Sun? We wish. Rain? Unfortunately. Pasta and noodles? Delicious. Sand, rock, 24km per day. Fun? Somehow. Cold? Most certainly. 11 days in and we’ve finally had a few nights without being drenched.
We left Fieldbase eager, willing and with a cheer even though some people hadn’t slept since the paint party. Our eagerness and willingness was soon tested by an invasion of flying ants. They were in everything and on everyone but it was probably our last protein meal! The first thunderstorm dealt with the problem; a few days on it soon became known it wasn’t a one off. The 3km hike to the ‘celestial blue waterfall’ with sand and cement 8 times a day became a bubbling cauldron of roots, stones and slush but improving access to this wondrous site helped lift spirits.
Leanne led the bamboo collecting for jungle camp and Suzanne soon learnt not to rush the mud caked path. With the rain persisting and jungle camp’s faults continuously being shown, our move in kept being delayed. Fieldbase arrived on the 1st weekend and offered invaluable advice about how to make our situation better. ‘Uno’ was by now becoming very prevalent and Hong Kong rules mastered became the way to play. We were also joined by Raymond and PM Ed. They both slotted in like they had been with us all along but come Monday, Fieldbase, Ed and sadly Leanne left to go and visit other groups.
Volcan Tenorio’s elusive Tapir has eluded us but to Dan’s pleasure spiders have been ever present along with numerous sightings of snakes. The last few days have been used to quarry rocks for the rangers’ station’s newly planned garden which in driving rain was great fun!
To stay together there have been stories of backgrounds, places seen & visited, card games and jokes, all helping us to bond as a team – there has been plenty of laughter while huddled under the group tarp munching on refried beans and crackers. The plan for the next half of the phase is to construct a wall for the rangers and keep the construction up the near waterfall well supplied.
Undoubtedly there will be arguments, laughter, painfully cold days but so far we have learnt that if we work together, keep spirits high and get to dinner time smiling then the next day will only be an improvement.