 11 days before i head to the african continent for my second trek (Kilimanjaro ) and i am starting to feel a bit nervous !! and the realisation of reaching my goal to reach to the summit!!

 

 

I am living the UK on the 6th February and it will be a 13 Hours flights and i am dreading it because i do not enjoy flights no more i just get bored very quick.

 

 

I now it is going to be a very long and a very hard trek for 8 days, i would like to think that i have done enough training to keep myself fit for the trek, and all i am trying to do now is to try to be calm and have a positive and strong mind.

 

 

I still go to the gym with the advise of my friend bella ( TO TAKE DAYS OF REST ), hi bella thanks for your advises again.

 

I still spend lots of time with my power breath to maximise the capacity of my lungs and still do some weights and swimming, but the only thing that i have not done is more climbing in the hills because of the weather and in case i hurt myself in a stupid way.

 

 

Their were another article in the local news paper just as a reminder about my first achievement and my funds and hopefully i will get something out of it ( see following link )

 

 

http://www.perthshireadvertiser.co.uk/perthshire-news/local-news-perthshire/perthshire/2010/01/15/bridge-of-earn-man-tackles-second-epic-mountain-73103-25602410/

 

Regards

Jalal

D DAY MINUS 35 DAYS

Posted by JALAL on January 3, 2010 at 1:17 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone

 

I just want to wish everybody good health and a happy 2010.

It has been a long time since I have updated my web page. But I am back now to fill you in.

I have been out in the cairngorms with a friend of mine who experienced the Hills for the first time and also it was the first time he has seen what is the Scottish weather is all about.

 

This is my second outing and we had Snow, Mist, Wind and a very cold weather compare to my first winter trek, a different ball game all together.

The day nearly went BAD because of the weather and the visibility we lost each other for a short while (45 Minutes!!!!) and I started to be concerned because my friend has no experience in the mountains, but luckily we found each other and I decided to head back down, it is a long story, getting the mountains Rescue involve but that s all you need to know at this moment of time, it was another lesson I have learned about mountains and a good one.

 

I have been out for my Third winter trek with Scottish midweek mountaineering club, which I have been introduce by Bill and we did the Ochil Hills last week and enjoyed it very much, a 6 hours walking in the Snow and it was great.

I will join the club as a member because they do their outings in Midweek and the are all ( Experience Mountainair’s ) which suit me very much, they do 2 outings a month and the next one will be on the 22nd January for 2 Nights in the Ben Nevis area and I am looking forward to the trek.

I will be the youngest one in the club when I join and looking forward to learn from more experienced people.

 

I still go to the gym as many times as I can manage and it is usually 5 times a week, and with the Christmas and new year and with the gym opening at 10 AM I have missed a few sessions, but from tomorrow I am back to my normal 5 days for another 2 weeks and after that it will be down to 3 or 4 days a week

 

I have started  to spend only  3 Hours in the gym in any session and that includes swimming too and a relaxing  Jacuzzi, steam room after it.

 

All my vaccinations are done and I am waiting for my Malaria tablets and I still have to buy my Insurance for the travel , once it has done I will be ready .

I start to be a bit nervous and exiting in the same time because I can’t believe it is 35 Days before my Trek and I think by the 20th January I should be ready.

 

I am still concentrating on my Cardio and I am still happy with my (Power Breath Machine)

My next 2 days off will be on the 6th and 7th January and weather permitted I may head to the Mountains if weather is very bad I will stick to the gym.

 

Thanks again for all the Donations and all the best wishes for my trek, thanks again

 

TRAINING UPDATE

Posted by JALAL on December 7, 2009 at 6:09 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Hi Everyone

 

Long time,

 

Since I came back from the Atlas I had few days off training, and it took me ages to come down to earth after my first accomplishment, and am still exited about what I did and what about to do .

 

My training stil l consists of going on the treadmill, followed by a cycle and after that some weights and finishing with a swim.

I still concentrate on expanding my lungs but using the (Power breath Machine) and I think it is doing the job it is supposed to do, especially when I swim I could stay longer now under water than ever before and I am very impressed with the improvement of my lungs.

 

Two of my friends (Bella & Stephen) who I admire very much and what they have achieved in their sporting career so far my INSPIRATION to become the healthier man I am today.

