Above It All
 After a hike through rain, lava rock, steep inclines, and a night with mice, the morning brings a rewarding view.

After a hike through rain, lava rock, steep inclines, and a night with mice, the morning brings a rewarding view.

Good Morning Congo! This is the stunning view you get when you wake up at the rim of the Nyiragongo Volcano, some 11,100' up. The city of Goma is visible in the distance as it hugs Lake Kivu. Meanwhile, the much appreciated porters are walking up from their shelter a bit below.

Think those three shelters are old, abandoned shelters? Think again. Each one serves as basic protection from the elements, namely wind. Inside, the shelter houses nothing more than a two-person tent. I would call it the absence of luxury, but frankly, the shelter is still a luxury over a tent on top of lava rock,.

There were roughly a dozen hikers on the day I hiked up, and even more in the entourage of porters with three friendly  Virunga rangers for security. As I was traveling solo, I was paired up with another hiker for splitting the shelter with. While I can't say I got a great night's sleep, I slept fairly well, waking only a couple of times during the night to the sound of a mouse scurrying about near my head.

Come for the view, stay for the view, and don't forget to leave a piece of cheese out for the mice.