Friday, 13 April 2012

Carara: The latest Rumble from the Jungle


Here we are once again, one week later, and yes we have good news to report. Firstly we are still 13 and brave intrepid venturers, but secondly and more importantly we have finished the path. That’s right, 400m of jungle pathway have been leaf raked, mattocked, lined with the finest rocks, laid with the softest sand, and re-raked again for that silky finish that every visitor expects when they visit the jungle. In Vicki’s words – ‘We smashed it’. It made it an extra super special experience to have Oscar our fave Ranger working alongside us at the finishline. After the necessary snapshots had been taken with our path we spent the afternoon basking in our own glory at our own zoo which had some new additions. These included the following: a swarm of wasps which due to Josie’s phobia meant she had dinner around the corner, a new trail of ants, and a most importantly a new lizard pursued by Hanko and James – Michael, aka Crocodile Dundee, just picked it up.

The heat as ever is hot, really quite hot, which meant that when the rain came it was a communal shower as we frolicked in our swimmers, oblivious to the fact people on the main road 20m away could see all. As the sun rose on Thursday morning, Thea our day leader began forming plans for something new, so in true Raleigh style we started on a new path. We have also attained a new universal nickname from our very own Nicaraguan duo Michael and Uriel who now affectionately refer to both male and female members as – baby. “You can do it baby”.

The biggest date on everybody’s calendars to date is James’ birthday, not just because it was our first full day off, but because it also meant THE BEACH. The day went as follows: Big Raleigh until 7.00AM, breakfast of porridge and raisins, some say the only way to start your day, followed swiftly by a visit to the crocodiles and a trek to THE BEACh by Josie and Erika who effectively jogged the whole way. There was sand and sun and PMs A-Bomb and Vicki soon had their factor 50 on, books/crosswords out and at last rested their weary bones. Little did we know that back at HQ, PM Amanda and Clare were preparing the zoo with balloons, bunting and banners for the forthcoming festivities. Back at the beach, Azelle sniffed out burgers and rounded the group for a warm up feast, and after some final Baywatch style sea entries we returned to camp. That evening was truly fantastic, a feast of jelly, paella, tomato and avocado salad, followed by a birthday cake and the main event – Chubby Baby – (thanks Michael and Uriel) – fitting as many marshmallows in your mouth and saying those golden words. A keenly contested final between Hanko and Josie ensued, the latter’s dictation of chubby baby whilst juggling 8 marshmallows giving her the crown. What a Birthday!

Work on Path Dos continues in much the same fashion, with Oscar always around to help, none of us can truly find the right words to thank him for everything he’s done for us, including a night time guided tour of one of the trails; it will truly be a real shame to leave him and the jungle on Wednesday. So from Zulu 4 as ever, we will continue smashing it until Monday, when we enjoy more beach time at Playa Hermosa for well earned rest.

Pura Vida!

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