“When I look up and see the sun shining on the patch of white clouds up in the blue, I begin to think how it would feel to be up somewhere above it winging swiftly thought the clear air, watching the earth below, and the men on it, no bigger than ants”. – Eddie Rickenbacker
There is something absolutely magical about being above the clouds and there was no place on the mountain that the view of the ever-changing clouds was more spectacular than at Shira Camp.
Shira Camp lies nestled high above the treeline at 12,600 feet (3,840 m) affording awe-inspiring views of the cloud-covered forest below. It is by far one of the most beautiful camps on the entire mountain and thankfully I arrived to have the entire afternoon to watch the clouds move, change, form and change colors with the setting sun. Besides the climb to the summit itself, watching the clouds hover over the landscape far below was the most amazing part of the entire hike.
I already featured some of my most beloved photos from my evening at Shira Camp in this post “Close Up in the Clouds of Kilimanjaro“. Yet this place was so unbelievably beautiful I felt I had to share the rest. I literally sat outside my tent and took photos for hours.
I had purchased a SIM card upon arrival in Tanzania in hopes of staying in touch with my family during the climb but I was only able to get an internet connection once and it took an hour of trying. I was told to go where the porters go as they always know where the hotspots are. Typically it can be found on the highest rock at the camp. I climbed up onto my perch and waited.
I never did get through to my husband until a few days later when I broke down and sent him a text. I desperately wanted to share my experience with my family but unfortunately it would have to wait.
I spent the afternoon and early evening reading, writing in my journal and taking photos. The camp site was becoming alive with noise of the jet black ravens and the incoming porters and climbers. The views of the constantly changing clouds felt surreal. They seemed to float up into the sky like big puffs of white cotton candy or whipped cream.
I think this is one of my most favorite pictures from the trip. The campsite enveloped in clouds.
I also was fascinated by the changing colors upon the summit of Kilimanjaro. From Shira Camp, it was another three days up yet it looked so close.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, I snapped away taking an endless supply of photos. I was mesmerized by the stunning simple beauty of the clouds.
“The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less”.
Little did I know that the next camp would be equally as stunning. Stay tuned…
Looks incredible – what amazing experiences and pictures
Thanks! It was incredible. Now to find my next big hike!!!
There’s always a new challenge!
Oh course! Once a wanderlust, always a wanderlust!
Loving these stories, and the cloud pictures are spectacular
Thanks so much! I am glad you enjoy it! It was quite a trip and it is so fun to relive it all.
Yes, Pennsylvania. And fortunately, she is going to a great rescue group tomorrow evening and they will find her a fabulous home. I will miss her but I know she’s going to find a great family!
Ohhhh that is too bad!
Fabulous, Nicole! What a memory for you 🙂
Thanks Jo! Yes it was quite a trip! 🙂 Hope you are doing well Jo!
My favorite in this compilation – the tent silhouette against the clouds and sun. Perfect!
Thanks so much! I love that picture too. 🙂
Wow amazing ,thaks for sharing
You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed!
I cannot even fathom the spiritual high that you are experiencing. Although my first visit to the Southwest was magical, and hit me spiritually from the moment that I viewed it till now. We do not forget these life-altering moments.
Yes it was pretty amazing Sally. The best part for me was “living” outside for an entire week. It felt surreal.
Beautiful! The photos have me getting more excited for my trip in September! We have a Delorme Inreach that will send messages to Facebook and a link for our trip route and where we are. I wasn’t sure on getting a SIM card- now I’m less sure of it!
Wonderful! I can’t wait to follow. What ia s Delorme Inreach? Never heard of it. Sounds really cool!
It transmits our route and where we are when people click on a link. Glad my kids will be able to know where we will be on the hike:)
So incredibly cool! I love that!
It’s beautiful! I sincerely envy you!
Thank you! It was spectacular up there!
Thank you! It was pretty spectacular up there!
Wow, those clouds are really beautiful, Nicole. It must have felt so wonderful to be up there. Love your Kili selfie. 🙂
Thanks Sylvia! It was pretty surreal up there.
Thanks so much! 🙂
I agree with your choice of photos. The shot of your tents enveloped in clouds is my favorite, too.
Thanks Debbie! I know I tend to put in way too many photos in my posts but I just can’t seem to narrow them down! 🙂
Stunning Photography as always – Love the above the clouds images… I love those shots…
Thanks so much. I thought the clouds were quite magical. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them!
Oh I know being above the clouds but on the ground it mesmorising – I’ll have to add the Revelstoke blog for you at some point – Skiing through clouds is amazing
Yes please let me know about that. Where is Revelstoke?
Revelstoke is in Canada part of the Rockies… We are on holiday from Thursday so will be after that…
Oh would love to know about it there!
I will make it a priority when we return… Just about to blog about gamely if that als interests you?
Of course I will add it in… Just about to blog about Camelot if that’s something that interests you
I am writing it now – would you mind if I used your image above the clouds? as reference?
Sure no problem. You can add me as the phot credit: Nicole Melancon/thirdeyemom.com. Thanks!
I love your WiFi Hotspot and can appreciate the distances that you will go to find connectivity in the more remote parts of the world.
Ha Ha….yes I had to do whatever I could to try to call my family. I get worried when I can’t talk to them. But everything is always fine!
I would love to be there if for no other reason than to see those clouds….breathtaking!
The views on the mountain made the effort to get there seem like nothing. It was so incredibly worth it! And actually the hike really wasn’t that bad. 🙂