Pampered, soft feet and an equal number of shiny new boots set foot onto the soft Caribbean sand, armed with a youthful exhuberance, were eager to go. 40 minutes in we had our first half-hour break – a luxury we would look back at wistfully!
The first half of the trek was over 130km of torrential rain, sliding in mud, fruit, fallen heroes (Tom, who later went to San Lucas Island), welcoming communities, Terciopello snakes, river swimming (a highlight!), and not being able to recognise our own boots! However we kept on going and finally arrived by a beautiful river, where we camped: we had survived the first half of our trek!
During the second half of the trek, we entered the jungle and after this, we had another battle to fight – the mountains! They were endless and inclining, but getting to the peak of 2842m made it all worthwhile, despite the fact we couldn’t really see anything (we were standing in a cloud!)
After living together for many days, the conversation topics could vary enormously, from religion and the meaning of life to who we could smell from the furthest away and needed to be wrestled into the shower (Mau).
Day 16 contained the last hill climb (or so we thought) and ended in sunbathing and star-gazing at night, which we should have known was too good to be true as the next day we encountered so many hills we started to doubt whether we’d ever get back to sea level again...
However, we trekked on all the way to the last km, during which the sea breeze and salty air were tantalisingly close but forever hidden by a layer of trees. At the first glimpse of the beach we forgot about our blisters, the280km and the weight on our backs and just started sprinting towards the sea, throwing off our bags and storming fully clothed into the roaring sea. We had reached the Pacific and crossed a continent.
Our best moments included:
Fighting, Oliver Twist-style, over mashed potatoes and energy bombs.
Josue playing his drum to keep us going on trek.
Mau getting us coconuts, sugar cane, guavas and mangoes.
Lizzie being the alarm clock and mother of the group.
The ongoing snoring competition between Carlton, Richard and William.
Lu Ying being the only one able to blow out the trangia.