Joni Ferns (21) spent one month doing volunteer work with the Masai village in Kenya prior to joining Price Waterhouse, this September after graduating from Bristol University.
She said she wanted to climb Mt Kilimanjaro before returning from Kenya, and Felix jumped at the chance of joining her for the trek/climb up the mountain.
Joni decided to raise funds in aid of “Vision Africa” and set up a website on www.JustGiving.com/Joni-Ferns/ whilst Felix decided to raise funds for CAFOD in aid of East Africa Famine Relief also setting up a website on www.JustGiving.com/Felix-Ferns/
He started the climb on Saturday 19 Aug from the Rongai Route, each day covering 4 – 7hrs of trekking with some 36 porters/guides, carrying everything from our tents, table/chairs for dining and even had a toilet porter.
“While our guides urged us “Poli, poli” (slowly, slowly), the porters bounced past us calling “Jumbo, jumbo” (hello, hello) and our tents would be ready and set up, long before we reached each campsite. We’d have dinner, get to sleep and be awaken by 6.30am for wash, breakfast and start the next trek.
Joni and I enjoyed ‘Milo’ (choc drink) the 1st day, no one else knew what it was!! Again, except for Mark(Canadian), Joni and I, no one else knew of peanut butter!! Incredible!! By the 2nd day everyone wanted Milo and peanut butter – “how sad!” said Joni and Mark!! My daughter noticed that I didn’t snore at all, which was amazing – maybe we should move house to somewhere at least 2500m above sea-level!!
By the 3rd day we were near Mawenzi Peak and the guide took us up a steep hill of 200m and came back down within 1.5 hrs to test our altitude acclamatisation – and he said at dinner that we were all OK for the final push!! Day 4 we reach Kibo Hut 4700m and went to sleep early for the 11pm wake up to start 6hr climb to reach Gillman’s point 5685m and then another 1.5hrs round the volcanic crater to reach Uhuru Peak 5895m summit for catching the sunrise!! Simply amazing!! From Gillman’s point it became physically stressful for me that I had to take longer breaks to reach the summit; so I reached it half an hour after everyone else!! There Joni hugged me before we all hugged each other and even the guides cheered because all 12 of us had made it to the top!! Then within an hour we started our climb down to reach Kibo Hut for lunch by 2pm and then another 4hr trek to Horombo Hut 3780m for final night, before our last trek next day to Marangu Point 1800m where the coach took us back to Moshi Hotel, on Thursday evening” – Felix Ferns
A very well done to both Felix and Joni Ferns!!!