Kilimanjaro – Day 2/10 – Sunshine and getting the kit ready

I slept well. Really well although it was a bit hot and humid. Temperature was around +31 degrees Celsius so about 30 more than back home. It felt like back in Australia so cozy but still it was HOT so started the morning with a few laps in the pool hoping it would wake me up and get the blood flowing. The water was too hot to wake up and pool too short to even get going … Well better than nothing!

After breakfast we enjoyed the sunshine and I tried to work on my tan. Being a fair skinned Finn who hasn’t been in this hot climate for a while (we had a bad summer last year) sunscreen was a must. Still I managed to miss a few spots and looked like a piglet here and there by the evening.

Time for some tan and D-vitamin!

After lunch I took a short nap because we all felt really tired after travelling for a day and all the excitement of whether we will make it to the connecting flight and so on. During my nap they had received information on the whereabouts of the three missing luggage and to our relief they were all on their way to Kilimanjaro International Airport and should arrive by evening!

Then before dinner we met our guides and got some last minute tips and info on our journey up and down. Nobody really knew what to ask or what to expect and was eager to just get going. I enjoyed the day since clearly the climate is different and with all the bags and hassle of travelling it was a good choice to have a day on the ground before leaving.

After dinner we all went to pack our things to three different bags; one bag to stay at the hotel reception, one to carry as day bag which contained everything you might need during the day and last bag is the duffel bag which has all other stuff you need on the mountain, but don’t necessarily need during the day.

See the destination… Red arrow!

I tried to read a book for a while before going to bed, but was pretty tired again and knowing we has a tough week of little sleep probably ahead of us went to bed early. I slept OK especially when I took the duvet cover off the blanket and used it as my blanket. In Australia I remember there were three stages in sleeping. With the blanket (and possibly extra blanket), with just duvet cover and without anything… last one being mid summer and first one mid winter.

Anyways I didn’t really expect anything or hope anything from the journey up so I wasn’t really scared or concerned about anything going up, but a bit worried that how can family contact me in case something happens back home with kids for example. We had a satellite phone with which we had agreed to give a call around 4 pm each day so our family could pass messages and we could pass messages to them if needed so that eased my mind a bit.

I was happy to get going as it has been such a long time we have been preparing for this. Fell asleep in those thoughts. Did not dream anything (strange, I usually have more vivid night time than daytime!) and woke up well rested the next morning ready to head out to the mountain peaking in the distance.

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Training – W5/2020 Easy training and waiting

Last week before heading out to the unknown… Not much training or much else but just waiting. Very quick post to say I went for a few runs, but that was it.

Weather has been on and off below zero so Tanzania will be an improvement in any scale. Still would have hoped for a proper winter weather before I go to get used to cold.

So just packing and waiting for THE day of departure. All ready and set to go!


  • Running 10 kilometers
  • Trail running 7,4 kilometers

Training plan

No other plan but to take it easy and don’t get hurt!

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KIlimanjaro – Day 1/10 – Travel day

Schipol airport first leg behind

I woke up at 5 am and managed to eat even some breakfast before my taxi arrived. Everything went smooth and I was at the airport well on time before the boarding. Ate my second breakfast as I was already hungry by then again.

After we got on the plane the excitement started and the captain announced that due to strong winds at Schipol airport, Amsterdam our flight would be delayed and that we need to just sit and wait until we know more. I did not have too excessively time to transfer to my Kilimanjaro flight so was a bit worried how late we excatly are.

We got info that we would be leaving only half an hour late opposed to 1,5 hours that they first had been told. So I should be ok if there is not too much queues in the passport control and so on. Then again all departures would also probably be delayed due to  only one runway in use so there is a fair chance I will make it OK.

Watched a movie had my _third_ breakfast and some coffee and right after we landed they let everyone with tight connections out first and the queue at passport control was really short so I was at the gate a little bit before boarding. For a few minutes I was then only one, then my Spanish colleagues arrived and boarding started so we made it on time it seems.

Our other colleagues in Europe were not that lucky. UK team ran as fast as they could but we just taxied off when they got to the gate and Swiss and Austrian members also landed just before but unfortunately they did not make it to the flight either. One member from North UK made it on board thanks to departure being late so it was just the 5 of us on the 11th Feb KLM morning flight.

