X-Ray 2 - Clare Jones
Blog 1: Monday 7th November
Day leader Tom attempted to gently wake X-ray 2, after the success of the previous morning’s alarm call but failed to operate the radio! Instead the group were woken by the sound of the radio crackling and Tom shouting “get up” as if we were convicts! X-ray 2 left Alto Cebadilla at 05.30am ready for the day’s 13km trek lead by Jesus, the day’s navigator. The day began with light drizzle and steep hills from the onset. Eventually Moritz, Tom, Clare and Jonathan came across an old shack which the group had lunch in out of the rain. The lunch hour consisted of laughter from playing “elephant, bibalibob-bob”, chici-chici-cho, chici-cho-coco” and ron-maka-ron”, raising everyone’s spirits after 800m worth of hills and getting soaked. After lunch the sun shone and X-Ray 2 reached their destination at 1.30pm. they set up their camp over stunning views of Lake Arenal and Volcano Arenal. Dinner was cooked by Jesus, whilst everyone was snuggled in their tents due to the chill of beginning 1000m above sea level. After playing card games and having teeth chattering while chatting, X-Ray 2 suddenly felt the ground shaking; with panic on her face, Rachel shouted “Everyone don’t panic!”. In fact everyone else was calm. Day leader Tom managed to keep everyone calm by using the toilet nearby and not realizing we had just experienced an earthquake measured at 5.9 on the richter scale. X-Ray 2 ended the eventful day under the stars in their tents preparing for the following day’s 18km trek.
|Lake and Volcan Arenal - a fitting reward after a hard day's trekking|
Blog 2: Saturday 12th Nov
The camp awoke at 03.30am ready to be lead through the jungle by the legendary Don Luz. Don Luz hacked his way through the jungle with his machete ensuring X-Ray 2 were safe and sound. When asked whether he enjoyed working with Raleigh, Don Lux replied; “yes I do a lot, I enjoy talking with the venturers and the PMs and enjoy listening to them speaking English. I enjoy this job a lot”.
The jungle’s tough terrain resulted in many of the venturers falling flat and skidding down the muddy slopes. Exciting but very challenging trekking through the jungle but the main consensus of the group was that it was an enjoyable experience. Don Luz then took X-Ray 2 to the hot springs where they bathed in warm water such luxury for the smelly, dirty venturers. PM Rachel thought the experience was magnificent and unique. After the springs the group walked a steep descent to the waterfall on the Rio Celeste which was an awesome sight. X-Ray 2 then continued their trek until they reached their final destination, El Pilon. After picking up their food supplies and setting up camp, we had a lovely dinner of chickpeas, rice and sauce and then retreated to our tents. The distance of the day was 15km through the difficult terrain of the jungle. Day leader Marette kept the group in high spirits. The weather was hot and humid and the scenery was amazing!
|The jungle...quite a lot of trees!|
|Rio Celeste..yes the colours are real!|
|Just some of the stunning scenery witnessed by X-Ray 2|
X-Ray 3 15th November: Sarah Bartram
Blog 2: since the last update x-ray 3 have had the first La Cangreca table tennis tournament (on a broken ping-pong table we found in the Rangers station, balanced on a picnic bench). We were all kept entertained by Laura’s heated disputes with referee Randy; and there were some impressive performances from Lisa, Randy and Sarah Church. But the real star of the show was Don Boliver, one of the park rangers who put us all to shame.
We’ve almost been to see a waterfall. We walked for about 45 minutes before heading back to camp, only to find out from the rangers the next day that we’d been about 300m away from it! We walked through some beautiful rainforest along the way though and plan to go back another time.
It hasn’t all been fun and games though, the project is proving tougher than we anticipated. As the ground where we are digging trenches is made up of hard rock and clay, which takes a long time to break up with a pic-axe before it can be dug up. However, fuelled by such culinary delights as chips, sausages, salad and Anna and Lisa’s empanadas, X-Ray 3 have been powering through and have dug over 60m of trench and have started laying and filling the pipes. After all this hard work we have spent our afternoons swimming in the river, working on our chess skills and stretching out to Randy’s river-side yoga classes.