Jungle Camp Day 2
Our group rose before the sun at 4am to the sounds of the montezuma bird (if you heard one, you'd realise we didn't have much choice in that matter!) in order to have a ‘head start’ on getting the camp packed up to leave at 6. However, we all soon learned that time goes pretty quickly when you have to make a meal from nothing, clean up and pack up your lodgings...so it was quite an achievement for us all to leave for the river crossing at 6.10am!
We arrived at the river as the sun was still emerging over the hills – some relishing the thought of getting wet and wild, some slightly nervous of the soggy saga ahead (I personally was in Camp Damp to begin with). Nevertheless, everyone was in brilliant spirits as we were talked through water safety and learning the different techniques to ‘get to the other side’ – but no chickens, or roads, here. The ‘huddle’ technique won out when we applied our newly acquired knowledge to the art of river crossing (and meant that team bonding got well underway, especially when combined with trying to discreetly get changed afterwards – and failing!). All excellent fun.
Once the foot powder had been applied, we were ready once again for the off on another leg of the trek – TO THE JUNGLE.
Now when we arrived in the lush wilderness in the treetops, I might not have been alone in thinking ‘basha’ was the name of a member of N-Dubz. However a few hours of intense training on jungle survival later and we could all build our own ‘basha bed’ or ‘basha hammock’ from bamboo, tarp and a stretcher - who needs IKEA?!
While we were constructing our cradles we also made a few friends, some of whom let’s just say ‘left a lasting impression’ (Fieldbase, even today, being an episode of the ‘Itchy and Scratchy show’)...
An equally early finish ensued that evening after a scrummy rations meal, our weary bodies (from carrying our own kit, group kit and jungle camp kit up a HUGE hill) calling out for our self-constructed beds!
Jungle Camp Day 3
Another 4am start, and and after some delicious porridge a bit of a stretching and massage session was needed for our backpack weary postures, here Krisztina is the lucky recipient of Fran's healing hands.
We also needed to wake up for our tools training and the walk back to Fieldbase for clean-up. So at 6am we donned our packs once again (by now a mere extension of our bodies) and went off to learn a bit of carpentry, building and how to safely use large garden and earth clearing tools to be used on the projects, which the venturers will also learn when we arrive. We can safely now say that we could dig a hole or mix some cement with full confidence!
Then a last trek back to Fieldbase. Even though we had all had immense fun, we were extremely happy to see the white bricks and Raleigh logo as we approached! No rest for the wicked though as they say - as soon as we got back we were scrubbing the group kit, making sure it's all ready for the Project Planning visits and for when the Venturers arrive.
We've all learned some brilliant hard skills, bonded even more as a team and put our bodies through their paces and we're all dead proud of ourselves.
Well done to the whole Jungle Crew!