Rest of the team managed to get a new flight through Nairobi and arrived around midnight so everyone got there in the end. Still waiting for a few bags to arrive though and making plan B in case they don’t.

The ride in the darkness to the hotel did not give much idea of where we are but it did make me think again how we take for granted many things like electricity and street lights.

We were really knackered after the flight so pretty much went straight to be after dinner. Looking forward to tomorrow in the sun!

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Packing done and goodbyes

Bags inside bags

No way you can avoid it. You have to pack at some point. I did try to avoid it until the last minute, but since I won’t have time to pack tomorrow, decided to do it on the weekend and test what I can fit into which bag.

There is so many bags it’s ridiculous, you got dry bags to put stuff into so they don’t get wet in case is pours, then you put the dry bags into the back bag and/or the suitcase and until the actual hike when you put them to the the duffel bag which is also in a suitcase now, so you got plenty of bags inside bags!

Trying to sort this pile of stuff is a bit time consuming. Biggest challenge was to fit all essential liquids into just 1 liter bag 😉

Salty licorice and peanuts!

Bag to take to Africa

  • Hand luggage max 12 kilos, Day bag with everything you might need on the hike in case your check-in baggage does not arrive
  • Check in baggage 23 kilos to fit everything else (including duffel bag, sleeping bag and so on) hoping that it will arrive…

Bags to take to the hike

  • Duffel bag max 15 kilos, everything you don’t need during the days hike
  • Day bag all the rest basically what you may need during the a days hike

So some stuff we can leave to the lodge where we will stay before we leave to the mountain.

1 day to go and goodbyes

Naturally the closer it gets the more you think about the actual journey and what is to come. I have not had really time to think about the journey to the top, travelling to Africa or travelling at all for that matter.

Normally you get to know the place where you are going to and plan what you will be doing on a daily basis, what sightseeing you will visit and so on. Now I have not had time to do anything like that, but then again I am going on an organized trip where everything has been thought before hand for me so I don’t have to.

It is a relief actually for once not to be in the planning end. I am putting full faith to the people taking care of us and guiding us on the mountain and will do what they say and enjoy the ride!

It will be sad to say goodbye to the kids and husband, even the cat, but I am excited that the time is finally here and do hope that all goes well.

How to follow us? And what about my daily blog on the hike?

There is hardly any coverage on the mountain and in addition to that it would cost a fortune on roaming costs, plus I want to concentrate on the nature on the mountain so…

I will be off the grid after we leave from the lodge wi-fi until we get back to the 13th to the 19th of February.

If you wish to follow our journey up you can find some updates from website and…

Our itinerary is here:

I will be writing (yes, writing like with a pen and paper) a diary along the way which I will then type to digital format after we return along with hopefully some truly amazing photos!

So this is my last post before I go unless I get a change to post something about first impressions in Africa.

Here we go! Wish me luck!

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My weight loss journey(s), part IV

As promised. The series of My weight loss journey continues. I received a few questions on what do I eat now then? Well right now I am eating chips and chocolate, but that is definitely not an every day thing.

Started thinking what do I actually eat and realized that I have made significant changes to my diet that is true.

Portion size

Like I already mentioned in My weight loss journey(s), part II portion size has changed significantly. I did not think how much I ate. I most likely ate too much all the time thinking back. Now I am consciously thinking how much I eat throughout the day as I have learned better to count calories in my head.

I started taking clearly smaller amounts on my plate and yet I have not been ever ”hungry”. I think there is a bit of that buffet phenomenon that when you can take as much as you want you tend to take ”For the money’s worth”. I completely changed that way of thinking into eating as much as you need, not as much as you can.

Extra liquid calories

So juices, smoothies, alcohol, soft drinks I changed to water and coffee. I cannot give up coffee you, must have some vices. I consciously again made the choice thinking that they are just unnecessary calories and not worth putting in my mouth.

And yes I put milk in my coffee! like I said, you must have some vices… (trust me that is not the only vice I have!!)