They came to stay in Perth for few days and gave me some advice regarding my training and that I have to take rest every now and again and to have plenty sleep which I lack at this moment of time, I usually finish work at around midnight and I go to the gym at around 7 am for few hours and head to work 6 days a week and the 7th day I usually go for a swim, but now it will all change in case I over do it or burn myself, Bella and Stephen I thank you so very much for putting me on the right track and Bella you are not playing the MUM , hahahah I appreciate and take on board every thing u advised me to do, thanks again guys.

 

Tomorrow I am heading to the Cairngorms and this will be my second winter outing and looking forward to it, there is plenty snow , and I just hope the weather will be fair.

Wednesday I will be staying home all day and have plenty of sleep and rest and start going to the gym on Thursday for 5 days and 2 days off and hopefully my stamina will still go stronger and stronger.

 

Next update tommorow after my return from the Cairngorms

 

90 DAYS TO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by JALAL on November 8, 2009 at 7:03 PM Comments comments (0)

 

90 days to go before i head to my next climb (KILIMANJARO)

 

I have started my training yesterday and strict diet, and this will go on until mid january 2010 and then i will have to slow down and take it easy for the last 2 weeks before my flight.

 

when i left Morroco i think my mum and my family were still a bit concerned about the Kilimanjaro but i assured them that i will be very carefull and i will.

 

£1500.00 raised so far and still a long way to go but i am still very optimist that more people will donate because as i said before all the money will go to CHAS .

 

i am up at 6.00 am tommorow as i have to be in the gym at 6.30 until 9.00 am .

 

Update on my training will follow next

 

Jalal

MY ATLAS MOUNTAINS TREK DIARY

Posted by JALAL on November 5, 2009 at 7:18 PM Comments comments (0)

23/10/2009 Day 1

Left the house at 5.30am for the 8.55m flight. I was up since 3am only 3 hours sleep, Linda gave me a lift to the airport, we got there in plenty of time – no traffic at all. The first flight to Gatwick was fine but the Gatwick to Marrakech flight had a half hour delay which was not bad really.

We took off at 3.05pm, a few people asked me what I was doing and were enthusiastic about my challenges ahead even some of the staff in Gatwick airport, so I’ve given 10 leaflets away so far as I said before any way to get more money for the kids, I will do it. According to the Captain the temperature in Marrakech is 28 (82 degrees) can’t complain at that!!!!!

I phoned my brother before take off to check if he had left Agadir but he was already in Marrakech What a guy, I can’t remember last time I had asked him something and he did not do it.

I have a true brother relationship with Amine if he asks me to walk to Timbaktou I will with no hesitation. Anyway I slept for an hour on the plane (very comfortable) because I was first one to board I went to the seats with EXIT (more room for the legs)

 

24/10/2009 Day 2,Agadir

 

I could not believe how busy Marrakech Airport was, lots of English, German tourists, Amine was waiting for me outside and I was very pleased to see him, he looked well. It took us nearly 5 hours to get to Agadir because of the heavy traffic and the road works to finish the new motorway that links Agadir to Marrakech for June 2010. We got to Agadir at around 11.30pm and greeted of course by my lady mum and she had made home made soup and that was the most delicious thing I had had fro a while “Nothing but Mama’s food”

We talked for a couple of hours and my mum looked very healthy better than the last time I saw her in July.

One of my worries when I booked both treks is “would my mum be ok with it” knowing she has a heart problem – worry, well after explaining that I’m raising money for CHAS she was 100% behind me and told me that “life is too short son, so enjoy and do what you want to do and what will happen will happen whether it be here, in the UK, Timbuktu, if you enjoy what you are doing it is essential.

Well after that conversation I felt great and knowing that the most important person in this planet “My Mum” is supporting and is behind me 100% and that’s all I needed and I feel now I could do anything I want to do.

