Saturday, 20 February 2010

Breaking News From Alpha 5 at Imbak Canyon

Good morning and welcome back to the Raleigh Borneo Blog.

Today we have an exciting update from project manager Oonagh Hayes on how Alpha 5 have been surviving at Imbak Canyon.

Alpha 5 on their way to camp

"Alpha 5 have been having a busy fortnight in the middle of the jungle after a relaxed start due to weather conditions.

The 2-hour trek into their new home from Rangers Camp saw them becoming friends with the all too familiar leeches that lurk in the leaves and trees of the jungle. The number of bites brought out the competitive streak in the team and a leech tally has been put up in camp as a result – PM Eddie is winning by a clear mile with 16 bites so far, with Laura and Bas proudly remaining bite free.

 The tidy sleeping area

Lots of improvements have been made to BBC camp including a new shower fashioned out of tarp, sticks and a washing up bowl with holes in the bottom. The architects and builders on this project were Will, Hannah, Bas and Kim. Project manager Eleri tried and tested the new washing facilities and gave it the big thumbs up.

Hannah and Katie lay out the Raleigh rations in the camp kitchen

Hannah, Kim and Will with the wonderful new shower

Ching, Mark and Adam cracked on with building a new shoe rack with Brett helping them out to make backs to the benches so that the whole group could have a comfortable seat around the campfire at night. Other improvements include: fixing the steps down to the river with the rangers; Laura and Vikki helping fix the luggage racks in the sleeping area; and artwork and decorations for our new home which used the talents of Josh, Kim, Hannah and Katie.

Brett and Mark fix the benches

Ching, Adam and Mark proudly show off their carpentry skills with a new shoe rack

Work on the second suspension bridge is at the early stages with this phase collecting rocks from the riverbed and carrying them uphill to the campsite. We need to collect 16ft of rock to partially fill in the holes which will form the foundations for the bridge. The work is heavy going but everyone has been working well together to ensure it remains light-hearted and fun. Despite the new shower, most people are choosing to wash in the Imbak River and waterfall which is a welcome relief after a hard day of carrying rocks.

The stunning Imbak Falls/washing facilities

But it’s not all about work on expedition - the night before Valentine’s Day saw the venturers becoming contestants in a jungle version of Blind Date. With Oonagh and Eddie taking on the mantle of Cilla and Graham respectively, the venturers took on new personas in the hope of being chosen to go on a jungle date with one of their peers. Dates on offer included a picnic at the observation deck overlooking the Imbak Falls and walking over the suspension bridge as many times as you could for an hour...

Katie introduces herself to ‘Cilla’

Audience participation

Mark tries to win Katie over with his answer

 The girls' turn as Kim, Vikki and Laura try to win a date with Will

The lucky winners were Katie and Adam, Hannah and Ching and Will and Laura, although rain unfortunately stopped the dates going ahead the following night.

The Loop vehicle visit midweek brought messages from home on the blog which was really appreciated by all the venturers. It also brought out some fresh food, which was equally welcomed after Raleigh rations for the last two weeks.
Chilling out in the living room

Everyone is really enjoying their time at Imbak. The scenery is stunning – with so many creatures and plants that you’d never see anywhere else in the world. Most of the group were lucky enough to see gibbons two days ago – these beautiful creatures are very elusive and fast movers through the tree tops. Other animals include bats, which are flying around camp, a couple of snakes (one of which was a reticulated python) and a massive spider in Rangers Camp. No sightings of scorpions so far, but Eleri is remaining hopeful..."

One of the many forms of wildlife found in Imbak

View from the other side of the river

Relaxing with the rangers during a break


tanja said...

Lieve Alwine Alpha 7

Vannacht iedereen vertrokken naar de wintersport. Mex in een jolige bus, die moeite had met de bocht van de parkeerplaats. Papa en Reinalt zitten nu nog in de auto want hadden een beetje pech onderweg waardoor ze drie uur stil stonden in afwachting van een auto onderdeel. Verder alles goed, kon papa lekker slapen. Hier in Nederland viel ondertussen vannacht het kabinet. Er gebeurt dus genoeg!
Hoop dat jij een fijne tocht hebt ( gehad) en dat we misschien elkaar het weekend kunnen spreken als je terug bent op basecamp, de verhalen van de andere projecten zien er indrukwekkend uit!
dikke zoenen T

Anonymous said...

Hotel Whisky (Alpha 2) from Romeo Juliet! Message from the Catering Department: laying in extra rations of vegetable lasagna and peanut butter for your return! Hope you're getting a taste for porridge in the mean time, and avoiding the leeches and mozzies. Love you, miss you, but keep enjoying this amazing experience. xxx

Anonymous said...

Hello Kiddo ( Tiffany alpha 9)
Sorry to hear you were unwell, hope your feeling better now , its took me so long to put a blog as between my comp not working and having a hard time finding my way around the site , even though your mum explained in detail (as she does!)and guess what she is sitting next to me now making sue i am doing it right lol.. seriously hope your having a fab time, and happy birthday for tomorrow, we are all proud of you, well done. Dont get to close to those orangutan, thank god your mums here to help spell that of love Aunty Joan xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

message for Hannah Sprake. A reticulated python..oh dear God. your mother insists you leave every single item at the airport, shrink wrap yourself and then board the plane. If there's so much as a sign of any beasties..eight legs and especially no legs you're not travelling home in the same car as her. glad you have learned some gardening skills..shall order the rocks for my rockery which you can heave around the garden just in case you get withdrawal symptoms when you get home. Bethy says hi and lots of love from us all. mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

carol harvey said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY no longer a teenager now so no excuse for tantrums!!!! lol
Have a fab day, Aunt Joan & Emma posted blogs today too but their internet was playing up so not sure if posted, let me know if you get them, Uncle Sam's also trying, need to tell the IT guys to improve their site to more friendlier lol.....
Lots of Love
Mum, Layla & Hayleigh xxxxxxx

Jude said...

