Monday, 24 October 2011

Alpha 2 (Guanacaste Trek) Blog by Eleonore Vellbregt

After a great four days induction including jungle training, first aid and getting to all of the other Venturers, we had a great party at Fieldbase to send us off. Sadly enough we had to wake up really early, finish packing our bags and get on the bus for the real thing - The Guanacaste trek!

 We were all a bit scared because we were leaving for 19 days but we were excited as well. We had to drive 5 hours to the start of our trek. We were making the best of the drive and had a good sleep because it was possible and we didn’t know what it would be like on the trek. We walked for 2-3 hours but then came to a river that we couldn’t cross as it had swollen due to the heavy rain. Having exhausted all options for another crossing point, we had to turn round and go back to the nearest camp site as it was nearly dark. We decided to go back to a place that we had seen earlier – there were hammocks but it was really close to the place where we had started... not the ideal start. The same rain that had filled the river had also absolutely soaked us to the skin. Because of the delay we had to catch up steadily over the next three days. We walked more than 12 km on the second day. When we finally came to a place where we could camp it turned out to be a school building that hadn’t been used for 6 years... a very random shack in the middle of nowhere! The next day was even tougher – lots of hills – however, we finally had a view because the clouds finally disappeared – the first blue sky in 4 days!
The next day we woke up at three again, walked from five to seven and in two hours were in the place where we should have stayed the night before. We walked about 17km that day. We got to the shelter early but everyone was feeling a bit broken! It had been so difficult because the storms had returned and it had rained all day. Because of the rain we have missed a couple of good views so that makes it even harder.  We’re finding that trek really is as tough as they say. One minute we are swimming in Lake Arenal and basking in the sun, refreshing our weary bones as the sun reflects off the mirrored surface of the lake, the next we are struggling up a muddy hill with what feels like a million tonnes on our back. By day 5 we finally got back on track and arrived really early so we had a good rest. The rain stopped againand we finally got a good view of Volcan Arenal – stunning! We’ve got a lovely group and we help each other out and push each other on to keep moving. Day 6 saw our longest day so far - 25km. We did the first 16km very quickly and the weather was nice. We walked around the lake and had a beautiful view of the volcano at the other side. We had a lovely lunch as well. After lunch it got tough again - we were all tired but we kept on moving.  That night we had a visit from Bravo 1 – it was great to have visitors, but it meant that our packs would be heavier tomorrow due to the food drop! Tomorrow marks the start of the jungle... everyone keeps saying this is the toughest part of the trek... we shall see!


  1. Hi George (Alpha 2)
    We were so relieved to finally hear some news from your group, anxiously waiting to know how you are all getting on. It sounds very tough!, but I am sure an amazing experience none the less. Hope you're finding enough to eat and the early starts aren't too much of a shock to the system! We are all missing you loads and thinking about you all the time. Good luck. Lots of love from everyone.XXX

  2. Messaqge for Sarah Church 11L Alpha 2
    Guanacaste sounds like a challenge Sarah - just the way you like it !
    Hope all OK with you - Good Luck - We are thinking of you
    Lots love Pura Vida !
    Mum and Dad x

  3. Miss Vellbregt

    mooi geschreven en wanneer je weer thuis bent, kun je alles doen met deze conditie. We zullen veel klusjes verzamelen. Is zwaar trekken zeker 25 kilometer op een dag. Fluffie zou dat niet redden. Geniet ervan.

    De papppaaaa

  4. To Noor Vollebregt, 11L, Alpha 2

    Lieve lieve Noor, eindelijk jullie blog op de site! Iedere morgen begin ik om op de computer te kijken of er post is van jullie! Wat een prachtig verhaal heb je geschreven, wel een zware tocht door alle regen! Heerlijk om te lezen dat het team er zo voor elkaar is! Dus nu echt in de jungle! Wat ben je een stoer meisje! Succes, geniet van dit bijzondere avontuur! Heel veel groetjes en liefs van ons allen, dikke kus van mammie