I was up this morning at 6.30am and went for an easy half hour run and when I came back my Mum had breakfast ready with some homemade porridge and honey “very delicious”

PM After breakfast I had to go to sort out some personal issues with a Bank and them visited an old friend Lesley Sanchez who is the British Consulate in Agadir, so I told her my story and she was very supportive and I gave her some leaflets. We had lunch in my mum’s house and after everyone had a siesta, Amine decided to take me to this new gym which opened walking distance from my mum’s house and spent an hour there, and Amine decided to become a member. After the gym went to Inezgane to buy a Moroccan Flag which I will take with me to Toubkel and all other summits I’ll be doing. Its 9.30pm and because my mum had a hectic day we all decided to go to bed and I can’t remember last time I went to bed so early, but I think I must have a rest and my bus to Marrakech is at 10am, so I’ll have the whole afternoon just to relax and get ready to be picked up on Monday . I will be phoning my guide tomorrow when I arrive in Marrakech so we could discuss the Trek in more details. I’m really getting sleepy and I’ll update tomorrow on the bus to Marrakech.

 

25/10/2009 Day 3,Agadir to Marrakech

 

The bus was 5 minutes late to leave the station. I was up this morning at y7.30am and went with my mum to the patisserie to buy some croissants and French bread we had breakfast with Amine and left the house at 9.30am. The bus station is only 10 minutes

Drive from my mum’s house. I felt just before I left the house that my mum was a bit worried about me but I assured her again that I love doing it and that I will be safe and promised her that I will not be doing stupid things apart from climbing to the top of the TOUBKEL but I think and hope she will be fine. We stopped after two and a half hours for lunch for half an hour I had barbeque lamb chops. They are places in Morocco where you choose your meat (Butcher) and they barbeque it in front of you. The road is busy again with more cars than lorries, the bus is very comfortable like buses in UK. I just phoned Jamal (Guide) and the pick up from the airport will be tomorrow at 8am (VERY EXCITING!!!) I have just sent him a text to ask if I could stay another extra day in the high altitude even if I have to summit the Toubkel twice or do another sister summit. I hope it will be fine if not I will surprise my family on Friday by having a drinks reception at the Menzah Mogador apartments with a projector of my trek. Just had a text back from Jamal and we will discuss the extra day tomorrow when we meet at 8am.

I arrive at Marrakech on time and stayed at the Mogador Menzah Appt very pleasant bunch of workers and they make you feel so comfortable and northing is too much trouble for them. Well done Mr Berrada the General manager of the Hotel.

I went to the town just after I arrived and decided to buy things for children living up in the mountains, so I bought 18 different pieces of clothing for the cold, 4 x boxes of sweeties, 40 note books, 20 colouring books , 10 sets of socks and 10 x boxes of colouring pencils and 100 bic pens.

 

26/10/2009 Day 4

 

I had a last good sleep last night and was up at 6.30am to be picked up at 8am. I only had 3 glasses of orange juice with all an Omega 3 tablet with all the excitement I could not have breakfast. Its 7.33am and the weather is already for sunbathing and I know some people who will be by the pool at this time if they were here!!!

I’m still hoping to get an extra day in the mountains, Jamal the Guide will let me know this morning and if it’s too expensive, I think 4 days in the mountains should be fine and I should be happy.

 

26/10/2009 , Day 5 ,2pm

 

I met up this morning with Jamel the Guide “very genuine guy” we discussed the circuit and because I wanted to add another day I have changed the circuit a little bit and it was fine by him.

We drove for 2 hours, met the Mule who will carry food and tents and started the walk. We walked for 2 hours a very steep climb and very very hot in 2 hours I had drunk 3 litres of water, I could not stop sweating, climbing was no problem so far but the heat that I am not use to, got me just a little bit, nothing to worry about at this stage after the 2 hours we had the first stop, there were 3 mules waiting for walkers to come up and have lunch all together, 2 English and another 3 which I don’t know what nationality until they get here.

I’m sitting under a tree hiding from the sun and recharge my batteries until I get called in for lunch, it is so peaceful and surreal. You have to be here to experience it, it does not matter how I describe it.

I just been offered a Mint Tea and that was nice, better than any I have tasted before. The couple I came with from Marrakech took them another hour to reach the first top Tizimazi at 2400metres and after another half an hour , 3 Scottish ladies from Alloa joined in but they are not doing the Toubkel but doing a different circuit. After little rest and lunch we start to descend to Azadh 1800 metres the scenery is breath taking the walk was very enjoyable but very very hot. They had snow on the top last week but after the very unusual hot weather they had last few weeks, all the snow has melted but you could still see some after the Azadh 1800m we climbed to Tamsoult 2300 metres and this ups and downs in altitude is to get acclimatised we spent the first night in Tamsoult camp, consisting of 2 rooms which will sleep 15 people each (Sardines) another dining room/kitchen and that’s where the Guides/Porters sleep and 4 showers and 5 toilets (hole in the ground) and it can’t be less basic!! And a tent wich was organised for myself.

