Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Road Trippin' With the Loop - Part 2

Welcome back to the official Raleigh Borneo 10A blog!

As promised we're back with more news from the Alpha groups, brought to you by Yolanda of the Aydan and Yolanda loop team.

After a brilliant night at Imbak Canyon, Aydan, Claire and I, together with our ranger Jack trekked out early on Wednesday morning. Our hour-long trek was delightfully interrupted when Jack pointed out a group of gibbons swinging in the tree tops above us! Groups have trekked through the Canyon numerous times without having seen these elusive primates so we felt very lucky indeed. 

But anyway, on we went to Alpha 2, only about 2 hours drive away from the Imbak river, but not before picking Charlie our beloved photographer up. We arrived just before they were setting off for work, lucky us, so while Claire and I sorted out the blog and shop, Aydan and Charlie set off with Alpha 2 to do some trail clearing. Charlie proclaimed it to be the best welcome he's had since deployment, saying that they had a nice swim in a river and then had fresh coconuts! 

Alpha 2's awesome dinner was made by HCVs Petronella and Gilbert. They pulled out all the stops when they served banana fritters with chilli soy sauce for starters, mains were a pineapple curry with sardines and then vegetable tempura for dessert!

We very much enjoyed being with the lovely Alpha 2, but we had to leave very early the next morning to attend a meeting with a village chief of the future Alpha 3, before meeting up with the current Alpha 3. 

The drive in to Alpha 3 was the toughest one of all, but with Aydan's skillful driving, we got there safely just after lunch. Claire and Aydan almost immediately set off with Alex to see their weir while I pulled the blog out of our treasure box.

The view from Alpha 3's home on top of a hill was simply stunning, overlooking the hills and valleys beyond. My favourite thing about their location was the refreshing cool temperatures - for once I didn't feel like I was melting, and putting on longs didn't feel like such a sweaty grind.

For dinner the 19 of us sat snugly around the dining table that would normally just about fit 15 people. Alpha 3 also had some stunning dishes to impress us with. Salad for starters impressed us for sure, and the beef curry and egg fried rice were scrummy! For dessert, we had oatmeal cookies, which were so, so good.

We couldn't believe that the last day of loop was upon us as we made our way to Alpha 6. Again, it was another 2-hour drive away, and the approaching view of one of Kudat's stunning beaches, where Alpha 6 is camping on, melted our tiredness away.

Soon after arriving, Alpha 6 showed us the beginnings of their traditional long-house, which will eventually be accommodation for future volunteers of the Metre Of RainForest (MORF) reforestation facility which Raleigh is helping to build.

We played games on the beach, read the blog, and then for dinner Alpha 6 spoiled the loop by serving fresh barbecued fish with coconut rice and/or egg fried rice. For dessert, we had swiss rolls with custard, which sent many sweet toothed Raleighites to heaven.

After dinner, we played a thrilling 40-40 in the dark, which is a version of a hide-and seek game. It certainly brought back childhood memories!

We also had a quiz that night, which my team won for the prize of a bag of peanut brittle because we hadn't eaten enough that night. You know I'm kidding. But we did win a bag of peanut brittle and shared it with the whole team.

The last contest of the night involved laying on the beach and counting as many stars as possible. I kid you not, there were so many stars it looked like a blanket of tiny fairy lights had been hung from the skies. It was absolutely beautiful and to top it off, we saw at least two shooting stars that night.

In short, we had an amazing time on loop. We'd like to thank all the community and environment groups for a wonderful time and for all the fantastic food they made.

Unfortunately, the loop doesn't meet the trek teams who are out in the jungles of Borneo. While on trek, Alphas 7, 8 and 9 are unreachable so we're not able to get much updates and photos from them. We will, however, definitely give you updates on these hardcore teams when we meet them at changeover. Thank you for all the messages and shout outs to the trek teams!


Anonymous said...

