THE ‘post-Kilimanjaro blues’ have officially set in for a former Kilsyth Academy teacher and his son who recently conquered Africa’s highest peak for charity.
David Tolmie (58) and son Stuart (31) ascended an incredible 19,300 feet in only five days, while battled altitude sickness, to reach Uhuru Peak, the highest volcanic cone of the mountain.
The intrepid adventurers’ hard work was very much worthwhile as they achieved their £7000 target long before setting off.
Stuart explained: “It was absolutely amazing, getting to the top was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced in my life.
“In total it was seven days - five up and two down. There was a group of 18 of us and we walked an average of 10 hours a day.
“As we got closer to the top I started to feel a bit unwell and I was starting to wonder if I would make it.
“When I got there it was a feeling of real joy and relief – two of the group were too sick to make it.
“It was such an unusual experience, we were only with the people from our group for a relatively short period of time.
“But I think because we went through such a big experience and challenge together we all grew really close very quickly.
“I felt for the people who couldn’t make it to the top on the last day.
“Since we’ve been home we’ve all been keeping in touch online and sharing pictures and talking about it.”
Now, having returned home, Stuart and his Dad are finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that their adventure in Tanzania is over.
Former Cumbernauld High pupil Stuart added: “It felt like a special experience, like a once in a lifetime sort of thing. The people were great, and so were the guides.
“It’s a great feeling of achievement to look back on.
“But we’ve definitely got the post-Kilimanjaro blues, but we’ve been trying to combat that with keeping in touch. It’s strange to be back and thinking about returning to work.”
The incredible sum of money raised by the two explorers is to be donated to Strathcarron Hospice.
The Denny centre relies heavily on donations and requires £60,000 every week to remain in operation.
Stuart added: “We’re delighted we were able to help Strathcarron Hospice, it’s a great charity.
“They’ve been really supportive of us doing this and have always kept in touch.”