|Dots of lights in foreground are climbers.|
I crawled out once again from the bunk, donned my trekking boots (didn't want to break the rule for slippers) and watched the head lamps of climbers as they made their way over the rocky part of the climb. I couldn't imagine doing that in the dark with only a light at your feet shining from your forehead.
From my viewpoint at the hut just above Station 8 the sky began to lighten around 4:30 AM. By 4:35 there was some pink tinging the smaller clouds that floated above the thicker layer below me as I looked down the mountainside. I wondered how the climb to the top had been for my family who had gone ahead of me and stayed nearer the top.
|My view from Station 8 hut.|
What I would learn later was that the climb between where I stayed and their hut was not as bad as the two sections of rock climbing we'd done just before I quit. I still don't think I would have made it. There were steps and that never ending incline.
They reached their hut about 7:30 PM an hour after I was fast asleep. Dinner was waiting for them and consisted of (according to Bob) some sort of hamburger like meat with gravy over rice, a side of some sort of curry, and some sort of vegetable along with a bottle of water to drink.
Their sleeping quarters were much like mine but didn't have the pillow. Bob felt a little uncomfortable sleeping next to a stranger but on the other side of him was one of the kids.
|The hardy climbers awaiting sunrise.|
|Sunrise at the summit.|
The guide had told me that they would pick me up around 8 AM on the way down the mountain. I spent the morning watching others make the trek up and getting on Facebook a few times. Oh yes, there was WiFi. We had to keep turning off our phones though between usage as the batteries wear out faster at higher altitudes. It must be true for all batteries because at my hut they also sold various sized batteries for cameras--mostly AAs. I managed to message my son and found they were about five minutes from picking me up.
|The caldera of the volcano.|
"Shall we go?" His eyes twinkled.
Oh yes. I was ready.