Sunday, 18 March 2012

Musings from Miratombo

Hello to everyone who has been following X Ray’s progress as we give you this instalment from the foot of the Cerra Negra in Nicaragua.

Since our last update we’ve walked over 125km, and after spending several days in the rocky mountains we have now descended to the flat roads surrounding the smoking Volcan Momotombo which has loomed over us for the past few days. Temperatures have increased as we headed south, often reaching unbearable proportions in the middle of the day. Subsequently early starts have been implemented to avoid this, with 3am deployment a common occurrence.
We were paid a visit by Fieldbase’s Dave, Holly, Ale and Jemma whilst we stayed at San Martin – their food drop and messages of support from home were much appreciated, and provided a view of the world far removed from the one we’re in!

Alongside Kelly’s birthday previously, we also celebrated VM Caroline’s birthday, who was 29 on Wednesday. In true trek style – apple juice and energy bomb cake was distributed at 3am, and I’m sure Caroline won’t forget blowing out the candle before embarking on a day of 21km walking.

Over the past few weeks we have continued our wildlife observation, especially amongst the pigs, cows, horses and dogs which roam freely on our route. Mark made the error of leaving his porridge unattended one morning and returned to find a pig with a nose for Raleigh rations, snuffling away in his mess tin. Our accommodation one night also had an animal related incident of note. The routecard informed us we would be staying in a barn – it did not mention that it was overrun with chickens, which quickly made their homes in our rucksacks; several members waking up from afternoon naps to discover they’d shared accommodation with feathered friends.

The past week has been, for many, one of the toughest of their lives – both mentally and physically. The distance has begun to take its toll and had you passed out in the Nicaraguan countryside, you’d be forgiven for mistaking us for soldiers returning from the battlefield as we limp from village to village, bandaged head to toe in zinc oxide tape (Rosie is literally mummified). Nevertheless camaraderie and morale remains high as we enter our final few days and the scale of the challenge we faced had brought us closer together.

Today we arrived at the base of Cerra Negra where we will spend the night and climb the volcano with the Bravo group in the morning, before heading to our finishing point at the lagoon. Soon we will be back in Costa Rica, at Fieldbase, regaling tales of what has been a truly fantastic and unforgettable experience.

Thank you for reading

X Ray 3 out, Deacachimba!

The author Sam would like to wish little sister Molly a very happy 9th birthday. And who are we to deny such a wish. Happy 9th birthday Molly!



  2. For Nicole Waller Xray 4
    Hi Nicole!So nice to see a photo of you and the group,all still smiling!And you looking so tanned - impressive :) Enjoy the last few days and meeting up again at Fieldbase.Look forward to hearing from you.All good here,well and happy.Granny and dad-Dad send lots of love and good wishes Love you lots,BIG hug BIG kiss Mom Dad and Jumby xxx

  3. X-ray 3- Vivian,

    Woooo!! U are treking on the new route! how is that?
    When you receive this msg, i think u are arrive the field base la.
    so,,, it should be missed your birthday na.

    anyway, please enjoy your last phase!!

  4. to Tim Phoa, Xray 3
    Wow, wat een foto's! prachtig! je geniet vast van het prachtige landschap, maar het verhaal erbij geeft wel de indruk dat het een zware tocht is . ben benieuwd naar de verhalen! vrijdag even skype (Nederlandse tijd 18.30?)
    liefs, mama

  5. BATSAM X RAY l Just thought I would send you another message to say we are all thinking of you. None of us could do what you are doing, I am so proud and long to hear the tales of the trials and tribulations. Reading the other trek blogs there is clearly high morale and lots of laughter but no doubt like you heavy use of zinc oxide tape and rations becoming somewhat monotonous. Not long to go and at the end you will feel AMAZING. Well done to all of you. Biggest of hugs. MumX PS I dont want no showering for 3 weeks to become a habit. XXX

  6. X Ray 3, Sian Lewis

    Dear siany,
    WE WON THE GRAND SLAM!!! Wales beat France this Sunday (which you may already know by now) I don't think Cardiff has ever been so red or so excited - everybody was certianly patriotic.
    Wow! It is completely amazing to read about what you are doing and see even a snapshot of it in the photos - it looks as if you're on a completely different planet. We are in complete awe of what you're doing, knowing what a challenge I found Duke of Edinburgh I can't even comprehend how you are managing this.
    Life in Penarth is good, mother's day was uneventful but nice as we had everybody round for food :) Dad and I may well go down to Solva next weekend as mum is going to Swanage with Jackie and Jenny Backster. But hopefully we will speak to you before then. Keep safe and be in touch, LOVEEEEE YOU!

  7. Wow Mark you look like your having the time of your life. The photos are amazing something that will stay with you forever. We are home safely from our trip and are looking forward to chatting with you soon> I hope your birthday cards have arrived and that you have a wonderful day.
    much Love
    mum, dad katie and fiona xxx

  8. Hi Mark,
    I hope your having a brilliant time- I'm sure you are! Have a fantastic birthday and we look forward to seeing you wen ur back!
    Alana & Will xxx

  9. hey Mark,
    Hope you are having a wonderful birthday with all your mates, we look forward to celebrating when you come home.It was so great to hear from you last week. Keep up the hard work.
    Loads of love
    mum, dad, fiona and katie xxx

  10. To Jon B, (Zulu 2)
    Hey Jon! hope you are well and having an awesome trek. hope the feet are holding up?! Happy Easter - thinking of you. Keep having a great time. Look forward to catching up soon. Take care, lots of love Mum and Fleur xxx



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