We arrive at the Camp Tamsoult at 5pm and meet up with an English couple and 2 children, they started a day earlier doing the same circuit but I’m climbing another 4000 metres (Anoukrim) they are not.

Very nice family we had tea and cakes when I arrived and given the choice of a tent or to sleep in the room, I choose the room because no one else was sleeping outside and with so many dogs outside that made my decision very quick.

At 6pm it was total darkness and the stars where so clear and the half moon clear too we decided to step outside for a little while to see this beauty. We chatted for a while and the children were so happy to be here and experience this simple life with their parents and its something they will never learn at school or anywhere else. No camp fire today they have not got enough logs (even if we are surrounded by a forest?!!)

We were called for diner at 6.340pm we had lentil soup to start and lamb tagine followed by pineapple dessert and Moroccan whisky (tea) it was okay while we were having dinner the Guide and Porters were playing cards and they had there dinner after us and we talked for a while and at 8pm the family decided to go to bed as we all have an early start –

breakfast is at 7am and departing at 8am.I stayed with the Guides and Porters until 9.30pm when I headed to bed.

Tomorrow will be the longest walk (Ref Mohamed the Guide) to reach the Toubkel Base Camp around 7 hours walk and we will be climbing from 2300 metres to 3600 metres we will be leaving as one group but I am sure after a while I will have my own pace and go a little bit quicker than the English family, the Guides were okay with it and we shall meet all together for lunch. It’s not a race and because we gaining lots of altitude I’ll be very careful I just don’t know how fast or slow they will walk.

I was up at 3am mind you I slept very well and its 4.14am right now still dark and spooky outside I could hear lots of dogs barking

It is 5 am I think the porter are loading things to the mules but not sure.

 

27/10/2009,Day 6 ,6.51am

 

Everyone’s up. Porters are getting breakfast ready and we will be leaving at 8am looking forward to the long day and the gain in altitude.

15.49

We all settled at the Toubkel refuge 3207 metres last camp before the summit. I am doing 4000 metres tomorrow and the Toubkel on Thursday so looking forward to that.

What a day….two and half hour climb I have never experienced before once we got to the first top the view was something else and we could see the Toubkel summit from afar

The porters were ahead of us and when we arrive for lunch everything was prepared, we had a salad followed by spaghetti bolognaise and melon as dessert it was good very much enjoyed it.

What we did today is ups and downs all day to get my body use to altitude we did 2400 metres and down to 1800 metres and up again to 2300 metres, up to 3585 metres, down to 3310, down to 3002 and to the Toubkel refuse at 3207 metres. The refuge is very busy with Frenchs, Italians, English it’s a camp bed site where 16 are in one room. I took the upstairs bed there is another bed next to me and I just hope non-one will have it so I could have more room to lie down. I’m sitting outside the camp and just looking to the beauty of the Altas Mountains and the surrounding mountain tops.

There is a big kitchen where the porters cook for there clients, so we having Haria and couscous, it start to get cold 4.90pm I ‘m getting more clothes on.

 

28/10/2009 Day 7 5.03pm Toubkel Camp

 

After dinner last night I sat with a few people mixed nationalities, it was great to get involved in the conversation and around 9pm we’ve been told its time to go to bed I just could not believe it.

At 3.00 am some people walking up to start their trek then I understood why everyone has to go to bed so early.

Today we went to 4084 metres I was up at 6.00 for 7.00am start , been in top bed and not having my day rucksack ready the night prior, you could imagine trying to get my bag ready in the top bed with no light apart from the headlight. We left in time and joined by a Greek guy I met last night and did not have a Guide and asked me if he could join me.

Today trek was the most adventurous, the most exciting, dangerous, extreme thing I have ever done and after 2 hours trek my guide hits me with this proper climb (rock climbing) and some stages he had to give us his hand to pull us through narrow places. I have never experienced anything like it and it was very enjoyable.

