Monday, 7 March 2011

Word! Final one from Deltas' phase one...

And now it's the Deltas turn to say 'adios' to their first projects, and 'hola' to new adventures (more about those in a separate blog).

I'm sure you're all chomping at the bit to find out what they've been up to, whether they're looking fit and healthy, and if they've got a tan. So, in their own words, here's what the Deltas have achieved on their phase one projects:

Delta 1, Turrimacho Trek, Costa Rica
By Harriet Marsh

We made it!!!

After 18 days of trekking we are now sat looking out at the Pacific. It’s been one hell of a trek over 200km from one side of Costa Rica to the other with low points and high points along the way.

Things started badly on Day 3 when we ended the day 300 metres from where we’d started. The mud, unexpected cold, blisters and never ending mountains (otherwise known as Costa Rican flat) all took their toll but overall it has been a trip of amazing highs. We have survived bats, scary dogs, bull fights, venomous snakes and landslides, emerging relatively unscathed (except for the blisters of course).

The Costa Rican hospitality, staying with the Cabacars, the stunning views and our special dinner in Vegas has made this a truly inspirational experience in a truly diverse country. The awesome team spirit, songs (thank you Take That) and laughter has got us through one of the toughest challenges we have faced.

Big well done to Delta 1!!!

Delta 2, Momotombo Trek, Nicaragua
By Si Keirle

The Night Before Raleigh. Part II

So the group survived the ghosts, now time for the big crunch,
After six hours of walking they sat down for lunch,
The rancid sight of re-fried beans, the horrible smell,
But the worst was yet to come, their highway moment from hell

The heat of the sun caused the group to grow delirious,
But what lay in the distance so pure and mysterious?
A bright neon light at the end of the track,
A sugary savour, an angelic Pepsi shack

The heavens burst open, their prayers had been answered,
Things were looking up for this group so downheartened,
This horrific day would not end in disgrace,
As fieldbase revealed they were in the right place.

While rivers provided regular blocks,
The group waded through sporting sandals and crocs,
When they lost their way, they asked local women and men,
And soon found that 5k in Nicaragua often means 10.

Intense up hill climbs caused the group’s mood to mellow,
And Andres learned not to pick up snakes when black touches yellow,
The days proved long, walking up to 10 hours,
But their troubles were washed away under cold bucket showers.

Spirits were high singing songs on a full tank,
Despite the fact everyone smelt really rank,
And with the beat of the drum, they set off with a bang,
Filled up their camelbacks and overdosed on tang.

Clean water was coming but in dribs and drabs,
So they sterilised what they could, using group maxi tabs
They camped on a mountain top, an unsheltered freeze,
And Vicky grew sick with her mac and cheese

Still on a high from last night’s food drop,
The group began to gorge at a quaint little shop,
And when Si felt sick they cried ‘Stop for God’s sake!’
‘You shouldn’t eat three milky ice creams, and four pieces of cake!’

As the navigators searched for 4x4 tracks,
The rest grew weary of the monotonous snacks,
Kaz watched the group eat bland raisins like rookies,
For little did they know about his secret stash of cookies.

Upon looking into Andres’ eyes, they were surprised to see fear,
But this strange situation soon became clear,
‘Lo siento mi amigos, it wasn’t my fault’
They had finally solved they case of the missing salt.

They dined delightfully on tubers and pulses,
But Andres had to leave to treat his eye ulcers,
Morale was low, Delta 2 torn apart
But St. Ivy was there to mend the group's broken heart.

Three long days until the group re-united,
And the sight of each other left everyone delighted,
As they settled down to sleep in liners of silk,
Chrissy lay there shaking after a can of condensed milk.

Unshaven faces and un-pruned eye lashes,
Their legs were soon covered in volcanic ashes,
But do not be fooled for this was their plan,
The golden brown dust was the perfect fake tan.

Sun and sand doesn’t mean life’s a beach.
When everything’s sterilized completely with bleach,
But with all 14 present, everything felt right,
The horizon drew nearer, Momotombo in sight.

