Saturday, 22 August 2009

Finally Loopy

by Amy Holmes

The third and final Loop of expedition 09E got off to an early start 6am to make it all the way to remotest Imbak Canyon and Alpha 3. As always the rest fieldbase team was up and about to wave us off. This time on the Loop were Elda (Accounts), Niall (Logs) and me, Amy (DPM).

After a 6-hour drive, a boat ride, and another 1 hour by 4x4 we reached the Imbak's Rangers Camp and were greeted by PM Pip, and the smiling faces of venturers Christian, Yein, AJ and Mike. Escorted by the rangers, we all trekked our way in record time into the BBC Camp to join the rest of the group.

Some of the impressive scenery on route into Imbak Canyon

We were lucky enough to be spending two nights in the unique and stunning Canyon. The first night Darreana and Alneisha, the star Alpha 3 chefs, treated us to a true feast which prepared us for the hard work to come the next day.

The group are digging the foundations for a new suspension bridge to cross the mighty Imbak River opening up new areas of the Canyon for scientific research. The Loop got busy helping dig through the roots and mud all morning and felt ready for the hearty lunch break prepared by Maurice.

Niall and Trusha in the kitchen setting out the breakfast rations, and getting the thumbs up from Christian.

Being a Saturday, it was a lighter working day for Alpha 3, and we joined the group on an afternoon nature trail walk, taking in the mighty Belian tree and the huge hollow Kapur tree.

After the traditional river wash in time for the 6 pm "longs" and another fabulous meal, several rounds of "Mafia" were played, ending the night with the Mafia and Villagers on level pegging. It was with heavy hearts that we left Alpha 3 the following morning, but our spirits soon lifted with thoughts of Alpha 4 to come.

Maurice, Christian, Pip and Mike checking out what is on the horizon for the day.

The bridge into BBC Camp across the Kangawat river built by previous Raleigh groups with the Rangers to secure a year-round access. Alpha 3 is now helping to prepare for building of an even bigger bridge!

And the view from the bridge!

It was later that afternoon that we met up with Alpha 4 in Sepilok after a trip to the Rainforest Discovery Centre for their day off. During Phases 1 and 2, Alpha 4 groups had finished off the impressive sleeping and communal areas of the Raleigh Jungle Camp. The Phase 3 group are hard at work digging trenches to make the fencing sun bear-proof around the perimeter of the new conservation centre.

We all arrived back at their jungle camp in time for the latest edition of Radio Raleigh where Anna and Catarina reported to the rest of the expedition on what Alpha 4 had been up to after an update on the latest in international, entertainment, and sport news from Field Base.

The Loop was yet again treated to a feast with a delicious main course cooked by Amy and Shon Lee and a fabulous custard creation for pudding from Anna, Tessa, and PM Tony.

The chefs Tony and Anna entertain us with a tune as well as their cooking.

James, Charlie, Catarina, and Seleta make the most of the Raleigh shop opened up by Elda and Niall.

The morning view from the basha, not a bad way to wake up!

The final stop on the Loop was right at the other end of Sabah with Alpha 1 in sunny Kampung Mapan Mapan. The group have been hard at work finishing the kindagarten ready for the grand opening ceremony on 4th September. We arrived in time to help them with their afternoon shift, after bringing along several kgs more of the all-essential nails!

Shavghan and Tasha fitting those all-important window frames.

Mit preparing the way for more windows.

A well-deserved great meal was cooked by Dave and Richard as soon as the day's hard work was done, and games of Monopoly and Snaps were the evening’s entertainment. Alpha 1 starts work early to beat the heat, and the Loop was up with the team having breakfast by 6am, on the road straight after to return to Field Base to be updated on how the rest of the the expedition was progressing.


Anonymous said...

Hey Sophie, you get to be in at the opening of the kindergarden, how cool is that, I cannot believe it is all nearly over, it has gone so very fast. Edward climbed Mont Blanc in record time so he is well chuffed he comes back today. He has another driving test on Thursday so fingers crossed. Dad and I had a great time in Kent and I have been down with Bumpa helping him to clear out gran gran's things. Very sad!. We can't wait to see your smiling face at Heathrow, its less than two weeks, hope you enjoy the end of the Raleigh time, think you might even miss it!! Love you Mum

Trudy Cowan said...

At home, we are all so proud of all the work you are undertaking in your groups! As a parent the Blogs have been a god send, allowing us to keep updated on the fantastic progress being made (thankyou) You have all achieved so much. As a family we are now counting the days to your return Greg. I think we are nearly as excited as you were on your way out to Borneo. Have a safe journey home. Thinking of you everyday, love and hugs Mum, Dad, and Grace xx

Anonymous said...

Anna, singing AND cooking,at the same time... what have Raleigh peeps done to deserve that!!! Just wanted to let you know as well as a confirmed place have also secured you place in hall to live while there, so is all good. (v. stressed mum this week!) lots love, Mum xx

Richard Petrie said...

Hi Mike, Great trouser! It took me simetime to clock you. Imbak canyon looks like a really fanstanic place and one it must have been a previledge to visit. The projects you are involve din are really valable and worthwhile.

Lots of love Dad

Marilyn said...

Hi Tasha and Shavaughn you guys look like real contracters doing your thing in the picture. I need some windows hung.LOL. Imagine you guys have just over a week and you will be back home. I can not wait to hear all the stories that you guys have to tell. Back to reality. See you all then.

Aunt Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Hey Tasha well boo your definitely on the count down now. Can't wait to see you come through the airport. Watch it now may have u putting in my windows when you get back.

Proud of you

Marilyn said...

Hi shavaughn this message is from your mom. Still cannot get on the blog so i am sending this for her. First she your brother and dad said hi and from the pictures from the blog looks like you need a barber. I am proud of you accomplishing this task in your life. Whow!!! We can not wait to see you, hear the stories and see the pictures. We really miss you and on Sept 8, 2009 you will embark of British Airways at 6:35 and we will be there to greet you. A long challenging, tiring and I am sure fanastic adventure. Again see you on Sept 8. It is almost over. You done it. Hurrayyyyy!

Love mom,dad and Shu