Today I hiked Mount Wanale, which is just outside of our town of Mbale. It was the most challenging hike I’ve ever done (6864 feet, 2092 meters (Mt. Monadnock in NH was my highest before that, 3165 feet or 965 meters), it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and some parts were quite scary! Click on any of the pictures to see a bigger version.
This ladder…. which I call 100% national geographic style, was about 20 feet tall, made with a whole bunch of sticks. Who knows how hold it was, and there didn’t seem to be any nails. At the ladder is where I said to my self, “Oh yeah, of course this isn’t deemed safe by the US Parks Dept or anything”. I was very scared, but only minutes earlier was I telling another girl, who was afraid of the heights and the steepness, that it’s all in the mind and you just have to power on and think about what you’re doing, not the risks. So, I tried to listen to my own advice, but I was thinking “Someone could die on this!”
On the way up we mostly just saw Africans who were working, farming, hiking up the mountain to get somewhere and even carrying big loads on their head. Even carrying the loads up the ladder!
There was a beautiful water fall coming from the top of the mountain, a nice, cool stream with several pools, where lots of kids and young people were playing and having a great time.
Oh yeah, and the Taata Kids dog, Koby, came with us! We didn’t want him to, but there was no good way to force him to stay home. Luckily he never tired and he went all the way up and down the mountain! He was carried up the ladder by one of the more experienced hikers.
On the way down we took a different way, which seemed more friendly to people like us, aka, no death defying ladders. On this route we passed many people heading up the mountain for a day of fun. Many women were barefoot (sometimes carrying their shoes, I don’t get it) and some were wearing sandals that seemed totally inappropriate for hiking.
I definitely plan to hike Mount Wanale again. Some of us are even planning a camping trip at the top, which will put checks on two of my bucket list items: camping in Africa and camping on top of a mountain. SOOOO excited.