Part III - to be continued…

Delta 3, Piedras Blancas, ranger access road, Costa Rica
By Sam Tate

Although nobody in Delta 3 was looking forward to it, our time building a nature trail in Piedras Blancas national park had come to an end. After 19 days on the trail we have completed over 3 km hoeing and digging to our hearts content and surviving a few run-ins with the local wildlife. Our jungle camp had become our home and evening meals of ever so tasty pork and beans were starting to grow on us. Our constant muddy, sweaty pungent exterior was not the most pleasant but afternoons by our jungle river completely made up for it. Games of mafia, rounders, football and cards were the standard entertainment of Delta 3. After all our hard work and a 6k trek we finally arrived on the beautiful Pacific Coast before camping on the beach. This was a perfect end to our unforgettable experience of Team Awesome Delta 3.

Delta 4, Chirripo, trail building, Costa Rica
By Maria Bedford and Dave Ford

Delta 4 hardcore (Dave, Maria, Stephan, Benny, Hannah, Rose, Dawn, Esme, Alan, Fatima, Gyneska, and PM’s Ben and Karla) arrived at Llano Bonnito dreamhouse on Sunday 13th February tired and exhausted from the 7k trek up Cerro Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest mountain, but ready to get to work improving the “less than perfect” trail ready for the annual runner’s race. Never fear- Delta 4 is here!

Comfortably ensconced in a veritable mansion of a hut, equipped with shower, multiple toilets and a balcony of love, it was nevertheless extremely cold and not quite what we had in mind when we envisioned Costa Rica’s climate. After settling in, we were soon put to work with pickaxes, shovels and a ever-changing procession of rangers (honourable mention to Juan Carlos, a mighty bear of a man wielding a pickaxe who left an impression on us all), toiling in the bitter cold for six hours every morning carving roads into the mountain.

We soon settled into a routine of work in the morning, lunch at one and a balcony spoon in the afternoon. Two expeditions were undertaken: the 13k trek from Llano Bonnito to the peak of Chirripo, which took the group two days, and on the second day was completed twice by Dave and Stephan (exceptional hulking specimens of manhood) who saw both sunrise and sunset from the highest point of Costa Rica.

At the end of the expedition we hiked to an idyllic waterfall and frolicked like we’d never frolicked before. It was beautiful and exactly what one comes to Costa Rica for. On our adventures we saw multiple hummingbirds, eagles and Quetzals. Sadly no monkeys or big cats were seen although we were assured that they were out there. By the end it was agreed by all that the group was a dream and some excellent characters gelled together fabulously.

Some things from Delta 4’s time in Chirripo will live forever. The energy bomb song echoes through the trees still and will reverberate through the ages, and Chirripo’s balls (see crushed noodles fried in sugar by Chef de Cuisine Ben. Oh yeah) are yet to secure a patent in Paris’s top patisseries but are coming to a Gregg’s near you soon.

Delta 4 OUT.

Delta 5, Potosi, Nicaragua
By Mags Chilaev

The second half of our adventure in Potosi began with the conquering of the heights of Volcan Consiguina, home to a stunning crater lake and views across the Gulf of Fonseca. After a night under the stars, we returned to Potosi, and continued to give English lessons to the children of the village whose language skills were improved dramatically and were now able to sing the “Hokey-Cokey” and “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” unaided.

Every other day, we travelled for two hours to a plantation in Pueblo Nuevo, where we helped prepare bags of fertile earth and manure to plant trees for the reforestation of a biological corridor between two national parks. This project will allow species to move between previously isolated pockets of protected land, and help agricultural and environmental efforts in the region.

We had an emotional farewell with our respective Nicaraguan families as we had all grown very attached to each other during our three weeks in Potosi. We were made to feel extremely welcome in what was a unique and humbling experience.

Delta 6, El Rodeo, Miraflor, Nicaragua
By Aisling Bury

During the course of Delta 6's last few days in El Rodeo, Miraflor the walls got higher, friendships grew stronger, and the long drops filled up.

We settled into a routine of rising at 6am, working by 7.30am, breaking for lunch at midday, and playing with the kids in the afternoon. Despite being originally disgruntled by the food and horrified by the 'loos', we quickly became accustomed to our very different surroundings.

The foundations of all four houses were completed and we started building the walls of two more. Using human chains to carry bricks, hard hats to place them and hands to fill the gaps, we finally began to see the home take formation of soon-to-be parents Rito and Evelyn.

Our full appreciation of the value of the work we had undertaken was only truly realised by Delta 6 when the families in the community made speeches of gratitude on our final night. Tears were shed and it would be right to say that the team were overwhelmed by the impact they had worked so hard to achieve.

