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Africa, Inspiration, Lifestyle

Climbing Kilimanjaro by George Lancaster

January 25, 2016 • By
Today’s post is a little bittersweet for me.  As you may recall, I have mused about my desire to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. As luck would have it, one of my dearest friends who happens to be my former boss, recently completed this feat along with his family, in November.

It was for a worthy cause and since he is one of the best people that I know, I applaud his accomplishment (the jerk!). Here is his first person account of their amazing journey. Please be sure to read the entire, unfiltered story by clicking the link at the end of this post. You won’t regret it. Thanks, George. Now, I really have to play catch up.  

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Arriving in Arusha, Tanzania after the 32-hour journey, the four of us are exhausted.  And jittery, for the next day we start our six-day trek up Mount Kilimanjaro.  I think back on the year. My wife Nicky coming home one day, excited, having convinced the board where she works, The GI Cancer Institute, of her idea to solicit donors keen to climb Kilimanjaro. The Institute raises funds for clinical trial research dedicated to improving treatments for patients suffering from gastro-intestinal (GI) cancers.

Finding people touched by these cancers is not difficult. Whether any of them want to climb Kilimanjaro is another matter. At first it’s us four– Nicky, me, son Benjamin (age 25) and daughter Jessica (age 23). Luckily others join, and in the end, there are fourteen climbers, who together raise $142,000, doubling our initial goal.

The next day we arrive at Rongai Gate, elevation 1800 metres (5900 feet), and pour out of the bus. We see the porters for the first time: Dozens of them, preparing for our arrival. Lunch is served but I am too excited to eat. The trail is visible, snaking off into the trees. C’mon everybody, I think, finish up so we can get started!READ MORE

Africa, Inspiration

The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro – Revisited

July 9, 2012 • By

This is day 9 of the July 2012 Ultimate Blog Challenge! Today’s post is literally one of the most favorite pieces that I have ever written. I consider myself to be quite imaginative when it comes to pretending to be something that I am not….which is adventurous. You will never find me jumping out of airplanes or climbing mountains due to my fear of heights, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming that you would. I felt the same way about the possibilities of conquering Kilimanjaro. So, I wrote a story about it and here it goes……


I spied the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, at dusk, through the bluish-grey clouds that gave them shelter from prying eyes like mine. Yet through it all, its coquettish beauty was neither easily hidden nor denied but instead was a covenant of spiritual enlightenment.READ MORE

Africa, Trip Reports

Traveling in Tunisia – Guest Writer

January 14, 2010 • By

Today, A View To A Thrill welcomes a new friend and fellow world-traveler, Sheridan Lucas, as guest writer.  She will share her impressions of her splendid visit to the country of Tunisia in Northern Africa.  Sheridan is an aspiring writer who is always looking for fun-loving travel companions to roam the world with.  If you enjoy adventure travel and would like to do some trekking, cycling, kayaking and/or walking tours please contact her at hot mail dotcom.

About Sheridan Lucas:Sheridan-Tunisia-2009-177-300x300

“I was a navy brat who made my first cross-country trip when I was two weeks old, in a cardboard box on the seat of my parents’ car.   I think that imprinted me for travel, like a baby duck, and I’ve been going ever since.  When I was 20,  I went to Europe and hitch-hiked around for 8 months, then resumed my education.   After graduation from Berkeley in 1975 ( during which time I worked as a proof-reader and editorial assistant),  I moved to Oregon, got married, built a house and now manage my personal timber stand in the country, outside of Portland.

I participate in a lot of sports and have cycled from Canada to San Francisco,  in the Caribbean and in various European countries.   I also trekked for two weeks in the Andes and eventually, I want to do more.   My favorite countries so far are:  Turkey,  Morocco  and Peru.   I enjoy active travel and especially like to see folklore or dance festivals that involve local costumes,  fabrics and handwork.   I also like to interact with the locals, like the time when I rode the third class bus with a pig on the roof and the chickens inside, in Guatemala.  That is where you gain the most authentic and interesting experiences.   I would say that I am inquisitive and intrepid.   The only way we’re going to have peace in this world is by really getting to know each other.  Some other interests- and I have many- are theater, dancing, music,  singing and reading.”READ MORE

Africa, Inspiration

The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro | A View To A Thrill

November 11, 2008 • By

The Siren Call of Mount Kilimanjaro

I spied the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, at dusk, through the bluish-grey clouds that gave them shelter from prying eyes like mine.  Yet through it all, its coquettish beauty was neither easily hidden nor denied but instead was a covenant of spiritual enlightenment.

So, it seemed to beckon, like so many other fools before me, to scale each of its 19,340 feet, if I dared.  Was it a trick?  Would she lead me into an interminable trap that would ensnare me before my senses could react?  Or did she hold the promise of unmitigated beauty meant only for my visage?

I held my breath and began to exhale slowly as I took one long leap forward clinging to branches, rocks, vines—–anything that would keep me lucid, aware, mobile and functioning—-as I made my way up the peak.  Up, up, up I go, resting, breathing, walking, pacing, gasping, focused, tired, but unwilling to give up or give in.

The days turn quickly into darkness as I alternately sleep, eat and start all over again until I reach a volcanic boulder field at 14, 500 feet.  I can imagine the boulders being molten hot still as my tired, worn feet walk along them.  I stop to drink from my hydration pack to cool my now thickened and parched tongue.  Yet, at the same time, I feel victorious knowing that I have less than 5,000 feet to go before setting my eyes on Uhuru Peak.

I trudge along, passing other kindred who heeded her siren call.  Daylight is breaking once again and I sigh with anticipation as I get closer to Stella Point at 19,000 feet.  I’m confused as I see my former kindred turning back around once they’ve reached that point, having considered themselves conquerors, but I deem to go 340 feet further so as not to cheat myself of what was promised to me.

Three hundred forty feet later, I stand alone in the quietness of my long awaited victory.  The air is heavy, yet sweeps across my face in a loving kiss.  I look down over the horizon and survey the summit.  I imagine this is what heaven is like as I sit down to rest my weary bones and wink at the bluish-grey clouds that, thankfully, had lost the battle.

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