There were so many inspirational moments, but here are a few:
1. Seeing Kilimanjaro from the airoplane on the flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro - I wanted to turn around and go home as the plane was flying below the mountain. But it looked so beautiful!
2. Seeing all of the lights from people's head torches wending their way up the mountain on summit night - glittering like little stars - then seeing some 'shooting stars'!
2. Seeing the sunrise as I was still struggling to get to Gilman's Point - 'pole pole' as they say in Swahili!
3. Reaching Gilman's with my lovely guide, Robbie - and then seeing my friend Alayne waiting for me to celebrate!
4. Seeing my other companions as they came down from Uhuru - and realising that they had all managed to do it! Our turn next!
5. Reaching Uhuru Peak and having our photos taken to prove it!
6. The 'Tipping Ceremony' on the last day - saying goodbye to our 'friends' the guides and porters who had supported us so brilliantly and with great humour - a very emotional ceremony!
7. Getting back to the entrance to the Kilimanjaro National Park - and getting our certificates!
There always seems to be someone whose luggage doesn't get on the flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro Airport - and it was mine (amongst others) on my flight! I had to pay 95 USD to get my luggage back from the airport to the hotel from the next flight from Nairobi - it arrived at 10.30pm and we were leaving very early the next morning for the climb. It was a very worrying time so pack essentials in your hand luggage and take extra cash just in case.
Take advice from the guides when going up the mountain - they carry an amazing 'first aid' kit if you get ill but drink plenty and go 'pole, pole'.
Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on during the day on exposed skin - I burnt the backs of my hands despite having Factor 50 - they were the bits of me that were exposed all day and every day using walking poles! Light gloves might have been the answer on hindsight!
It gets really cold at night - wrap up warm for bed and get a good sleeping bag. Likewise it is freezing on summit night - especially hands and feet!
Take extra batteries for head torches - it is pitch black at night so you need them in camp and on summit night the batteries 'die' in the cold - and if you have any left over give them to the guides!
If you smell sulphur on summit night, cover your mouth or you will get 'Kili cough'!
No mosquitos up the mountain but remember to take your antimalarials for Zanzibar - you will get bitten at night if you're not careful (use the mosquito net in bed!)