Tuesday, 6 March 2012

X-Ray One - Turrisantos Trek

To say it’s been wet would be an understatement as to what X-Ray One have experienced these past few days as we weave our way our through Barbilla National Park.

After a short drive from Fieldbase to our start point, somewhat frustratingly we had a 2 hour wait for our guide, but we were treated to a talk on the park and the indigenous people, the Cabecar, by the rangers. Guide sourced, and we were on our way, albeit slowly. The going was arduous as thick, sticky mud, clogged and cloyed our every step and wore us down. Welcome to trek... Despite this, one could not help but appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, until PM Claire pointed out a poison dart frog, resulting in Jose taking his umpteenth tumble as he turned to take a look. Parallels were drawn between trekking and scenes from numerous Vietnam flicks – Phoebe displaying great heroism to delve into the depths of a bog and rescue Danielle’s submerged boot.

Mercifully the next day was far better with beautiful weather enabling us to appreciate our surroundings, as well as making good time to Valle Descondido where we enjoyed a soak in the river, and an early night to recover from the previous day’s toils.

We awoke at 3am to the roar of raindrops hammering the zinc roof above us; if we thought day one was bad, this was something else. Rivers of mud oozed their way through the jungle, sometimes knee deep resulting in numerous falls and the deluge was such that our guide had to take the longer route around to avoid swollen rivers. Needless to say, we blitzed it, and everyone can be proud of their efforts as we made it down to the bridge and out of the park onto firm tracks – bliss.

Tomorrow, although longer, is on gravel tracks, which will hopefully be easier going. In the meantime we send our love to friends and family at home – keep your messages coming!

Love X-Ray 1 xx


  1. Danielle Dowding (X-ray 1). Thank you to X-ray One for being the first blog up and for the lovely photos. We have been following the weather and I can tell you that Friday is looking good for you with some sunshine at last! Very wet here in Zim too so we very proud of you managing the muddy tracks and slippy slopes. Everyone is well and missing you loads. Enjoy the wonderful environment, keep singing, (She'll be coming round the mountain... or It's raining...), and try keep your boots on! Love you so much angel. God bless. Mom, Dad and Shell.

  2. Callum Hunter Xray1

    Hi Callum, hope your brolly has been useful. Forecast for CR is 20% chance rain Wednesday but should be fine for following 3 days. Meanwhile SE UK has a water shortage!

    News Update; Ireland 17 france 17 ; France vs England this w/e. Federer beat murray in Dubai final; Chelsea manager sacked; Cancellara won Strade Bianche into Sienna with classic uphill surge with 12km to go and Brad Wiggins has yellow jersey in Paris -Nice.

    Everyone is smiling in the photos so you must be ok! Keep going, you are all amazing, but do look after your feet!

    Love from us all

    Simon and Clare

  3. James Barlow X-ray 4.
    Hey little one, can be on the internet on 22/23rd but go on skype as well- can use it on my phone so will make sure im online. have run away to grenoble yet again! going to try cross-country skiing today and the sun is out so should be fun. going back to la tania tomorrow (for the 4th time this year!!) and staying with hugo for the weekend. got an interview in london on wed for insurance, keep your fingers crossed. had another one last week but rejected. then 2 weeks working for maria. and after that who knows. had my invite for the opening ceremony in the post, decided i will take whoever is nicest to me!! haha. looking foward to an update on all your news. Much love Emma x

  4. Craddock Family7 March 2012 at 07:08

    Amy Craddock, X-Ray 7
    Dear pops
    Hope phase 2 is challenging and fun. You seem to rise to the occasion -so perhaps good to find your inner strength and hidden depths. We are all very proud of you and I am keeping everyone updated re your progress. It was wonderful to exchange e-mails when you were at HQ -very glad that you are keeping your spirits up. Hope you receive my letter. in the process of writing another. Lots of love and a big hug

    Mum x x

  5. For Nicole Waller X ray 4
    Hey...nice to see your photo's.Looks like you are enjoying?Hope everything is alright and the weather improves.
    Love and miss you lots x

  6. BATSAM X RAY 1 Thought I would send another message in case you are now waist deep in mud!!! Easy for me to joke I know. You may have enjoyed a day on a gravel path, what bliss. Little did you know what a longed for treat gravel would be!! Make sure you dry your feet, you dont want "trench foot". the harder it is the more wonderful you will feel on completion. What an adventure and keep smiling. I do miss you. Lots of love. MumXX