Eleni Coldrey

What's occurrin over there?
The structure for the longhouse is looking good - you can build me a garden shed when u get home!
You should be back in KK soon and I am guessing the first port of call will be the shower or maybe a sit-down toilet!

maX and Larry

Vin said...

Hi Liam (Alpha 3)

Saw the pictures from Alpha 3, views look good though didnt see you on nay this time .. hope all is well ... Man U hanging in there ... Preston drifting down here ... my (dad ) walking well now .... everyone fine at this end.

have fun

Dad, Mum , Gareth , Zoe

Essie For Ben Teuten said...

Ben Teuten (alpha 6)
Cant see you in any of the photos you gay, stop being camera shy! no more snow here now, just constant rain.. Nearly March so not that long to go now! Hope your enjoying eating all the healthy food and not McDonalds or kebabs after a night out! Its not the same in amagi, everyone keeps asking if your okay! We all miss you too, thinking of you loads b! Hope you get my parcel, although the percy pigs might be stale (my bad), ill get you some duty free nicoteeen patches on my way out! :) Keep thinking of the pool, sauna and room service!! lots and lots of love Essie xxx

Christine Ayre said...

Josie Ayre Alpha 6! just seen you on blog photo looks amazing where you are! Food sounds pretty good too love mum

Pere de Skwig said...

Nigel (Alpha 1) Countryside looks good. Heard great reviews of your groups cooking! I hope that you are getting enough sleep. Hopefully there will more pictures of your building skills soon. Take care. Love Dad.

Carla + Phil Jones said...

Hi Greg, good to see you enjoying yourself. Sounds like the food isn't too bad after all and maybe you struck lucky with a cooler location for Alpha 3! Must be about time for your changeover, wonder what's in store next?
United 3 West Ham 0. (rooney 2, owen 1) Carling cup final coming up on Sunday. Betts gone to Waitrose. Stanners leaving dept soon too.
Love Mum & Dad

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe Francis! (Alpha 2)
It's been great to see you on the blog and hear what Alpha 2 have been doing. Guess you will be back at KK very soon... enjoy the rest! Sounds like you are all doing a great job in an amazing place. love Mum

Fraser Family said...

Hi Andy Fraser (Alpha 3) Just seen your photo! So great to see you at last. You are looking well. Hope to hear from you soon. Letter in post to you. Take care. Much love from mum and dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Flora to Michael - Alpha 3 said...

To Michael - Alpha 3

I have no idea if I'm writing in the write place or if you'll get to read this Mike but I guess it's worth a shot. I'll send it to you in a facebook message as well so it can't get lost at sea and you'll read it eventually.

I also don't know how many Michael's there are in Alpha 3 but if you aren't Michael Mason then this isn't for you - I'm really really sorry, I know that's probably not a very nice to thing to see when you're on the otherside of the world. If it makes you feel better you just got a whole sentence from someone you don't know who cares. But yeah. Back to Mike. My Mike I mean.

Hiiiiiiiiii - first things first: "Alpha 3" - ?! That's only abou tthe coolest thing ever. I bet you feel so male right now. I guess you can't reply so there's not much point me asking how you are. I can read it online though which is EXciting and I saw a little picture of you there! I miss you so much. I'm getting used to it now but about a week after you left I was checking to see if it was seriously still February or if my phone calender was wrong. I hope you're looking after yourself. You know, eating and drinking and and excersising properly - wow, don't know where the mum in me there just came from.

Things here are... well... where to start? I accepted my place at Oxford School of Drama so I'll be next door to you from September - April! Had mocks this week - flunked out Politics and we all got cuaght cheating in French because we use these computer thigns where you can have chat rooms and we didn't think they could read it but you can so yeah... busted. It's so funny though you can like call ther people's computers and we kept just hearing ringing across the room and the examiners thought they were going mad.

Everyone at school sends their love. Me and Elle are going to enter a short film competition and we are going to use your ginger nut story and actually film it happeneing on a train. I will try and send you a copy if you know you will have an address anytime while you're out there. Or I'll just keep one for you to see when you're back.

