Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Zulus Out

We’re back from the Zulu Adventure Challenge! This morning it was time to say goodbye to our fun and friendly Zulu venturers. There were tears, laughter and friendships parting but never to be forgotten as we waved goodbye to them at San Jose airport. But what a way to end! Saturday morning saw sixty venturers arrive at Puntarenas and fly over to San Lucas Island on a convoy of speed boats. As they arrived they enjoyed a chilled out day to recuperate after their tiresome, trekking escapades and of course, to mentally prepare for the unknown events ahead.

That evening the venturers were taken on an eerie tour around the prison in the dark to hear the horror stories and history (home for the next three days!). They were then left to relax for the evening ready for a lie-in and a slap-up Gallo Pinto breakfast at 7am the next morning - brilliant!

Unfortunately for the venturers, this was all just a big ploy to make the next day’s events even more of a surprise. Up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 4am the next morning were the Raleigh PM’s as they got into costume, grass skirts, war paint, drums and all, and headed off to the prison cells where the venturers were sleeping, for an interesting wake up call.

“Ooohohohohohohohohohohoh!” (That is the PM’s running into the prison cells to wake up the venturers, red-Indian style, if you can imagine that). After a brutal awakening, including warrior dancing and chanting, the venturers finally dragged themselves out of bed. They were given a brief introduction from the King and Queen of the San Lucas Zulu warriors (Sabrina and PM Andy in head dresses and loin cloths), got into their groups, packed the bare essentials and once blindfolded, were taken to their first challenge where they were left alone to fend for themselves.

Slowly but surely as the PM’s departed the Zulu venturers removed their blindfolds and in front of them was a map, a grid reference, a bag of watermelon and Pineapple, two knives, and some bug spray. After some refreshing breakfast to fuel them up for the day (the fruit) they found their grid reference locations and began the fun and games. Each group had four challenges to complete that morning; raft building, Command, low ropes and fire building. For each challenge they were timed and scored. That evening was the real survival challenge however. Another grid reference! This time to four separate beaches within the island where each group had to set up their own jungle camp using two pieces of tarpaulin, 6 mosquito nets, and a sleeping bag each. They were then visited by the ‘fish man’ (Country Programme Manager, Ross) and had to signal to him in morse code from the shore. Once the message had been received our trusty fish man sped over to drop off some freshly caught red snapper, with instructions on how to slice, gut and cook it up for dinner as well as some instructions and ingredients for making damper bread. All this with no guidance whatsoever from our project managers – it is survival after all.
The next morning the venturers really were treated to a slap-up breakfast of Gallo Pinto and spent the rest of the day packing and relaxing on beautiful San Lucas. That night they enjoyed a tip top barbeque underneath a magnificent sunset, the final expedition slide show and of course a good old Raleigh party to close in expedition 11H.
Zulus, you’ve been incredible. Your work with Raleigh has been invaluable. We hope that you have left with memories that will last a lifetime and more. Pura vida amigos!

*Blog by Dawn Tennant, photos by Polly and Kat Mammone


  1. Alfie Carapiet, Romeo 1,
    HI there, All is well over here... just off to fetch Alex back from the airport - he says that the Company he has applied to will let him know later this week, so hopefully we will have some good news to share with you soon. Apparently, not sure if I told you, but there are only 3 people still left in with a chance... so its all looking pretty positive. John is doing his usual "egg rolling" raqther than getting on and writing up his document. Rachel is enjoying her first week at her new job.

    Keep the blogs coming we are enjoying reading them - wish there was more about our Romeo though!!!!!

    Much love and still all missing you.

  2. Tricia Ofuono ROMEO 1
    My dear darling Tricia,
    how are you? I am still in porto torres, sunny and hot. As I said in my last message, all are missing you, the cat the dog and also the octopussies in the sea... I'm missing the octopussy too, but coping finally as Liya is stuck to me 24 7 like a blood sucker.
    tomorrow is my birthday and we'll probably roast a lot of meat, but i decided to keep it like a secret and not invite anyone, just my parents and liya. It would have been nice if Elena was here for that but it doesn't look like she'll come back. She said she'd like to come to brussels in october if that's ok with you.
    I have had to cut beard finally cause iut was just too hot here and it was getting mighty itchy. By the way you know that i have my italian phone with me 00393477568464, you should call me there if you need to not on the belgian one.
    I am beuing called to eat!!!
    write soon

  3. For Joss Tringham in Romeo 4

    Lovely to hear from you, I hope you're enjoying your new project. still so impressed you walked that far! all's fine here- we're missing you but it's the lampshade designs summer picnic this weekend so all is not lost! all my love and see you soon. Freya xx

  4. Alfie Carapiet, Romeo 1
    Just to let you know Alex got the job!! An internship for 6 months - starting Monday!! Celebrations all round!! Its an unpaid job - but if they like him they have said that they will take him on full time.... Yeay!!

