Rick's Travel Blog

Trips & Tricks

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Kilimanjaro Climbing Experience

Climbing the Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable experience, one that you can enjoy even if you are not an expert climber. While it still does not mean that you simply decide to do the climb without any preparation at all, it does not require any climbing expertise. The biggest challenge is acclimatizing to the high altitudes, though this can be solved by adopting the right approach.

What To Expect During Your Climb Up Mount Kilimanjaro

1. Planning

When you decide to go up any mountain, regardless of how high it is, you will definitely need to plan well. Mount Kilimanjaro has 6 official routes (Rongai, Marangu, Shira, Machame, Umbwe, and Lemosho) and they all have their unique characteristics and success rates. Choosing which route depends on you and your group, specifically on your fitness level, expertise and interests. Each route also has its sceneries and this is another factor in deciding which way to go.

The most important thing is to get expert advice because while it is not a technically difficult trek, it is a very high trek that will be taxing on your body. Tips on how to deal with acclimatizing are important, as well as other tips on how to make it to the top without any injuries.

2. Preparation

So many people get hung up on the fact that it is more of a trek than a difficult climb (no rock climbing or other similar stunts like in the movies) that they tend to downgrade its complexity. Remember, you are climbing one of the Seven Summits and going up almost 6,000 meters above sea level. Your body will feel the effects of being so high and trekking at high altitude.

That being said, you will want to prepare your body before the actual hike. If you have ever been successful in hikes at home, do not be overconfident as the Kilimanjaro hike is much longer. You will be climbing at least 4 hours (or up to 12 hours) a day for maybe 6 to 7 days, so it can be a shock to your body. Try to do long climbs beforehand and break in your hiking boots. Lastly, be prepared for all kinds of temperatures and weather (from tropical to arctic) so pack layers that you can put on or remove when necessary.

3. The Climb Itself

Interestingly, only about 30% of hikers actually reach the Uhuru (the highest) peak. If you want to be a part of this statistic, then you need to pace yourself during the trek. Trying to rush puts you at risk and tires your body. Instead, try to go about it slowly but surely. You will also need to take breaks to allow your body to adjust to the altitude, no matter how strong or healthy you think you are. Remember, it is not a race, so focus instead on every step that gets you to the top.

Going up Mount Kilimanjaro is truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip that you should try out if you love trekking. From its relatively easy climb to the interesting sights along the way, it is a trek that belongs in every adventure-lovers’ bucket list.

5 Most Awesome Motorcycle Road Trips in America

A road trip on top of a motorcycle is much more of a thrilling ride, especially if you are driving along the most scenic roads in the United States. Beyond the wind on your face, you will see breathtaking views and some adrenaline-pumping curves. So leave the car at home and take your bike through these best motorcycle road trips in the country.

1. Black Hills, South Dakota

Black Hills is very popular with bikers for being the home of the very famous Sturgis Rally. Dating back almost 90 years ago, it has attracted riders from towns within 100 miles of Black Hills. The route takes you through the scenic Custer State Park and its Needles Highway. The 67 miles is full of exciting tight curves and switchbacks, including the 3 tunnels built around Mount Rushmore. You can also take a break at the picturesque Sylvan Lake.

2. Pacific Coast Highway, California

Highway One is known worldwide as being legendary, specifically the 123 miles of the winding and hold-on-to-your-seats stretch between Big Sur and Monterey. On this stretch, the cliffs lead you all the way down to the Pacific but the other side is a beautiful sight full of majestic redwoods. On the southern part of the road, the eye-catching scenery continues, giving you a view of pine forests, beaches and even waterfalls leading down to the sea. Make sure to stop at Pfeiffer State Beach, which contains the curious purple sand beach, the color coming from the deposits of manganese garnet deposits in the rocks.

3. Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

This route goes through 25 miles of Highway 550 between Silverton and Ouray. This ride is truly exciting, with the neverending turns and twists at the edge of the cliffs. It is not for the weak-hearted, but risking the journey will reward you with breathtaking views, including the dramatic San Juan Mountains.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park Loop

There is no better way to enjoy the views of Rocky Mountain National Park, plus you get some hair-raising curves and turns along the way. Trail Ridge Road, or the “Roof of the Rockies”, being 12,183 feet above sea level, is the real highlight of the trip. This means, even in the middle of summer, you can still see some snow at the peaks.

5. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

Part of what makes this road trip very exciting is that it is only 60% paved and the other 40% being gravel or dirt road, perfect for an adventure bike. This means this route is only for the most experienced, while it promises beautiful views of Denali national parks and the Gates of the Arctic. It is also the most northern you can go on the continent, so expect to see the unspoiled landscapes of the area.

The United States has thousands of miles of roads spanning from east to west and north to south, passing by the most scenic of landscapes and coastlines. So instead of just riding in some boring highway, take a scenic trip to one in this list.

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