MLIA ATM. I have always wanted to post that as a blog and now I am. I saw your status about the community and the water - you go babe. I'm so proud.

So yeah my day to day life hasn't changed much except that Friday evenings I don't get to come out for supper with you - I stay in eat chocolate, get sad that you're gone and watch West Wing. West Wing has pretty much replaced you. Rob Lowe is the new love in my life, Martin Sheen is my new dad, Bradley Whitworth is my new best friend. I am nearly finished the fourth season. Haha... I'm kidding of course it hasn't. But seriously I do spend way too much time thinking I'm in it. I have completely forgotten this is public - oh well, I think the chances of anyone knowing who I am is relatively slim. Like Alexa Chung slim let's say. She's on the front cover of Vogue this month if you want to impress the girls out there with your in touch knowledge of the Western World. Although I'm not sure that they'll necessarily be the Vogue reading types if they are brave enough to go out to Borneo and build things. I admire them. You more though - I really hope it's going well.

I hope you are allowed to read this out there and get a proper chance to - I have to go to a dinner party now but I love you very much and think of you lots, keep safe - Flora (you know which one.) X

Sharon said...

Hi Greg
I love following the blog and hearing what you're up to. Hope you've received my two letters. Jozef was asking after you today. He says hi. Have fun, no slacking, keep working those biceps! Love Sharon x

leighanderson said...

Hi Darling
it was so nice to hear your voice hope you got your text from teri ok. When you get my letter you will find some funny things that happened. Teri was so pleased that you contacted her she was so excited and told every one. If you get a chance please text Grant when you can I know he will love to hear from you also Dad done his usual thing and told jokes at funeral you know what he is like he suffers with foot and mouth one day he might learn. Well my darling
love you lots missing you.
Mum and Dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

leighanderson said...

Hi Brett
hope you got the text from Teri ok,
I sent a letter on wednessday looking forward to getting your letter, well when you read it you will laugh dad still put his foot in his mouth one day he might learn. well Archie said when he goes on holiday he is going to open the plane window and wave at us when i said that good nanny will look through the window and say bye, He said you cant I will shut it so I thanks. nice boy
Well darling lovely to hear your voice on friday. looking forward to your you lots and missing you Mum and Dad xxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Eleni Coldrey

Bad result for Wales :( they should have won.
Hope ur all freshened up and ready to set off for the next phase.
I will be in Gdansk next time ur back in KK so won't get to hear ur cheerful voice, but will look forward to reading the next instalment.
Yiayia and Grumble were thrilled to talk to u, as was I of course!
Wonder how long it will take b4 u contemplate poisoning scabby dogs, any bets?

Anonymous said...

to amy and matt from india

really great to hear from you guys, loving the blog name :)
dont think i will ever be able to come up with skits that are on a [par with yours
im off on trekking now

Linda said...

Darren (alpha 8)

Hi Darren - good to hear from you. Looking forward to seeing some pictures of you soon. We all miss you but happy that you are having a good time.

Mum & Dad

x x x x

Anonymous said...

to big man/ toby drax
great to hear from you dude. no one has been attacked by catapillars it is more about the snakes here. i just spent 3 weeks on a beach building a long house it was amazing scenery really nice people.
im off on trek for the next 3 weeks. am going to miss the trekking partners in india but i will make new ones.
how is it going with your application to sandhurst?

jammy/small man

Anonymous said...

hey darren lee,
seems like you're having so much fun in your expedition.worry not dude,everything is good here.i really hope you're enjoying yourself but don't forget the stuff you learn in ADP!heh.phaik may is going to complie all your letters and send them one short to have loads of fun and do take care of yourself alright?missing you all the way from m'sia
wai nee.

Cowan said...

ALRIGHT AIDAN!!! cowan here bud. hope your copiong out there alright. thought i'd leave you a wee commjent to let you know that i'm chuffed your sorting everyithing out and stuff. shame me and elliee had to split up but its probably for the better so i'm lookin forward to a two player game on call of duty ;) its been too long man. lol again hope yer sorted, and have fun with the group out there and stuff :)

safe catch man.
cowan x

Andy Fraser Alpha 3 said...

