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February 13, 2002

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(Hiking time: 4 hours) After a tent breakfast we left our camp in the rainforest glade and crossed a small valley covered by rocky heather. We climbed along a ridge until it ended at a small river gorge. Our guides keep saying 'pole, pole' which means 'slowly, slowly' in Swahili. They don't want us to strain ourselves at high altitude. Tonight's campsite sits on the Shira plateau, 3600 meters above sea level. Before the sunset, we watched a bronze eagle hunt mice that skittered around the rocks and ran under our tent for cover.
While the eagle hunted mice, we ate dinner in the tent. Halifa feeds us with pastas and rice stews.
Kilimanjaro presents an eerie landscape.
Strange plants, too.