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Journey to the Top of Africa Hardcover – September 27, 2006
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
Patrick Mages (pronounced may-jess) is devoted to traveling the world, trying almost everything once, observing life, seeing the details, finding the humor and sharing the stories with anyone willing to listen. Patrick was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, and --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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I had also traveled the area in Africa about which Patrick wrote, so I related immediately to many of the frustrations/adventures that one experiences while traveling in Africa. What I was most interested in though was his first-hand experience of climbing Africa's highest mountain.
I started to read the book before I left but read the bulk of it in Tanzania during the week leading up to my climb. To say I was nervous about altitude sickness and all the other possible road blocks of climbing the mountain was an understatement. It was a joy to read Patrick's tale of his trek up the mountain although it only made me more nervous! My five climbing partners implored me to stop reading the book because it was making me more nervous but, mostly, the information I was sharing was making them nervous. No such luck for them or me. I shared every bit of valuable information right up to the last page.
All kinds of crazy, unexpected things can happen whilst climbing a mountain and the more knowledge a climber has, the better prepared he/she can be. Patrick truly prepared me especially for the night of the summit. One trick that worked in particular was the counting of steps as the night got longer and the going/breathing got tougher. Counting steps is absolutely what got me through the long, hard seven hours during the night of my ascent. I was thrilled to not only make it to Stella's Peak as Patrick did, but on to Uhuru Point.
I left the book at the guest house where I stayed in Moshi so Patrick can inspire future climbers. I'm buying a new copy for myself so I can revisit it from time to time and remember my climb. And Patrick's too.