Andy Fraser (Alpha 3) Hi Andy, we only just got your text so think we missed you on the internet. We are so very sorry. The satellite is a bit dodgey here. Hope you are ok, we hope to hear which phase you are on next. We are so sorry we didn't get to speak to you. Take care. All our love from mum and dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

kitty said...

hey aisha

hope ur ok. im gud. i just spoke to ur sis & she told me u called. u cud of waited for me at least. plus ur sis aint givin me ur numba. we need to talk big time, wen u cum back we need to start organising me hen do so while ur there looking into the sky start thinking about ideas. lol. its gonna be a rush rush job wen u cum back. anyway miss hearing ur voice so call me. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

from ur kits

Ali said...

Hi Joel!! (alpha 3)
Oh thanks for the fb message! Miss u tons it was great treat!!
There were great pictures of you and your team on the blog! it looks nice and hot were u are, which sounds amazing,im surrounded by tons of snow and its freezing where i am!

Of course as always im still jealous of your experience! it looks really cool all the things u are doing and i know u are learning tons of things!!
stay cool, I'll be thinking of you as i freeze!!
much love

yiota said...

Alex Alfa 1. Iam so proud of u agapoula mou.I was so happy to hear ur voice. I am glad that one of the project is ended and hopefuly ur going to enjoy the second one as much.I cant imagine how ur going to help with the protection of the sun bear but i am sure u will know what u wii have to do.Just look after ur self and keep safe. I miss u so much.O Theos na se prosechi. sagapoxx

Jan Akhtar said...

Hi solly(Alpha 9)
It was so exciting getting your E mail and speaking to you a couple of days ago. I was on a complete high for the rest of the day. We went or a dog walk with Richard and Alina yesterday and they both send their love and wanted to hear all your news. I tried to ring you back when your credit ran out but it wouldn't connect! Also tried to top you up this end but couldn't. Dad says use your credit card and do it your end. Hope your next project is as goo as th first one. So happy tp know you're having such a great time. We are all so proud of you and love you loads.
Always thinking of you.
Mum, Dad. Josh, Adam, Ben and Sophie xxxxxxx
P.S. Anbreen also sends her love.

Werner said...

Hi Joe(White),

Thanks for your e mail .It was great to hear from you and to hear that you are enjoying the expedition.

We are looking forward to seeing the hair cut.......I suspect there will not be much hair to see ?

Enjoy the diving before you head out on the next project.

Cold wet and dreary here.We need some sunshine!England were beaten by Ireland yesterday in a tense game.

Mum and I are off sking to France with Anne and Paul the week after next week which we are looking forward too.I start my new job tomorrow so have a week of induction before a break.

We are all fine and looking forward to seeing you.

Love and best wishes Dad

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah
Hope you are having a rest this weekend,before the start of your next
adventure.Cooking sunday dinner we are having beef,the boys are watching TV nothing new. Well had better go and check the dinner, take care. Love Mxxxx

Jessica for Emily said...

Hey Em...

Looks absolutely glorious there, I am so jealous! Had great day at the races yesterday and hilarious night out after, saw loads of your friends too and they all send their love. Hope your next phase is as wonderous as the last. If you find trek too hard, try Michael McIntyre skipping it to make it go faster!

Love you tonnes and tonnes.
(And miss you too a little bit, I suppose)

PS: I am looking after your wardrobe very well for you.

Janice said...