  7. Lisa Steinmetz x ray 1
    Hey schatje
    Hoe gaat het toch met je? Wat fijn dat we hebben kunnen lezen hoe het met jullie gaat. Stoere bikkels zijn jullie.
    Ik hoop dat je spullen droog blijven en dat je droge voeten houdt!!!
    Ik was dit weekend weer met star op pad voor een cursus. Ik was thuis iets vergeten en ben toen maar even met de trailer met star achter de grote vriendelijke tractor langs huis gegaan...dan weet star nu ook waar wij wonen...ze werd ongeduldig en begon te hinniken...
    Cursus op de veluwe...bleek ineens het rhino virus te zijn uitgebroken en mocht ik niet meer naar huis met star...
    Ik ben nu dus in amsterdam, star is nog op de Veluwe...
    Morgen ga ik lekker nog een dagje lessen en dan kom ik vrijdag terug....
    Er zingt soms een vogel alsof het lente is, maar het is nog r.....koud.
    Lieverd, ik hoop zo dat je het heel erg goed hebt ondanks de regen.
    Heel veel zoenen. Ik hou erg veel van je.
    Kus mam hannelies

  8. for lucinda ryan x-ray 4
    hope all is going well with you Lucinda.^
    Wengen is great. All asking for you and enquiring about your whereabouts and escapades. Today is Wednesday and I am having a day off as it is snowing. Good day yesterday in Murren with David and Michelle. Went up to a mountain hut above wengen last night for a fondue. What a treck to get there on foot as there is a lot of snow. Quite spooky going through the forest, not knowing if there were wolves about! It was a little mountain hut with no electricity so light was from pariffin lamps.......went back 50 years in time. It was fun as there were 12 of us, some swiss people also who are friends of the Headley`s friends who live out here. Then on the way home back in wengen met some more swiss friends of theirs and they persuaded us to go to the pub in the centre for more drinks and song. Charlie and Steve had their guitars... a very late night ensued!!
    look forward to hearing from you soon.
    miss you. lots of love Mumxxxxxxxxxxx

  9. lucinda ryan x-ray 4
    Lucinda i am not sure if the message i have just sent has got through as i had difficulty convincing the computer i was not a robot!
    will write another later .
    popped around to Holly before I left.
    All is good in Wengen. Snowing today so resting after a very busy night of wine and song last night up in a mountain hut!!
    Miss you.
    all here send love
    Lots of love mum xx00

  10. Hindle Fishers8 March 2012 at 05:37

    To Diana Hindle Fisher X-Ray 1
    From Hindle Fishers
    Hi! Fantastic photos & your're still smiling! Hope the feet are holding up and that you get some sunshine soon. Looks amazing landscape but what on earth are you eating?!
    tons of love
    M & D xxxxx

  11. Davidson Jenkins8 March 2012 at 07:14

    Hello Lauren Davidson and Sophie Jenkins,
    We are keeping up with your adventure! Love the photos-looks like an amazing trek.
    We leave for one week today for our holiday so it will be difficult to blog. We will be back in a week and will message you. Keep smiling!
    Love, Lynn, Ron and the gang

  12. Louis Manders X ray 5

    Hi Blue, I got an e mail from dial-a-flight today saying your flight home had been amended. I have sent a pdf document to your hotmail account - you may need to print it out to take to the airport. As far as I can see there is not much difference - the flight still leaves san jose at 11.45 am on 14th April but it looks as though the flight number has been changed. I will also let the raleigh london know just in case.
    take care mum XX

  13. BATSAM X RAY 1 Always thinking of you. Just thought I would send you another message to keep you all going. Hope the gravel lived up to expectations!!! Tennis results Murray beat Djokovic in semis but then lost to The Fed in the final. Hope the sun might finally be shining on you. Big hugs. MumXX

  14. X-Ray 3
    Deyanira Monterey, Jarold Tercero
    Josi Larios

    WOOOOW, trek en nica lo mejooooorrr del mundo disfrutenlo al maximo, estan conociemdo partes de nica q jamas se imaginaran conocer, hechenle ganas!!! disfruten cuidense entre si!! y tomen muchaas fotos!! besos a ambos cuidense!!!!