Next post: pictures of the Deltas' action packed two days at fieldbase.


  1. To Alan Gwilt
    Hi it looked amazing and especially the climb to the top of the mountain! We're envious of the sights and especially the birds you have seen. hope you've got some good photos. Hope its warmer on the next part of your project
    Love Angela and Kelvin

  2. Melissa Asbury8 March 2011 at 02:27

    For Hugh MacDonald - Was in Delta 6 in Phase 1

    Hey Uncle Hugh! We liked seeing the photos, and Lydia especially liked a picture of a pig. We're having lots of fun at pre-school, we've told all our teachers all about you and your trip. We hope that your next phase is just as much fun, Grace wants you to go on a trek next so she can see pictures of the jungle. Lots of love, Grace, Lydia and Nelly xx

  3. For Elizabeth Hedges (Delta 2)
    You poor things you look like you have not stood up straight for days. I hope the trek was not all hard work! Here the sun's thawing last nights hard frost but I have to cycle to work this morning so no slacking in the garden.
    Loads of love Mum xxxxxxxx

  4. Hey Olivia.. its hugo. Looks incredible, glasd ur having fun, im still working.. shows how bored i am that im writing on this blog! ha. wen u back? cant wait to hear about it! x

  5. For Simon Keirle Delta Romeo 5

    Hi Simon, So good to talk to you at the weekend (I'm not sure you'd know it was a weekend!). I know you were a little disappointed about a second Nicaragua phase but I'm sure the third one will be in Costa Rica. Loved the poem, need more photos to see you all. You will be pleased to hear that Chelsea beat Blackpool 3-1 last night and Spurs only managed a draw with Wolves so you lot are still in 4th place and 3 points ahead of us. Old Tiffs won last Saturday and are now on top again. The blog still doesn't say where all the Delta groups are going but I'm sure we'll find out soon. Hope you enjoy it as much as you did the trek. Take care, love from Mum

  6. For Rosanna Lorrison, Delta 6:


    Well, you look like you've been working a bit hard!! Well done!!
    Hope everything's all good and your having an amazing time out there!
    Well jeals for your tanning and toning!
    Keep us updated when you can!

  7. Message for JoJo Huddie (Turtles project)

    Hi Sweetie,
    Hope you are having a great time saving those eggs and burying them - like an easter egg hunt!! - but without the chocolates to make you feel sick.
    So lovely to talk to you at the weekend. Am thinking of you and sending you big hugs and loads of love. Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. hollie delta 6............hiya hols,it was great to hear from you,glad you are enjoying yourself even though it looks like dam hard work,would like to big up you and your friends in delta 6 for the hard work you put in building the houses for the people, well done. good news re; luca secondary school, he is going to Tommy More's, so glad thats all over with. everyone is well here, they all came for a family dinner on sunday but it was'nt the samr without you...sniff you loooooooads Hollie xxxxxxxxxxx

  9. To Caroline Murray, Alpha 4.

    Hello i'm on my split, sorry for the bombardment of messages haha, but i have good news i don't have to work tonight there's no one booked, so i'm not on a split anymore. I had no one who would appreciate that information and knew you would love hearing it, shame your not here, tiny bit annoyed this day couldn't wait a month and a bit. But it is good, Arsenal are playing Barcelona in the second round of the quarter finals, shame your not here for that as well, you said your missing football haha. Il write a message in a few days! love you lots xxxxxxx sam xxxxxxx

  10. Jennifer O'Brien8 March 2011 at 13:00

    For Jessica Bridge Dunk. Hi jessica. just spoken to your mum and was worried that she would be missing you with no one to make pancakes for. Don't worry as she is making them for your dad but wait for this - they are having cheese and leeks in them! Cheese and leeks! Good job you aren't there - where is the fun in that! Actually sounds better than the jacket potato I am having!!! Laurie and Alvie had tons of sugar on theirs and they went wild and mixed orange and lemon on them! They are in the bath at the moment with Uncle Eamon doing a quiz on the beginings of the universe. It's fun all round tonight! Love you lots, Auntie J X

  11. For Hollie!

    Hey babe,

    Soo I just wrote a long message and then it deleted - stupid technology! So here goes again!

    Reading the blog and seeing your pics have got me here both laughing/crying - i miss u soo much, miss getting ur bbm in the morning/miss drinking a glass of rose and just generally catching jokes! But im sooo bloody proud of u, all ur hard work to change peoples lives, seeing the smiles on those peoples faces must be amazing!

