Friday, 17 August 2012

Highlights of Romeos, Costa Rica!

Romeo 1 Coast to Coast Trek
18 days of trekking culminated in an emotional moment when we caught our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean and ran straight for it! In total, we have walked over 250km across Costa Rica. In the process we have battled torrential rain, mudslides and way too many mosquitoes.

On day 12, we climbed 1000m and reached our highest point of 2800m. The route we took was a steep climb during which the group used trees and vines to help us with the ascent. It was incredible, everything was covered in moss and the trees were so high that they blocked out most of the sunlight. As we crossed a whole mountain range the views were incredible.
Our accommodation on trek consisted mainly of community centres with varying degrees of modernity; some had showers and some had a wooden long drop, covered in cobwebs, lurking at the back of the garden. We also camped a few times and have collectively decided that anything is better than being in a tent (though this is probably because every time we camped we had torrential rain!).

Day 18 was the most amazing day; we managed to reach our end point at the beach by noon and then had the rest of the day, as well as day 19, to relax and bask in the sunshine! We went swimming, watched the sunset and awoke to fresh coconuts in the morning which Simon and Cat knocked down from a tree in our campsite. Overall Coast to Coast has been an amazing experience which has pushed us to our limits and surpassed our expectations. 
We made it! Pacific Coast
Romeo 3 Playa Hermosa/Carara National Park
Phase 2 has proven that the Raleigh experience just gets better and better. From living in the beach at Playa Hermosa to living deep in the jungle at Carara National Park, our environmental phase has been amazing.

Working very closely with turtles at Hermosa proved to be an unforgettable experience for the group. During our night patrols we saw both Ridley and Green turtles, collected and buried their eggs in the hatchery, and released newly hatched turtles back into the ocean.

The group also enjoyed living by the beach, especially our post-work paddles in the ocean and collecting coconuts from nearby trees.
Before we knew it was time to say goodbye to the beach and make our short journey to the jungle.  Despite a leaky group tarp, relentless rain showers and constant humidity, jungle living proved to be a fantastic experience unlike any we have ever had before. The famous Romeo 3 refried beans recipe kept our spirits high and our efforts at trench digging were rewarded when whole areas of path remained free from flooding.

We saw lots of wildlife around camp include Capuchin and Howler monkeys. The group were also lucky enough to see crocodiles at a nearby river and even a baby crocodile on one jungle walk. There were also a wide species of birds around camp including the famous Scarlet Macaws.
Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the phase for many was meeting the rangers whom were very welcoming and helped us at any opportunity, even cooking dinner for us at the beach.

Altogether Romeo 3 bonded fantastically and worked exceptionally well as a team.
 

Romeo 4 Carara National Park/Playa Hermosa
Our project was a two part adventure divided into digging trenches in the jungle of Carara National Park and saving turtles at Playa Hermosa! From living in the jungle to sleeping next to the beach, this project had everything.

In Carara National Park we dug trenches to drain flood water that engulfs the walking trail during rainy season. Maintaining the trail enables the park to generate income which is used for essential preservation work.

After nine days of living under the canopy of the trees we moved to the sunny, sandy beach of Playa Hermosa to help with the conservation of turtles. We built wooden dams and dug trenches to protect the turtle hatchery from sea flooding.
At night, we patrolled the beach looking for turtle nests and would rebury the eggs in the safety of the hatchery. On three occasions we assisted with releasing baby turtles back into the sea and this was truly a special and unique experience for us all.
Every few days during the project our PMs ran sessions on sustainable development. We realised how useful this information was when one of our fellow venturers, Che, entered into a conversation with a tourist about the project, why we were doing it, and what Raleigh is all about. The depth of Che’s knowledge not only impressed the tourist but also impressed his fellow venturers who thought he’d been sleeping during the information sessions! The tourist was so inspired by the information he received, the next day he and his partner very generously came to the project site bringing gifts of food, snacks and soda! The whole group was extremely grateful and also delighted to know that the importance of our work is appreciated.

4 comments:

  1. Georgia Rattigan!
    Georgi! this message show that i remember you during your phase... enjoy it a lot, have fun, take care! and i would see you back on changeover! bye, and dont miss me a lot...

    Mau

    ReplyDelete
  2. sophie scholl! sophie! espero que este disfrutando su fase y practicando español ojala haya entendido los libros y este mensaje; nos vemos en el field base! chao!

    mau

    ReplyDelete
  3. tray cannonier

    DONT BE A JUGADOR!

    mau

    ReplyDelete
  4. Venturers from Raleigh Hong Kong: Raymond (Romeo 1), MC Mak (Romeo 3), Jessica (Romeo 3), Luying (Romeo 4), Michelle Wong, Yuen Chung,

    Just one more week to go !!! Enjoy the relaxing life in C&N !!! You will miss it very soon :-)

    Cheers,
    Raleigh Hong Kong EXCO

    ReplyDelete

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