Alpha One have made a successful start to the Tuirrisantos Trek! After a 2 hour snooze on the bus, (due to the previous night’s epic paint party), we arrived at our start point. Day One was rather relaxed, and despite there not being room at the ranger station, we were given more than adequate accommodation at a nearby community station. An afternoon of icebreakers ensued; frog murder (a tongue variation of that classic, wink murder) providing much hilarity, especially as poor Hanko was suspected in every round! Well he does play with that penknife an awful lot...
Day Two was much tougher as we headed into the jungle, which was extremely muddy! We all ended the day covered in it, bar Julie, who has the very annoying talent of staying perfectly clean while the rest of us are filthy! (Ed: Nicely done Julie). How does she do it?! Another problem of trekking through the bogginess of the Costa Rican jungle is that we fall over. A lot. But with every muddy fall (even if it is your 3rd in 5 minutes), we were able to have a laugh and pull ourselves back up again. Various wails were audible throughout the day – “My foot is stuck in the mud” – “I think my boot’s about to come off”, from Claire, to rather embarrassingly, “I want my Mummy” from this author. Credit must go to Mark in his role as day leader, for motivating us all to the finish. We are all enjoying our Raleigh rations too! A can of tuna with crackers, crushed from being at the bottom of your rucksack all day is absolutely delicious after a morning of trekking!
Day Three was further trekking in Barbilla National Park, but we found it slightly easier after our tough introduction, and again credit to day leader Claire, along with ‘tough-but-fair’ Dutch Army PM Roeland aka Chuck Norris aka Rolo (hard on the outside, soft interior) who ensured we reached our finish point ahead of time, and were able to enjoy a delicious and relaxed lunch of salami, noodles and crackers. Props to PM Katie for that, it not only satisfied our meat craving, but was also a relief to Julie, who after carrying it for three days, was looking forward to not being followed by hungry dogs! We are also learning lots of Spanish from our HCVs, Istvan and Michael; Rosh and Eika are top of the class and Michael’s English, in return, has come on leaps and bounds. He’s now at the point where he’s cracking jokes!
We have all bonded really well in such a short time, and Allegra has established herself as Alpha 1 Mum, tucking in everyone’s mosquito net at night. Tim however, needed no help in that department, as he created the most cocoon like structure, drawing awe from us all. Accommodation has so far, been rather comfy, with showers for 2 out of 3 nights and toilets for all 3, (if you include a long drop!) But don’t get too envious, tomorrow we’re cracking out the tents, certainly not for the last time. We’ve now been joined by Louis who had been at Fieldbase with a chest infection, and missed the opening days. Alpha One are a full contingent and ready to go!
3 days down, 16 to go, and Alpha One are in good spirits, Playa Hermosa here we come!