When we reached 4050 I started to get a sore head I was a bit worried especially for the Kilimanjaro but after speaking to people in the camp they all told me that I will get sore head in high altitude but my breathing was fine. Once we got to the top we stayed for 15 minutes and started heading back going though the rocks again.

We got back to the camp at 3pm and my porter had lunch ready on the table for us, it was mixed Moroccan salad and Spanish omelette with oranges for dessert and tea. This is the first time I have eaten a lot because I did not fancy breakfast, after lunch I chatted to a couple from Holland who did the Kilimanjaro I think last year and they gave me some advice.

Around 4pm surprise surprise it starts to rain and that was a worry because I am doing the Toubkel tomorrow morning so I hope it stops raining very soon. And everybody come in to the living room it was good to see everyone from different nationalities chatting away English too

It is 6pm the rain stopped but the mist is unreal like back home and thunderstorm. Its 7.09 we had Haria and some Spaghetti the weather outside stillxxxx I c can’t believe its 8.30pm and I’m in bed the sky starts to clear and we could see some stars so fingers are still crossed. I’ve met and spoken to 6 different people who have all done the Kilimanjaro and I am absorbing everything they said and any advice they have given.

I can’t believe it tomorrow will by the D day (weather permitted) and I had a text from Carol Taylor (Work colleague) from UK and John from CHAS wishing me luck and that was very much appreciated. Tonight there are a couple from Holland, and a French Couple with their daughter in the bedroom 7 in the room and they are all bed which is better than last night people were coming in and out at all hours the couple from Holland leaving at 6am for the climb and the French at 5am and myself at 7am so from 4am the bedroom will be noisy with people getting their rock sacks finished, I’m wearing to bed the clothes I will be wearing for the climb tomorrow Minus jacket and boots

It is 8.45pm I’m off to sleep

 

29/10/2009, Day 8

 

Its 4.45 am I had good sleep the French couple just left the room I went outside (still dark) to check the weather and I have never seen so many stars so I went back to the room and took my jacket and sat outside fro 15 mins just to look at the stars and this means that we are going to have nice weather today and fingers are still crossed. Its 5.23am I could not sleep and the other couple are waking up they have a 6am start everyone seems happy because of the improvement of the weather I’ll wait until they leave the room and I will start tidying up my room and ill my water camel bag. I forgot to mention it an English couple joined the camp last night from Wales they did the same circuit I am doing and to my surprise they going to Kilimanjaro in December and this is part of their training. The only difference they sleeping in a tent and I am not brave enough to do it yet its very cold outside and if I had someone else to share the tent with I would have done it. Last night after dinner I sat with the owner of the camp an old Berber guy and it was interesting to hear his stories. The couple from Holland just left its 5.35 I’m getting ready and get the batteries for the camera recharged.

 

29/10/2009, Day 9, 6.18pm

 

What a day

Breakfast at 6.15am and we departed for the Toubkel at 7am me and the French lady who joined me yesterday and a couple from Wales who arrived yesterday who booked with Jamal and his brother was the guide. While having breakfast I was a bit worried to be honest about the height because yesterday when I did 4085m I started to feel the altitude 4050 so I played the brave one. The guide advised us to take our time and we will be fine so we did. It was the steepest climb I ever did. All the way from the start I was doing 50 steps in 1 minutes 35 seconds, very small , we could see a guy coming down and straight away the Guide said (he did not make it) and them when the guy came near us he told us that at the beginning of the last ridge he was very dizzy and sore head and felt sick so he had to came down.

At that time I was getting worried, seeing a strong guy not making it but the Guide Mohamed reassured us that if we listen to him walk slow and drink lots of water we will be fine, at 4050 I was okay at 4100 I was still okay and that time I became so strong in my mind that I knew that I was going to make it to the top and after three and half hours slow walk with 10 minutes break, I can’t describe the top of the Toubkel you have to see the photos I’ve taken 1300 photos it was very emotional.

Its 8.37pm I’m in bed and it has not sunk in yet that I climbed 4167 metres (13,671ft) and the 3rd highest mountains in Africa. After Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The trek went very fast I wish I could do more it took us two and half hours to come down everyone sat down for coffee but not me I was phoning and texting people to let them know about my achievement.

