The weather Gods conspired against Expedition 12B in truly spectacular fashion yesterday, as the proverbial heavens well and truly opened to drench man and woman alike to the bone. Raleigh venturers however, are made of sterner stuff, and once they made it to their respective sites it was all hands to the coal face to get camp ready as the rain continued its onslaught.
Venturers were given demonstrations in using bamboo to construct basha beds and hammocks, hanging the communal tarp (handy for keeping bags dry) and of course, digging the long drop, before settling in for hot drinks – is there anything a cup of tea cannot solve? Our trekking groups had a slightly different itinerary as they undertook arguably the most fun part of trek – river crossings – perfecting the huddle and conga techniques in the Rio Reventazon.
Today began with an early start at 3.30am, celebrated with that timeless culinary classic of porridge, before it was down with camp, and onto tools training, getting to grips with the mattocks, spades, shovels and wrecking bars in anticipation of some on-phase labouring in just 4 days time. Mercifully by this time, the sun had emerged bashfully from behind the clouds, but the morning’s events were far from over – it was time for Casevac (Casualty evacuation). I’d like to reassure you readers, that this was a drill, rather than an emergency situation with groups ringing in reports, constructing stretchers, and carrying their ‘injured’ member to Fieldbase, where remarkably, each and every one of them made a complete recovery.
Congratulations to all our venturers for their achievements in such adverse conditions and for maintaining good humour throughout. Top effort, and as my old rugby coach used to say: “If it’s not Raining, It’s not Training!”.