  5. José Gomez (11L, Alpha 2)

    Hola, José! Anduviste desmasiado, mi amigo. jaja! Recordé la lluvia de Costa Rica. Muchisima lluvia. Espero que el tiempo estaré mejor. Pensando en ti hoy cuando oí party rock is in the house tonight :) Ten cuidado en la selva. Un abrazo, Whitney

  6. josue!!!! muchos besos!!! te quiero hasta el infinito y mas alla!!! tete

  7. Thanks for the Sitrep Eleonore, This is Daisy Knox-Murphy's Uncle here, glad to hear you are all well, but slightly wet. Hope the clouds lifted a bit more so you can enjoy the views: as all you will be seeing for a while are trees and the Jungle canopy. All our love Daisy, from Nomeda, Malcolm and most of all Eleanor.XXX.Uncly Munc.wait.out.

  8. George Di Biasio, Alpha 2.
    ....Hello! Hope you are having a good time apart from being wet! :( poor you having so much rain! We are all missing loads already! We had the baby scan and everything is fine...only one baby! So Tyrone it is?! lol Every one here is fine. Man city beat man utd 6-1 on sunday! This upset Ads but pleased Jama! Emily is missing you, and looks in your room at your mums! But she is good and trying to talk a bit more. Hope your not to achy from all the walking! Take care and take pictures if you can! lots of love Amy, Adam and emily

  9. Josue Gomez
    Hola Holaaaa! Escribo para saludar! Cuidáte mucho y disfrutá mil! Ojala que tenga que caminar más jajaja. Mucha suerte, un abrazo!
    Valeria G :)

  10. Tim Sawrey, Alpha 2
    Still no photos from the trek so missing seeing you! Sounds so tough, anything Scotland could throw at you can't compare! What a party there will be when you complete and can be so proud of yourselves! To business, I can't access your UCAS tracking without your password, it's been sent to your email but I don't have your hotmail password! When you are back at base either can you get somewhere to check (I'll email UCAS number etc.) or get your hotmail password to me and I will. That's killing me too as I can't access anything to do with you .... you can imagine what that's like! So proud of you, wherever you are. Love you, mum x

  11. Eleonoor, Alpha2.

    Hey Noor, wat heb je het toch weer slecht voor elkaar... Zie je ook wat dieren en wat eet je elke dag? Bonen, rijst of juist veel fruit?
    Hier is het gelukkig ook takke-weer! Maar ja blubber is beperkt en mijn schoenen blijven droog!



  12. To Ross Skinner Alpha 2

    Hi Janner

    Having a good time? how are the blisters, but at least it's warm rain. We see that you are now into the jungle part of the trek. Not at all like home. we have had the letter confirming your place at Pirbright. After what you are all doing basic training will be a doddle. Hope that Operation Raleigh can post some photos on the blog soon so that we know that you are OK. Check your emails / facebook when you get a chance. Take care, enjoy yourself and take plenty of photos and we'll blog again shortly.

    lots of luv Mum and Dad

  13. Hi Ross,
    Greetings from Holland,trust alls going well and your enjoying yourself,wish i was with you,Sidmouth must seem like a million miles away,take care and shall look foreward to hearing all about it,Pirbright will seem like a walk in the park,tot ziens Uncle Richard,Aad and Masai and all in Holland Ross Skinner 2 november 2011

  14. to josue gomez heyy blacky! enjoy babe disfrute de verdad montones siga viviendo todo lo q le queda y gana dems experiencia un abrazo enorme te proemto una foto con donavon! jaja te quieroo muchos saludos y muy buenas vibras!! muaak! :)

  15. Para Josue Gomez!
    Jo! Perdón por escribirte hasta ahora pero esque no veia como jajaja ! Espero que lo estes pasando increible, ya paso tiempo y espero que es estes trabajando fuertemente en tu acento inglés !! Besos cuidese dem ,extraño sus estupides!

    Vivi Brenes



Thank you for visiting our blog. Comments are monitored daily and we will ensure messages are promptly delivered to your loved ones. Please ensure you state the name of the person to whom your message is addressed. This is so we don't miss any out. Muchas gracias!

Pura Vida!