One meal a day should be salad

I made a clear choice to have either lunch or dinner as salad or more ”light meal”. Nowadays I tend to eat only one warm meal a day if I have a day off exercise for example as I simply am no longer that hungry. The good part about losing weight is that your body uses less energy and needs less food to maintain the status quo so it becomes cheaper too!

So yes thinking back I eat a lot less now and no I am not hungry. It’s just that my body needs less to be where it is now.

More protein

I do prefer salad nowadays for meals, but to fill out the void of protein I ate A LOT of eggs when I was loosing weight. Salad and two scrambled eggs was my dinner quite often (eggs scrambled as they are). Then the other option was omelette with salad and A LOT of quark. Maybe so much of those both that nowadays I eat hardly any eggs but I do eat quark.

Keep it simple

Why over complicate things? It was easier to eat plain, unprocessed food as it was easier to log into the app. It kind of stuck. It tasted better and I did not feel so bloated eating less processed food so try to keep to that even when eating out.

Bulk up days…

Yes! I had them at least twice a month. I ate what I wanted candies, chocolate and all. I have noticed that when you exercise a lot your body has hard time keeping up with the calories lost in exercise by food (healthy!!!) so eating a bit more than the restricted calories was not a bad thing on the contrary it boosted my weight loss. Then again this might be just how my body works and more related to the amount of exercise and diet being not in balance.

Anyway I still have ”eat yummy stuff” days, but if I am not exercising it does backfire I have noticed. Like Christmas time. It takes a week or so of very strict regime and diet again to be back to ”normal”, which is nowadays 68 kilos.

Feeling of hunger passes

I noticed that when I started eating better carbs and more protein the feeling of hunger always passes or is not that bad. You know how after having a lot of ”bad carbs” you could just eat a moose as you are almost trembling because you are so hungry.

For me that was truly a revelation that hey it passes… The feeling of ”I could eat anything” does not appear at all and too quick drops of sugar levels stay at bay. That kind of balance suits me so much better, so again I would rather avoid bad carbs because I don’t like the trembling hungry feeling of sugar levels dropping.


I used to eat just for fun. Now I am eating because it is something I need to do to fuel my body. I used to indulge on different tastes. Now after eating more unprocessed food I can taste better what I am eating and I am not drowning the original taste of the food anymore. This makes everything taste so much better when you can taste all the smallest flavors.

So I think in all my perception towards food and eating has changed. I eat because I must give my body something keep me going, not because it tastes good. I must have energy to do the things I want like trail running in the forest or singing from the bottom of my heart, but I do not need food for the taste of it. I’ts an compulsory thing we need to do, taste has lost a bit of it’s meaning. I also try to choose as wisely as I can what I put into my mouth depending on the situation and the place (not always easy I know!).

This is my body and hopefully I can still ”live with it” for another 30+ years so why on earth would I treat it bad?

It’s a balance all the time the older you get though I know 🙂 That I have noticed that the older you get the more important it is to pay attention to what you put in your mouth.

More about me getting older and the joys of it in my Getting old(er) series.

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Training – W4/2020 Waiting game and making sure everything is ready

Past week has been way too busy at work and on top of everything my car broke which was kind of the last straw and decided it it time to get rid of a 7 seater and get a ”normal” car.

A bit of hassle there nyt have done some training. Mostly concentrating on going up and forward so stair climber and running.

Have avoided overdoing or getting injured so just taking it easy mostly without any particular goal.


  • One 10 k run
  • One 7,4 I trail run

Training plan

Wait and take it easy!

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Training – W3/2020 Back to gym and good news

Got the doctors approval letter for Kili and my hemoglobin levels are also now OK back to ”my normal” which is around 120-125 but ferritin level is still too low and I need to keep taking iron.

Training front. Not aching anywhere so could have gone to gym normally but went only once. For obvious reason I am a bit reluctant to do massive training as I do not want to injure myself.

Back to running though and aim to do a few longer hikes still. It seems like life gets busier and busier the closer we get to the date and everything is just spiralling around one date… 11 th of February.


  • Running 11 kilometers
  • Gym once times
  • Stair climber at gym to 100 floors so approx 330 ascent
  • Hiking 13,8 kilometers

Training plan

No plan… just trying to take it easy, do some basic exercise and a few longer hikes

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