The adrenaline was still kicking and I decided to take my Camera and go for a walk!!!! I was not tired we had chicken tagine for dinner and harira for starter and after dinner at 7pm I went to bed. We started going down to Imlil tomorrow it’s a 4 hour walk and I will be picked up by car to Marrakech. My family are meeting me in Marrakech I have organised a surprise drink reception in a hotel with a surprise show of all 1200 photos of my trek. This will be the icing on the cake and it’s a shame my wife will not be part of the celebration its 9pm getting sleepy. The room is full tonight they all sleeping because they just arrived and they all climbing Toubkel tomorrow I’m only one in the room who climbed it today. I could hear 2 people snoring and this will be funny.

 

30/10/2009, Day 10, Departing to Imlil – Marrakech

 

I was up at 1.30am had my six hours sleep, Slept very well and from 1.30 to 5.00 I could hear different noises from people sleeping its so funny, snoring, dreaming talking and it went on and on.

5am everyone from the room was up getting ready to climb Toubkel. Good Luck to them because when I look through the windows I could see snow (not a lot) in the first climb they will have to do. It actually takes just under an hour to go over the first part that you can see from the camp. Everybody was up except me with a big grin in my sleeping bag wishing everyone good luck. We were very very lucky with the weather thank you God

Its 6.50am looking forward to meet my family and tell them all about my trek We are leaving the Toubkel camp at 7am to be in Imlil at 10.30am after arriving in Imlil the Guide Mohamed will take me to his village which is 20 minutes walk to give children the clothes, books, pencils and pen that I brought with my own money and as I said before the money raised during my treks will go to CHAS once it has been done I think Amine (brother) will be meeting me in Imlil if not, if they have had a long journey it will be in Marrakech and the first thing I will do is to have a BATH!!!! I have not washed for 4 days.

 

 

 

FIRST MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Posted by JALAL on November 2, 2009 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

I just arrived home after an amazing achievement to summit the Toubkel ( 13671 ft )on the 29th October 2009.

 

Photos and everyday blog on the mountains will follow in the next few days.

 

Regards

Jalal

THE JOURNEY TO MORROCO

Posted by JALAL on October 25, 2009 at 7:51 PM Comments comments (0)

23rd october 2009 . Day one

I was up at 3.00 am and left the house at 5.30 am for the 8.55 am flight. I got to the airport in plenty time, no traffic at all. The first flight to Gatwick was fine but the Gatwick to Marrakech was 20 minutes late to take off wich is not bad really; it could had been worse. I had few pepole asking me about the T shirt i was wearing so i had to explaine the reason i am doing it and got lots of support along the way and were asking me for the website and some leaflets to show theire friends. As I said it before I will go to any length to help the CHAS and childrens in need in generale. I phone my brother before wtook off and he was already in Marrakech, what a guy and I cant remembethe last time I asked him something and did not do it or helped and that is whI call a real brother relation. I slept in the plane for an hour very comfortable, I was the first one to board so I went to the seats next to the emergency exit with more room for my legs.

 

Day 2

I just could not believe how busy the airport in Marrakech was busy, lots of English, French and Germans. Amine was witing for mr outside and I was very pleased to see him . I took us 5 hours to get to Agadir because of the trafic and the Road works to finish the Agadir/ Marrakech Mottorway wich will be finished in June 2010. We got to Agadir at arround 11.30 pm and greated by my wonderfull MUM and she had made the most deliciouse home made soup I had for a while and nothing cant beat your Mums food. We talked for a couple of hours and my mum looked healthier than last time I saw her. One of my worry when I booked my treks was ( would mum be ok with it !:!!! , well after I explained the reason I am doing it and it was for childrens she was 100 % behind me. After that conversation I felt great knowing that the most important person in this planet is supporting me and that is all I needed . I was up this morning at 6.30 am and went for an easy half an hour run and when I comeback my mum had breakfast in the table with some home made Porridge and Pure honey. Yum Yum it was very good. PM After breakfast I visited an old friend ; Lesley Shanchez and she is the British Honoury Consul in Agadir and told her my story and she wants to help me in any way to get more support to raise more funds for the Hospice and I gave her some of the leaflets I made in Perth. After lunch amine took me to Inezgane to buy a Morrocan flag wich I will be taking with me now to every Mountain. At 6.00 pm we went to this new Gym next to my mum s house for an hour and amine end up taking a membership.