  15. George Moody X ray 5 Hi George Hope you're enjoying La Amistad, had a look on google, it looks amazing. It said the driest months are Feb & Mar so hope you're not being rained on. Hope you're getting to see some of the incredible wildlife too.
    We are about to have our second weekend without children here, very weird, thank goodness for the rugby although according to dad the Moody boys are languishing at the bottom of the fantasy league so watching the games has been a mixture of emotions up to now. Hopefully you will have heard from Jack, Will & Hannah by now so I won't tell you their news. Pepper is fine but has been snorting sneezing & coughing so had her nose flushed out & her throat examined at the vet's on Wed, under anaesthetic. He was hoping to find a twig or piece of grass which would have been irritating her. he didn't find anything obvious but she seems a little better. He also removed her two little lumps, both benign. Please don't worry about her she is absolutely fine apart from a bit of snorting & sneezing which is definitely less than before. Can't wait to hear news of X Ray 5. Lots of love Mum xxx

  16. Dominic and Emma Dowley9 March 2012 at 05:09

    For Allegra Dowley. Many congratulations -you have an A* in Geog -397 marks out of 400! Paul thrilled. Chem shd be an A but only you will know this from adding all your marks together, WELL DONE DARLING. We are so proud of you. Love from us all

  17. Samuel Marsden: X-ray 3

    Hey Sam,

    Hope all is well with X-ray 3 and that the Miratombo trek is not playing havoc with your ankle. No updates from your group as yet but we know you are having an amazing time (how could you not in that environment?) wherever you currently are. Wanted to let you know asap that L101 stands (confirmed) and to say congratulations on doing so well! We all love you very much and can't wait for some news/pictures of your progress. Mum xxx

  18. For Nicole Waller X ray 4
    Hey Muff Well the rooibos teabags are piling up - we are missing you!waiting for news on the blog but thinking it HAS to be easier than the trek!Everyone here well,Dan able to relax for a week or so with his screeds handed in.Keep well,God bless,love you lots Mom,Dad,Jumby and Nath xxxx

  19. Darling Allegra, in case the first blog did not come through, this is to let you know that you have got and A* in Geog with 397 marks out of 400. Apparently brilliant result!! Looks as if you have got an A in Chemistry but you will know better than us by looking at the email that Paul sent through to you. Anyway CONGRATULATIONS , we are very proud of you .. All love Mummy and Daddy x

  20. Maria van der Schoot11 March 2012 at 13:07

    He liesje. Nou ik heb het gevonden hoor. Wat een gedoe altijd. Ik weet niet precies hoe lang het duurt met een brief, dus het leek me toch wel handiger om via het blog wat te schrijven. Hoorde van Babette in welk team je nu zat, dus dat was wat makkelijker opzoeken.
    Je hebt al wc's staan knallen? Of doen jullie een ander project? Nu op trek dus. Ik vond dat zelf de leukste phase. Hoop dat het je niet te zwaar bevalt. Ik weet dat het af en toe even door zetten is. Maar je haalt er wel echt wat uit hoor. Zolang je mentaal sterk blijft kan het fysiek ook allemaal makkelijk aan, en al helemaal jij. "de grote sportieveling" haha. Veel regen dus? KAKKKIEEE. heel zuur. maar soms ook lekker, op een gegeven moment maakt het ook niet meer uit wat voor een weer het is. Ik denk en hoop dat je het allemaal prima aan kan. Heb je eigenlijk al een beetje leuke mensen ontmoet? Ongetwijveld zou iedereen heel chill zijn. Je krijgt zo'n band met elkaar als je zo iets mee maakt. Ik hoop dat je die ervaring ook hebt.
    Ik zelf zit in de laatste 2 maanden op school. Vandaag een project gedaan waar ik producer was. Echt dramatische. Zo niet georganiseerd. Nou denk je misschien dat dat aan mij ligt, maar ik kwam er pas 24 uur voor de shooting bij. Dus... stelletje rebtiele. Nouja, dat was het wel weer. Ik denk veel aan je lies en ben onwijs jaloers. Nog veel sterkte en vooral veel plezier. Dikke knuffel Marietje

  21. Lisa Steinmetz x ray 1

    Hee stoere Bikkel,

    Hoe gaat het met je?
    Heb je weer een gezellige groep?

    Hier gaat alles goed, ik ga nog steeds braaf naar school & ik ben begonnen met hardlopen (ik vond mezelf toch iets te sportloos:P)dus ben van plan nu elke week 1x rondje vondelpark te doen..wat de eerste keer erg moeizaam ging. dus k hoop dat mijn conditie weer een beetje terug komt, zodat wanneer jij terug bent we weer samen hard kunnen lopen en ik je een beetje bij kan houden met jouw goede uithoudingsvermogen. Bikkel!

    Ik mis mijn makker! met wie kan ik nu los gaan op onze favoriete radiozender? & met wie kan ik lachen als ik weer eens slim denk te doen door op mijn bureau te gaan leren?

