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Kilimanjaro or Machu Picchu?

February 5, 2011

The week of the Royal Wedding is rather well-timed, in the midst of a plethora of public holidays and since Ritwik and I have not been invited to the wedding (how rude!), we are considering making a quick trip – an 11 day holiday with a mere 3 days’ of leave? Yes, please!

From the moment we conceived this plan, we have been agonising over the choices – should we be climbing Machu Picchu in Peru or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania? We decided to go for a physically active holiday because both of us expect to be relatively fitter than usual between our personal training sessions at the gym, my half-marathon in March and training for a good time at the British 10k in July.

The reasons for our dilemma are as follows:

a) Machu Picchu – amazing history, a completely exotic country and continent to both of us (I’ve never been to South America), a chance to practice my rudimentary Spanish speaking skills, great food, a physically less gruelling experience and therefore more achievable. But, an expensive flight and a long journey (>20hrs of flying and stopovers) to a place where there is so much else to see too, but we can’t combine those in this trip because of lack of time. Would it possibly be better to combine this with a trip to Brazil for the Rio Carnival in Mar 2012?

b) Kilimanjaro – highest peak in Africa, a personal challenge that I am adamant on achieving, amazing location, would be a testament to physical fitness if we complete this, the physically gruelling experience would be quite a test of spirit but we could be biting off more than we can chew, the proportion of those who reach the Uhuru peak is apparently smaller than even the already unimpressive figure advertised by the travel agents. I wouldn’t want to risk falling ill/injuring myself before my upcoming exam and wedding soon after! And I have a less than great track record with dealing with acclimatization at high altitudes. This is a lot more expensive climb but a shorter and cheaper flight to get there. We have reconciled to the fact that this trip wouldn’t allow us the time to check out the safaris or a relaxing getaway to Zanzibar after the climb. Also, we are not getting any younger, so should we do this now, or should we keep this for later and train up well in advance? Also, Apr-May is the rainy season, not a good time of the year to climb.

Decisions, decisions! Any input from you, perhaps?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2011 12:59 pm

    Kilimanjaro! Before the snows completely melt away…

    • February 5, 2011 1:03 pm

      Yes, but we want to be sure that we’ll reach the peak if we’re going all the way, and confidence is lacking, thus the dithering :/

      • Jackie permalink
        August 30, 2013 11:47 am

        I did Kili in July and although it’s tough, it’s no where near as bad as I thought it would be… but you do need to go in confident. If you think you will fail, you probably will. Instead, think of those that have been successful and just book. I booked before I thought about it too much… had I thought about it I guarantee i would have wimped out.. and I am so so glad I did it. best trip ever!!

  2. Greenlamb permalink
    February 5, 2011 1:31 pm

    Macchu Picchu! Hehe it’s the safer option…

    • February 5, 2011 1:47 pm

      Can’t say it’s not tempting to take the easier option 😉 But when would I do Kili at this rate? :/ And I owe you an email reply!

      • Greenlamb permalink
        February 5, 2011 1:54 pm

        You’ll have a chance to do Kili, never fear. Can’t imagine you slowing down anytime soon 🙂 And yes I’m waiting for your email reply! But nvm I’m in transit from tomorrow onwards, going back from Malaysia to Singapore.

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