 

Day 3. Agadir to Marrakech

 

 I was up at 7.00 and went with my mum to buy some croissant and Patissiere and french bread for breakfast with amine and granny and left the house at 9.30 am The bus station is only 10 minutes from my mum s house. I felt just before I said bye to Mum that she was a bit worried about me but I reassured her that I will be very carefull and I will not be doing stupid things appart from treking the Atlas mountains and the Kilinanjaro hahaha !!! and I hope she will be fine. I arrived in marrakech in time, phoned the guide and he will meet me tommorow at 8.00 am to discuss the trek and I will ask him if it is possible to add another day at the last camp before the summit to get use to the altittude and that will be part getting ready for the big one Kilimanjaro. I am staying in the Mogador Menzah Appartments: very pleasant bunch of staff and they make feel so comfortable you start to get embarrased and nothing is too much for them so well done Mr Berrada : General Manager. [Check the following link for the Mogadors in marrakech and beleive u me you will get a true morrocan Hospitality: www.ryadmogador.com] I went to the souk this afternoon and bought the following to take with me to the mountains to give to the childrens/ 18 pieces of cold clothing; 4 boxes of sweets; 40 note books;20 colouring books;10 sets of pairs socks and 10 boxes colouring pencils and 100 BICS pens and all this I bought from my own money , and as I said it before all the money raised via the website or the donation received will go straight to CHAS. It si 11.30 Pm and I have a wake up call at 6.30 so I will say bye for now and will keep u updated if I found an Internet cafe in the mountians. Wish me luck and Sorry for any wrong spelling?????

 

 Regards Jalal

Friday 23rd October 2009

Posted by JALAL on October 22, 2009 at 11:33 PM Comments comments (0)

Today I m flying to Marrakech , my brother Amine will travel from Agadir to pick me up for the journey down to see my Mum and travel back to Marrakech on Sunday to start my trek on Monday .

 

It is usually a couple of hours drive from Marrakech to the Foot of the Atlas Mountains.

 

The first thing I will do when I get to Marrakech is to go to Jemaa elfna to have an orange juice and people who had been to Marrakech they will know what I am talking about, the best squeeze orange juice in the World (I ll drink one for you shivone) sorry for spelling your name wrong!!!

I

 was up at 3am instead of 5.30 am as planned because I could not sleep and I am very exiting for what I am about to do for CHAS.

I cant believe I will leave my house in a couple of hours and head to the second highest mountain in North Africa? I dont think it had sunk in yet.

Looking forward to wearing my CHAS T shirt with all the informations and my website on it and hopefully people will see it and donate money online.

 

I forgot to buy the Scottish flag and I hope they have some in the Airport shops, if not I will have one made in Marrakech but I will definitely take one with me even if I have to paint my face like Neil Gibson in the film ( Bravehard ) hahahaha, I will have some thing Scottish in the summit with me.

 

I have checked the weather forecast for Marrakech for today and the next 3 days (93fahrenheit / 34 Celsius) and I am very pleased.

 

It is 4.30 now I am going to have some Porridge for my breakfast and start putting my gears in the car and head to Edinburgh airport.

 

Until next time

 

Regards

Jalal

 

G UPDATES

Posted by JALAL on October 22, 2009 at 1:21 PM Comments comments (0)

Sorry, some comments and training sssion i had just disappeared, i blame the PC:dry:, because i had my blog on my guest book and changed it to the right place (BLOG ) but as u can see something went wrong.

from now on it will make sense, so dont be confused if u read the blog until her and start wondering that it does not make sense?!?!?!? i agree with you and as i said i blame the PC hahahaha.

 

 

This is the last update until i get to Morroco .

Thanks again for all ur support and just to let you know the SCOTTISH flag going with me Hahahaha .

 

 

Hi

 

Just a quick thank you for all the support i got and for the money raisd so far £1137.00 ( 12% ) of my target.

 

I had my last training session this morning in the Gym and went very well.

I changed my mind about pushing myself and did only 1 hour in the running machine (Climbing mode) and an hour doing some weights because i still had to buy a sleeping mat and water purifying tablets.

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone for your support and especially my family, who cannot believe I am going trek Toubkel in October 2009 and Killimanjaro in February 2010.