Hi Emily (Alpha 2)
Hope you are ok, just been looking at the photos of when you were visited 'on the loop'. Banana fritters sound yummy, pineapple curry and sardines ? interesting!!
I think you will be in KK now so maybe have access to news in which case you will have heard about the earthquake in Concepcion. Although it was a big one the devastation doesn't seem to be on anything like the scale of Haiti. Don't know how/when you will be able to contact Loretto but hope everyone you know there is ok.
Hope you are having a relaxing time at Borneo Paradise Hotel!!
Lots of love Mum xxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael(alpha2)got your letter, Mum has sent 3to you including one from Andrew who is missing you. I have sent several comments, I hope you are seeing them all. Bad result for England v Ireland Mum has sent all results. Hope you are well,send more letters when you can, Love Dad.

Anonymous said...

Hi Baby Bear in Alpha 6!
won't be long now 'til Jess goes back to London and leaves us in peace!
Good to talk yesterday. We wished Harriet 'Happy birthday' for you! Hope the next few days go well and that we hear from you before trek starts.
Norwich clear at top of League 1 and Man U beat Villa in Carling Cup Final.
Poppa Bear's eyes getting tired so over and out. Keep enjoying the fish!

Anonymous said...


Great to hear your voice on the phone, thank you for the call! Good to hear you're having a good time. Hope the trek is good ... and no more leeches! Had silly Sunday today, in and out of Oxford. Went to see Tom in LOOK BACK IN ANGER where he plays a Welshman. He had a fantastic accent, had to chain smoke, bite a girls finger ... and have a fight! For goodness sake! Actually, he was brilliant! He then went to see the Robinsons and it was hilarious as he is now so much taller than both Ray and William! He enjoyed that! I wonder if he will have caught you up by the time you come home?! I'm off on my girls holiday at dawn on Thursday - hope I see some dolphins. Back on the 15th. Dad will be here at home, Purdy on hols with Joyce. Will send you something in the post before I go. Lots of love, we miss you! M x

Anonymous said...

Hi Darren Lee Alpha 2

It's good to hear you having alot of fun.Glad to hear you know how to cook and trying to eat all sort of food.Talk to your sister when you call.Love Mummy

Anonymous said...

what's up Will. How is Raaaaleigh going? I am so jealous that your there,it must be amazing. Have you met any nice people and how the Pm's?? William what is the girl situation like?!! Raeligh called me today and ask me if i was interested in doing another expedition.. Where else can you do Raeligh in the world?! Your mum said you have been having a great time and having lols with your other canidates...!! I mean i wish i was there enjoying it.....i know your going on travelling after-which countries? How is Michael and Harry..and they enjoying them selves? Oxford and especially the Bridge is missing you guys. I have met a lot of girls their recently;) I am still looking for a job at the minute,in the mean while i am working for daddy!!

Your in Alpha 9 this part of the expedition correct. Is that the trekking or environment phase? Anyways i better be off now,mum has just shouted suppper to me. Hope you enjoy the rest of the expedition,and Laura,Lottie,Tom,Andrew and purdy send their love. See you around matey..

Anonymous said...

Hey will ( mitchell )

Its lottie here! saw loads of pictures of you on the blog, you look like your having a great time! im so jelous of you, its been rainy here for a decade! As you know mum is in kenya right now so its me and tom with dad for the weekend...sunday lunch will be interesting!!? I imagine he will cook up another of those ghastly old pheasants! ha! On tuesday at teddies it is heroes day, its like a kind of charity day and the theme is heroes. Im going as fudge from the heroes chocolats! but i was home alone when i was trying to spray paint my t-shirt and i couldnt even get the lid off! usually i would just strole down to you and say 'will....?'! haha! well we all miss you tons over here! and I love you lots!
Lottie xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey E.chaps aka chappy (ellie chapman alpha 3)

We miss yooooou
yes we doo
we made barbie cakes
lot of effort it takes
wasnt the same without chappy
she makes us happy
with her hair...
...and her stare
the way she looks
and the way she cooks
i wish she was here
so we could drink beer
sorry about this rhyme
we hope we embarrassed you this time
now we shall end
so we shall send
all our love
and from above
from mel lydia sarah and emily gill
we hope this was a thrill
now we will go
your our friend not foe

byeeeee xxxxxxxxx