Hi Josh, excited to see this news and photos of alpha 5. Serious pose in blind date shot hope its because you are thinking of the next answer! Sounds like hard work moving rocks, the evening dip in the waterfall looks amazing though. Hope all is well, thinking of you loads, lots of love M&D

Anonymous said...

Hi Vikki (Alpha 5)

Brilliant to see all the photos from Imbak - looks so beautiful and you must be having a fantastic time. You look very happy - so glad to see. Everyone here OK - we went to Retford today; all well - a Liz and U Derek in London. CJ, Rachel and Tico staying here whilst they decorate. Barbara Peter and Jon all OK as well. Our 'van arrived - on site 4 March; cant wait. Mom txtd Dan about fotos on blog. Just a few days left in Imbak and then hopefully onto the trek and diving. Hope you get the chance to call/text/email during changeover. Keep safe; have fun and carry on taking fotos. God bless. Love Mom and Dad xx

the Pittaways said...

Hi Beanie
Glad to see the leeches are leaving you alone - obviously don't have a taste for veggies! Loved the pics of you all having a great time. Time will speed up now so enjoy every minute while you are there. Guess you will be changing over soon and may get the chance to text/email? Kids have written to you today. Missing you loads Love from us all Mum & Keg xxx

leighanderson said...

Hi Brett hope you get this ok love you lots my letter is in the post not sure if you have got the letters ok hope so. well we went out for a meal with dads friend mark from work we had a nice time he wanted to know how you was going and liked all the pictures. I have printed them up and take them every where with us we are so proud of you. dad said you are amazing love you loads Mum and Dad

Anonymous said...

Hi Pittas!!

Hope you are having a wicked time, finally there are photos of you :P! Shame to see none in your lovely boots?! I have written you a letter and i will send it soon i think me and Jo are going to send them together!

Hope your having a lovely time :)!

Miss you and see you soon!

Love Kelly (SMELLY) xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura (A5),
Looks like you are having fun in the jungle. Don't see much evidence of any work going on - don't you have a canyon to bridge or something? If you need any wood let me know and I'll get myself down to Homebase and post it out to you - try not to cut down too much rainforest. I'm jealous if you saw some gibbons take some photos for me (and samples if you think they will get them through customs in your hand luggage). Glad you have stayed leech free. You don't want to know where I found a leech after I went swimming under a waterfall once(!)
Gros bisous, S+P.

Anonymous said...

Message for Josh Stevenson (Alpha 5)
Hi Bruv,
Been following your trip on the website, it looks amazing and I'm so thrilled for you that you got the project that you wanted! Waterfall showers look ace, do they have to tell you to get out like they do at home?! Ha ha. Anyway, take good care of yourself and I can't wait to hear about your adventures and see your photos.

Lots of love,

Sis xx

Anonymous said...

Hello Adam,
Great to see you are enjoying yourself. Wish we were with you but probably too old! Keep up the good work and keep taking the tablets!
Aunty P and Uncle A.

Anonymous said...

Message for Mark (A5)
Hi Mark
Just been reading up on the blog and impressed with all the photos especially on the Blind Date evening - also impressed with your carpentry skills! Enjoy the experience looks like hard work but great fun. Lots of love M D & E

Anonymous said...

Message for Tim ( Alpha 5):
Managed to switch on the PS3 without your help. Never thought I could do it.
Looks a fantastic place.
Love Mum xx

hayleighharvey said...

Hey Tiff, alpha 9
hope your feeling alot better, im sitting in grans the now showing her this website and just thought id leave you a wee comment. Chloe said hi as shes with me aswell. Enjoy your trip up the mountains cause grans said you where going up them lol. Gran said you have to have a ball aswell. Well, im going to watch eastenders so ill speak to you soon, Love you Loads, Hayleigh, Gran and Chloe.

Anonymous said...

message for Mark (alpha 5).
Salaam al'eh kum.....Good to hear from you - glad all going well. Keep shiftin them rocks, matey.
All the best, from the Smiffffs, inc Ash, junior winner, Sussex DBA Cup yesterday.Huzzah etc!!!!

orangemarlin said...

message for Adam Shahrum

Hi cuz, hope everything going well. spoke to Grandma this morning, she said you cant take YOU CANT TAKE YOU LAPTOP! I couldn't believe it. haha your going to have loads of facebook messages to read, you probably wont be able to reply to them all.
Every thing looks well. Im liking that shoe rack you made, very creative if I do say so myself. I have a joke about builders as it goes.

An Englishman a Scotsman and an Irishman were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building. They were eating lunch, and the Englishman said, "Full English! If I get a Full English breakfast one more time for lunch I'm going to jump off this building."

The Scotsman opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Haggis! If I get Haggis one more time I'm going to jump off, too."

The Irishman opened his lunch and said, "Guinness again. If I get a Guinness one more time I'm jumping too."

Next day the Englishman opens his lunch box, sees a Full English, and jumps to his death. The Scotsman opens his lunch, sees some Haggis, and he jumps too. The Irishman opens his lunch, sees the a pint of Guinness, and jumps to his death also.

At the funeral the Englishman's wife is weeping. She says, "If I'd known how really tired he was of Full English breakfast I never would have given it to him again!"

The Scotsman's wife also weeps and says, "If I'd known he was so fed up Haggis I never would have given it to him again!"

Everyone turns and stares at the Irishman's wife. "Hey, don't look at me," she says. "He makes his own lunch."


All the best man. Josh.

P.s Man U got relegated... three times. Sorry you had to find out like this :)