    Hope u got my letter - dont wana say too much on here - might get myself a reputation, I no ur just telling people the good stuff loool

    Cant wait to see u and hear all ur stories! Looking forward to summer with u!

    Keep up the good work, so proud of u, love u loads xxxxxxxx

  12. Jessica Bridge-Dunk Was Delta 6 now Alpha 3 ?
    Hi Bunny,
    Just a quick message to say hello and to send you lots of love and heaps of kisses.
    Have been pottering about at home today doing lots of boring stuff like washing !
    Hope you are settled into things now and are looking after your poorly ear.
    Am toying with the idea of nipping out for a walk . Need to blow some cobwebs away....
    Miss your chirpy little comments,your Mummy x

  13. Delta 4 - David Ford

    Me darlin, it's your sister here. gots me a job didn't i? start in london with m&s in september. really chuffed as is jillers - we cracked the champagne out last night but there will be plenty more when you get back...i'm going to be riding on this one for a while! it was great to get your message last week - a lovely birthday present for mum and i. hope all is well and good luck with your next phase!

    Lou x

  14. To OLivia Christie, Delta Romeo One
    Hello Darling. It was so lovely to catch up and hear that its all so amazing. I hope the next phase is as much fun and that you don't get too many blisters. Do you really have to walk 2oo miles? I have managed to send a link to Gand G and they have seen your pictures and I think Granny tried to send you a message, so hopefully it arrived. No real news... a quiet weekend, but this weekend we are up with the boys for matches and cultural evening. Hope we hear from you soon. Missing you loads and loads . Mum and Dadxxx

  15. Mags Chilaev: Delta 4, Camaronal

    HOLY mother of Jove!! what is that BEAST on your chin Magzimillius! I almost choked on my sweetcorn, you do not require a skit for this project, your facial hair is an absolute spectare in itself, a truly magnificent apparition! a visually striking display in its own right...
    I can't believe it's not Vidal Sassoon?
    does it have a name?
    may I suggest another point of destination for those headed for the infamous Gunshow? Hairbreak Hotel is very highly recommended indeed

    on a serious note, I miss you so much. words cannot describe the measures I have gone to in an attempt to replace you. yes, I am not ashamed to admit that my weakness has driven me down that path. Alas unsuccessfully. I miss you more than I missed cold clean water on San Lucas last year. I still dislike you a bit for not getting a sim xxxxxxxx

  16. Mags chilaev

    that's where stokes was at last year man rip that swell apart!!! don't care if you have to beg steal or perform special favours, get hold of a shorty and don't leave there without a surf!! on magic seaweed right now, it's absolutely pumping! man your sister is going to go green, mark and jo are uber jealous
    tc dude, see you in april

  17. Para Mauricio en Delta Romeo 1, FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS,TE AMAMOS MUCHO, cuídese mucho, te estamos esperando y deseamos que Dios te bendiga muchísimo.Tus papás y hermanos.

  18. para mau otarola delta romeo1 mau que el Señor lo bendiga feliz cumpleaños se ve muy bien en las fotos cuidese lo queremos mucho y lo extrañamos tita,tito,ana a y boni jaja

  19. HOLLIE DELTA 6 - earth to gertrude!! lol hey hope everythings goin well, im sure u must have a six pack by now by the sounds of things. so ur trekking thru the jungle at the moment? make sure u say whats up to tarzan and jane for me and be safe, miss u loads, proud of you xx

  20. Para Yendry en Delta 6.
    Querida ñoña, yo se que soy el peor de los peores amigos que uno puede tener la desgracia de llegar a tener, nunca llamo, nunca escribo y nunca le mando palomas mensajeras. Pero no por eso vaya a pensar que me olvide de su existencia, se le extraña a chorros, y mucho más porque no pudimos despedirnos por problemas de coordinación, coordinación motora de mi parte a la hora de levantar el teléfono y llamar a Wai para ir a verla. Espero que le esté yendo de maravilla y que regrese con las pilas bien recargadas, también espero por supuesto que se acuerde de este su servidor el asombroso hombre que no araña. Cuídese mucho y discúlpeme por esperar tanto para decidir a escribirle. Han sido días extraños, con sus noches. Se despide de teus,Jorge López, el que casi no conoché, San José de noche...



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