Friday, 6 April 2012

Jungle Massive - the view from Zulu 4

We 13 brave and intrepid Venturers/Explorers/PMs have begun our journey together in the highest of spirits.  Our task you may ask? To provide the legions of tourists, and their pristine white Nike Air trainers, a path as amazing as the jungle we have had the good fortune of living in for the past week. After we arrived tired and weary from our three hour bus ride, Oscar our personal ranger, showed us to our jungle accommodation – a cosy clearing situated just 50m from the main road and our main base, or as we’ve come to call it, ‘The Zoo’ due to the wide range of wildlife preferring to live in our kitchen rather than the jungle. Oscar then proceeded to show us the work of the previous Alpha and X-Ray groups, at which point we vowed to do Raleigh International proud and make our Zulu path just that bit better.  After we were shown our 400m path the rain began. With only half of our basher beds made Hanko, James, George, Michael, Uriel, Thea and Josie declined the opportunity to have their first jungle shower/bath, little did we know it would be a while before the next opportunity.

As the first proper day began Zulu 4 rose to a confusing melange of sounds; from one side the peaceful hum of the jungle, from the other Costa Rican traffic. We stumbled bleary eyed to our mess tins for porridge.  After completing jungle camp we set out to begin work on our path in earnest, under the capable leadership of James and the ever watchful eye of Oscar the ranger.  Due to some early logistical issues (i.e. where would we get sand and stones from) work started slowly, but soon picked up pace as our combined intellect ground slowly into 3rd gear (the heat preventing 4th) and we figured out how to dig sand, carry sand and put sand on the path.  The rocks followed the same pattern. Then, like 11 well oiled combine harvesters we ploughed on.  Everyday has yielded more and more progress, as our fluency in path building improves.  20ms turned quickly into 30ms, then 40ms, although A-Bomb does his best to distract us by pointing out every monkey that comes close and Michael leads off American tourists (of the female variety) with the invitation “come on ladies” in his best Spanglish.

Obviously we are fuelled by fine cuisine (bar the crackers and refried beans) produced ‘cada noche’.  The pure culinary genius of Erika, Josie, Thea and Vicki (take note they are all female) combined with our fresh fruit and veg allowance has meant such delicacies as Brushetta, Guacamole and something vaguely resembling Ratatouille and much, much more has been eaten.

Each day we have taken it in turns to guard our zoo in morning, afternoon and evening shifts.  As well as being a welcome break from the searing heat of the jungle it has also meant the Hanko and James could run around like little girls whilst being chased by our resident lizard (yet to be house trained).  A yes there was screaming!  Also it means Claire can read in relative peace and quiet, but we do our best to divert her attention.  As we enter the hottest month in Carara (the other extreme to Amanda’s 19 days of rain on the previous phase) the heat is, no surprises here, verging on unbearable, although Vicki is lapping it up (tan is obviously her number one priority).  However after work the watering hole has been there for us, like a faithful Labrador, away from the beady eyes of the tourists lest we be mistaken for beasts of the jungle. It is here we may finally relax.

Each evening has been more eventful than the last.  George has unearthed a new found passion for cards, but is yet to win (something James can associate with now that Poker has been aptly renamed “how Goose is going to lose all his money”).  Our hard work thus far is definitely paying off as we have already surpassed the half way mark and each passerby has told us what superb work they believe we are doing.  This means a lot to us, as well as willing us on to do those extra 5 metres each day.

So from Zulu 4 out here in the jungle its goodbye and Pura Vida!


  1. To: Sian Lewis (Zulu 7)

    Hey Sian, I hope your enjoying the last phase! The time really seems to have flown by and I can't wait to see you when you get back.

    I got back from Cyprus on Sunday. We had a really good time, the weather was amazing and it was really interesting trip. I even managed to tan a little bit. I've got loads of nice photos to swap with you too.

    Everything in the UK is fine, apparently it was as hot in Cardiff as it was in Cyprus while I was away.

    Missing you. Eagerly awaiting your return!

    love from Pete xxxxx

  2. Hi Charlie, coming to the end now, hope the feet have held up!! Lovely day today, went ormering again, and found 10, but dropped a rock on finger which is now THROBBING and very swollen, and wrapped in frozen peas..... Your room has had coat of paint now, looking good. Tell Hannah saw her mum and dad today, they came on the ormer hunt too. Sara has a new puppy, choc brown labradoodle, who is gorgeous, lots of puppy sitting required when you are back. Lots and lots of love from us all, mum xxxx

  3. Message for Vèronique Driebeek, Zulu 2 :
    Lieve Vero, al een tijd geen nieuws van je gezien op de blog. Hoop dat je geniet van je trek,en dat alles goed verloopt. We hebben je vlucht niet verzet, erg kostbaar en lastige tijden,en wij kijken ernaar uit om je de 15e weer te zien. Laat gauw iets van je horen.Red je t zonder je passen? Zoeken en eten jullie daar ook paaseieren? Buona Pasqua! Veel plezier, liefs van ons drieën en ook van de rest van de familie.Pap,Mam en Alexander.



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Pura Vida!