    Heel veel pleziier! & ik hoop dat het weer nu een beetje beter is!
    Vele kusjes,

  22. Dara Sternberg x9
    Hola linda, espero que sigas pasandola super. Un onton de gente te manda saludos y quisieron escribirte, todos los amigos de aqui y Lila tambein. Miche paso por aqui y te mano un gran abrazo. Te estamos averiguando de las universidades y seguimos tus aventuras con mucho entusiasmo. Un gran fuertisimo abrazo
    ma, pa y alec

  23. BATSAM X RAY 1 Final score 24 -22 to England even with 14 players for 10 mins. Brilliant match with the French creeping up on us in final minutes. Could barely watch!!! Ben furious he had to go back to school having seen his double bed!!! Nightmare mock timetable with 7 hours of exams like English, History and Latin on one day and then nothing for another two before another marathon. Ollie manic with three trips to London for interviews and his tents. Tom very ready to find his own flat. I dont think he likes living without you!!! Dad very excited about his new project. French is going well but have not been doing enough singing practice so struggle to hold my part. You are nearly half way through your trek. Think of you always and we are all so proud of you. Keep smiling. Lots of love. MumXX

  24. BATSAM X RAY 1 Murray got knocked out of first round of Indian Wells!! Love ben X

  25. For Sav X Ray 1
    Hey How you - hope all well with your trek. We all fine here - the building work is going well and trying to keep up with it. It is a real transformation and looks good. Hope you keeping well. Missing you but keep reading the blog when I get time. It looks beautiful. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    miss you. lots of love Mumxxxxxxxxxxx

  26. For Afsana Tahirova, X-Ray 2
    This time your blackout has gone too far. Hope you are having a good time (dolğun və məzmunlu vaxt). All here are missing you very much. Big hug from everyone. The biggest from me, then from Zulush, then from Ayan and so on.

  27. Amelia Christie-Miller Xray 5: Good luck laying that path - no doubt you helped with the Chill-out zone. Saw the Stranglers last night and they were brilliant. House being attacked by decorators on the outside so hopefully you will be impressed. Mums helping Vicks flat hunt now in Oxford. I Check the blog regularly to get 12B news. You're halfway through the expedition - Wow the second half always flies by so enjoy! cant wait to see you in just over a month. Much Love Dad xx

  28. Jane Pilkington13 March 2012 at 05:26

    Charlie Pilkington XRAY8

    Hiya gorgeous,

    I hope all is going well with your surrogate family in Nicaragua ....have you asked if they will adopt you full time or is all that veggie food getting you down?

    I am very worried about the Shania Twain reference in the blog and you will be disinherited should you buy any of her tunes at all on my Itunes account!

    As for the camera I assume that is 'dead' so you'd better buy another as soon as you get the chance and in the meantime get your group members from Alpha and Xray to email their piccys so you have something to remind you of your Raleigh experience.

    Missing you loads and can't wait for our next Skype encounter.

    Pura Vida
    Mum xxxx

  29. For Callum Hunter X-Ray 1:

    Hi Callum!!

    Thinking of you lots- hope the boots are treating you well and you're getting the calories in! It's been a pretty amazing couple of days- sunshine, 14 deg, we've all been out on the bikes and I've been down to the driving range. M&D are both well, saw them at the w/e. I've tentatively signed up to a triathlon so best get cracking on that. Pretty easy week here which is a lovely break before elderly care next week (no I'm not going home cheeky).

    Aidan says hi! Miss you lots- can't wait to have you and El back here to play with! Looking forward to afternoons on the bike/9 hole soon. Love Jo xxxxxxxxx

  30. Callum Hunter Xray 1

    Hi Callum, food in pan looks great - were you cooking leeches? Mum has just made a chocolate brownie - will try to squeeze some down the internet.
    Spent all day driving in the fog today - think I'd prefer to be where you are.
    Wiggins won Paris-Nice by 8 secs winning unhill time trial on last day - phew, and building confidence for the tour. Milan- San Remo is this weekend and Cavendish is hot favourite.
    Your frame has been fixed and Mum and I will collect next weekend. Ellie is well - now on her last leg in India and expected home in 2 weeks. I joined Jo for triathlon training last weekend - she's definitely fast on the bike.

