Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kilimanjaro Music

Having done it once, I am now an expert on climbing Kilimanjaro. Or so I like to think. If you are thinking about attempting it, as everyone suggest, you best prepare by hiking as much as you can and I also suggest you try a couple outings on your own. If you have seen 127 Hours, you of course will tell people where you have gone and when you will be back, but try it none-the-less.

Regardless of how many people are in your group, after several hours of walking, the small talk dries up and those annoying people in penguin suits (no joking) who were full of spunk at the start of the day will soon fall silent.

I did not have an iPod to entertain myself, and those in the group who did either ran the batteries dead or tired of having those buds tucked in their ears for hours on end. Step after step, especially on summit day, your mind wanders to all sorts of strange and wonderful places.

A couple meditation techniques I learned on Holy Island came in handy, but I usually ended up tripping over a rock, root or some other lumpy thing.

CJ and I have an uncanny ability to memorize and recite entire movies at will and that came in handy until all I could see on every ridge was Belloq from Indiana Jones saying “we are all very comfortable up here” leaving me to perish with the snakes. Bastard.

The majority of time however, a lyric would pop into my head and I would hum along blissfully singing to myself. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t carry a tune in a bucket so having a windswept mountain to keep things out of others ears was most beneficial. Of course the lyrics changed according to where we were and what we were doing.

For example, when I was feeling rather smug about having my camelbak while others fiddled with their nalgene bottles, Gwen Stefani popped into my head:

A few times I've been down this trail
And my legs are just about to fail
But I got my camelbak girl,
I got my camelbak girl

This next one, I acknowledge is wickedly rotten of me, given the fact that without our porters I would have no place to sleep and nothing to eat. However, in a place where turning your clothes inside-out counts as doing laundry AND you only have one set of clothing for six days people start to smell. Whenever I heard someone yell “porter on the left” (for they were ALWAYS running effortlessly by us – both up and down hill) I knew it was time to hold my breath and hum a little Rufus Wainwright (for those of you who took long summer road trips as children sans air conditioning, you know the smell from those backwater gas stations):

Gasoline and sawdust smells
these are not a couple of my cravings
everything here smells a little bit stronger
a little bit thicker a little bit harmful for me

And what kind of queen would I be without a little Madge?

I’m going through the wilderness
Not sure I’ll make it through
If the guide leaves I will be so lost
And be in big do-do
My heart beat is incomplete
It needs oxygen as it’s turning blue
Sitting down will make me feel
Yeah, it would make me feel
Shiny and new

And Papi of course would be infinitely angry if I didn’t give props to our Fab 5 from Britain. Word to the Spice Girls:
Too Much hiking is bad enough,
My feet are sore,
my legs are fagged and I have to wonder,

Too Much of this hill is just as tough,
I need to know the way down or I might fall asunder.

If you are after any of these gems, they will be incorporated into next weeks episode of Glee and then be available on iTunes.


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