I am on an intense training regime (6 days a week) which includes a full gym workout, swimming and then out for a cycle run. I will continue this programme untill 2 days prior to leaving for Morocco.

On my 2 days off this week i am going to climg Ben Nevis (highest mountain in the UK, for everyone in Morocco if you don't know itby now as i have already done it before and told you all!) weather permitting (Wednesday & Thursday) to check my stammina level.

Will update you again very soon xx

 

 

 

Hi

Just back from the gym, i went in at 7 am for a good 2 hours work out, heading for half an hour cycle then go to work.

I have checked the weather for Ben nevis and it started to snow at the sommet wich i am looking forward to it.

I will be living the house at 5 am tommorow to try to get an early start before it gets busy then it s a drive to Oban for the night and back again to Ben nevis on thursday morning.

Will update in 2 days after my climbs

 

 

Hi everyone

I am so annoyed today because the plan I had for climbing Ben Nevis twice in two days did not materialised.

I did not finish work until 1.00 am and by the time I got home and ready to go to bed it was 2.00am.

Every time I go for a trek I always leave the house at 5 am, so with 2 hours drive to get to Forth Williams with 3 hours sleep it is not fun and dangerous.

Mind you I did it in the passed but after an 8 hours trek and then driving back for 2 hours was a stupid idea specially when u start to feel sleepy while u driving.

So today I went to the gym for 3 hours and did a 10 miles on the bike and swimming 10 lengths, then a nice and a deserve relaxation in the steam room and sauna.

Tomorrow I am up at 4.00 am to head to Ben Nevis (I know it s early) but I want to start the climb at no later than 7.30 am before it gets busy.

Last May when I did it, it took me 4 hours to get to the top so hopefully if all goes to plan and after all the training I started to do I should reach the top in less than 4 hours, otherwise there is something really wrong with my fitness, because I never felt so fit for a VERY long time.

Heading to bed and will update you tomorrow.

 

 

 

It s 5 am and heading to ben nevis and this is the forecast: Thursday will remain cold. After dawn, there will be showers, of snow on higher slopes, where there will also be gales. But by midday the showers will have more or less died out and the wind will have dropped very markedly. Cloud covering all higher slopes in the morning, will also lift to clear the summit for periods in the afternoon. The ground will be frozen above 1000m.

update will follow

Just back from Forth williams after climbing Ben Nevis for the second time.

It took me over 3 hours to get there, lots of Lorries on the road and some road works near Glencoe.

I arrived at the Glen Nevis visitor Centre at 8.30am and started the climb at 8.45.

The weather at the car par was very nice but i coud see the clouds at the top of the first hill and was hoping they will disappears around lunch time as predicted in the weather forecast.

 

The adrenaline was kicking after 10 minutes and I kept climbing all the way to the top and the only time I stopped is to put my Balaclava, gloves and the jacket because it started to be very very cold.

I could not believe it when i reached the top in (2hours and 55 minutes) (some people could do it in less time because lots of guys just passed me and they were going very fast) compare to when i did it 5 months ago it took me over 4 hours to reach the top with few rest on the way and nearly gave up, and my knees were hurting me.

Today I did not have any problems with my knees and was very relieved because to be honest with you it was one thing on the back of my mind (What will happen if i get sore knees again) so i think this was the result of the intense training am doing and adding OMEGA 3 in to my diet.

Tomorrow am on Early shift so back to the Gym and swimming and some cycling at night which I will be doing for the next 5 days and have a day off and start all over again.

My next 2 days off i will be going to the Cairngorms so i will keep you updated in the next few days.

Take care

Jalal

PS/ See photos taken today in Ben nevis and see the difference between the Sommet and the Ground !!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone for your support and especially my family, who cannot believe I am going trek Toubkel in October 2009 and Killimanjaro in February 2010.

I am on an intense training regime (6 days a week) which includes a full gym workout, swimming and then out for a cycle run. I will continue this programme untill 2 days prior to leaving for Morocco.

On my 2 days off this week i am going to climg Ben Nevis (highest mountain in the UK, for everyone in Morocco if you don't know itby now as i have already done it before and told you all!) weather permitting (Wednesday & Thursday) to check my stammina level.

Will update you again very soon xx

 

 


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