    Love from us all - Simon

  31. Gunay Ismayilova15 March 2012 at 19:49

    For Afsana, X-Ray 2
    Hi Amazonka, hope everything is terrific and wonderful with you. How is your trek going, are your feet tired?;)
    I missed you here so much, i couldn't imagine these several weeks would be so long..we are all ok, almost getting towards end of the last semester..
    Enjoy every moment of your adventure and bring lots of memories and fresh impressions with you:*

    Take a good care of yourself

    Loves and bear hugs:*:*

  32. Alexandre Bello X RAY 9
    Hey hoe is het daar?
    Vandaag eindelijk bericht over jullie groep, super leuk om te horen wat jullie allemaal meemaken.
    Zijn allemaal heel trots op je!
    Hier gaat alles goed, Isabelle is al weer 1 week terug van zeeklassen verder gaat alles zn gangetje nog veel drukte rond het huis!
    Keep up the Spanish!
    We missen je!
    Liefs Mama x

  33. To Fleur Jansen, group unknown
    Ha Fleur, nu je moeder in de US zit dacht ik: ik schrijf maar even. Weet helemaal niet in welke groep je zit en of je de trek hebt of iets anders. Geniet je een beetje en kun je je Spaans goed oefenen? Fieke is net in Valtho geweest, heeft er erg genoten. En hier begint het voorjaar te worden, dat is ook genieten. Nou het allerbeste en we zien uit naar je verhalen!! Sytske

  34. Hoi Alex,
    Hoe gaat het met je?
    en ik hoop dat ik je snel terug zie want ik mis je heel erg en mama en papa ook en ik vind het best wel knap dat je die school bouwt en je krijgt ook nog en dikke zoen van oma liefst mama , papa en ik Isabelle.

  35. Davidson Jenkins16 March 2012 at 19:13

    Hello Lauren and Sophie,
    We're back from our holiday and got your email Lauren-absolutely great to hear from you and get your message. Sorry to hear about your foot-you sure are a trooper! Hopefully you are feeling much better soon and able to rejoin the group!The last leg of the trek near the ocean sounds wonderful.
    Keep the news coming and we'll keep checking for new photos and info on the blog!
    Love you,
    Lynn, Ron and the gang!

  36. For George Cosgrove X Ray 6
    How are you,X Ray 6 have disappeared from the radar ,no news on the blog for days now,I keep looking everyday!It was wonderful to see you on facebook saying you were building stairs and chilling with the monkeys,Jacinta said you are in the right place then!We loved seeing your photos on the blog and are very proud of you.Rio Celeste looks amazing ,you are very lucky!Not long now and you will be back at base camp and onto the trek,it seems to have gone quickly but we are missing you now.we have sent two bags for your rucksack,one for Max too.
    Looks like Max and Charlie are having a great time too.
    Angelica is over the moon as she has been given a place on the graduate training programme at the school in Enfield,North London.We are all fine and getting organised for my Birthday weekend now,I will miss you !
    Work at the shop is coming on in leaps and bounds and we are very busy which is great!
    Oxford Brookes is phoning on Friday 23rd March at 9.30 Costa Rica time
    to do your interview on the phone,we will send you your personal statement as it it based on that.Phone us asap when you return to base camp.
    Take care and I assume you are remembering your tablets,Bushka and Sasha send their love,love Mum and Dad

  37. X Ray-5.Amelia Christie-Miller; Well done being so hospitable to Xray 2, it sounds like quite a party and lovely to hear the description of your "luxurious" camp with lovely views! sounded like an Estate Agent's description!!Hope the week has gone well? we are all well, Ted doing mock AS levels. Mum helping Vicks find a house in Oxford, David now skiing with Harrie and 10 others in Flaine.Counting the days till we see you, please call as soon as you can, skype would be amazing if possible.Much love Dad

  38. For Caroline Bolt X Ray 3
    Hope the trek is going well, can't wait to hear about all your adventures. All quiet on the Louise front, will let you know as soon as something happens. Still struggling with jetlag - I was at work at 6.30am on Friday! Absolutely loved Melbourne, I can see why you want to move. Missing you loads, skype as soon as you can. Lots of Love Mum and Dadxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  39. For Callum Hunter X Ray 1
    Hi Callum, Not sure if you got my previous message with the subtle reference to Pete/ the Sireens and the toad transformation, that's all in relation to the vision I have of you bathing in the tropical rivers btw.
    We're looking forward to hearing about the trek when you return to base, so don't forget to make the folks back home a priority on the must - email - list. All quiet here, off to Bristol next weekend for a retro bike show, Ellie is travelling the length of India by train 'cos it's cheaper than flying, she told us her compartment was a bit like Miss Trunchball's choky.. Bye, Mum



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