    Love SueXX

  5. Hi Chris Tullo Romeo 1.
    Hope all is going well with the trek! Just got back from a couple of days away with Estelle around the Forest of Dean...was thinking it was a bit different from your experiences! Big excitement cos we were at a viewing spot with some RSPB guys and there was a perregrine falcon flying around. So we must go there with you when you're back!! Keep smiling!
    Much love
    Mum xx

  6. Grace Minns. Romeo 2
    Dear Grace had a nice ride to Hemsley today , it was busy on the road as it was Thornton Dale Show Been very warm and now it is thundering are you O.K. Have you worn your boots out yet? Is it hard going and hot .Are there a lot of creepies .hope you do not get bitten. Lots and lots of love Chicky G G xxxxxx

  7. Jennifer Clements Romeo 2
    Hi Sweetie Finally on Holiday and off to Canada day after tomorrow. Still tracking what you are up to on the blog and hope that there will be lots of pictures soon. Will keep looking from wherever we are in Canada.Hope the group is good and that you got our messages on facebook and previous comments on the blog. Hope you'll get your birthdays cards when you get back to base camp but in the mean time Bon Anniversaire mon chou and will drink une bonne bouteille pour toi le 11 Aout. Enormes bises
    Maman et le Daddy

  8. Para Veronica de Alpha5.
    Veroooooo Feliz cumpleeee. Espero q estes difrutando te tu trip jaja. Q dichosa! Tengo tanto q contarte q ya quiero q estes aqui y asi pegarme los trips a la playita con Vos. Cuando vuelvas me tenes que contar TODO cm estuvo eso. X cierto creo q no voy a ir al concert de los RHCP xq quiero ir al de Pearl Jam x si te gustaria ir conmigo. Bueno espero q vuelvas pronto, pero q a la vez disfrutes y aprendas un monton. Te quiero montones, bye!
    P.D. De Naty!! jajajaja no puedo poner mi nombre :(

  9. Louise Dimmock (Triti)5 August 2011 at 09:35

    For Eleanor Dimmock, not sure what group!!

    Hello Stevi, Lots been happening here huni while you've been away. I've had a massive tidy up in your room. Looks so different/better, haha. Bernie was very comfy here and bought you a yummy box of chocolates for letting her stay. We had a great week at Anne's and Annabel came runner up and English Girls, very nerve wracking, dad has a new car, we have booked florida and Wizzarding World of HP looks amazing, Annabel has been selected to go away with an England Squad. Weather has been so hot. One week to go Stevs until we see you. Love you to the moon and back x a billion millon, is that even a number. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. Justin Shenolikar Romeo 2
    Hi Justin Liked the inner tube raft - looks like fun.Did you get to do any fishing? Lots of talk about gap year trip in UK after some gappers got attacked by a polar bear in Norway while camping on a glacier so be careful. Glasgow Uni has sent you stuff to register so I will do what needs to be done for you if nec. Have fun. Love the Raleigh blog. More pics! Love from Mum xx

  11. Jasmine Furbert Romeo 3

    Hi Jasmine. Checking in hoping all is well. I'm on shift this week working the weekend. Jaden is home with nana today. We saw Captain America last night at Southside, Jaden enjoyed it. We may go bowling or swimming tonight. Waiting on Patrick to fix the lawnmower as the grass is high in the yard. Could use your Raleigh skills to give the yard your landscaping touch when you return :)
    Love Dad

  12. Message for Jennifer Clements (Romeo 2)

    Hi Jenny.

    We are in the middle of the Rockies, bears everywhere stopping us from exploring. Daddy nearly ran over a chipmunk (!), tomorrow the high mountains and snow and ice. Wish you were here. Have a lovely birthday. Miss you lots and keep having fun - rain or shine.


    Mum and Dad



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