Saturday, 22 October 2011

Alpha 5 conquer the Crocker range

I am pleased to report that Alpha 5 have now confidently conquered the Crocker Range, spent their last night at Utan Paradise campsite and are now settling into a routine of eating, diving, eating, swimming, eating, resting, easting, sleeping on the beautiful Mamutik island.  Here they will each complete a PADI diving qualification before assisting with coral plantation or an underwater clean up. on their final day. 

News this morning is that they are working hard to increase their pot-bellies.  After choosing  to leave lots of their food behind on trek in favour of lighter bags and a Dive Island feast, they have all learnt a valuable lesson on the need for feed and will hopefully be carrying a little extra for their second trek in Kiulu valley.

Alpha 5's home for the next 5 days

Before heading over to the island, Alpha 5 gave us a few comments about their adventure so far...

After 5 days in the jungle we managed to see some interesting animals such as a flying squirrel, a monitor lizard, a walking leaf, ants the size of crickets and crickets the size of mice. Furthermore Andy found a scorpion in his bed and indestructible leeches could be found everywhere. The winner of the worst leech experience goes to Jemma with a leech companion in her bed!
Stephanie van Berckel

Stephanie tries out a blow pipe. A traditional Bornean jungle hunting method 
The days of jungle trekking were tough, we walked and climbed with our backpacks on in the very hot sun. At the end of each days trek we had to make camp and put up our bashers and make dinner with not very much equipment. It was heavy work each day but now we are going to dive island for a week to regain our energy on the beach, with all the food in the world and diving every day.
Saar de la Hayze

Swimming in the river is absolutely the best feeling ever after being sweaty, dirty, sticky and tired for the whole day. But the feeling goes away quickly after you find that there is a leech on you - not so nice.
Julie van Wassenaer

It's not all hard work.  The group get some relaxation time by the river

Trek lesson number one – You will remain hungry for the entire time. After cutting down the amount of food we took in to the jungle to the bare minimum we have discovered that the novelty of eating crushed crackers and mayo soon wears off. The worst food moment of the week has to be the porridge in the morning.
Emily Obhrai

A friend stops by at the dinner table
Five days of working out, de-toxing and a strict diet of porridge and tuna I couldn’t be more prepared for the beach. Having learnt various survival skills such as setting up tarps and hammocks, effectively packing my rucksack and fending off every leech in sight has left me both emotionally and physically drained. I feel I have learnt a lot about jungle living and have come to appreciate the simpler things such as a chair with a comfy cushion, solid back and reclining function.  Quote of the week "Raleigh rations  I could do with a bit more".
Patrick John Rutledge
Alpha 5 prepare dinner each night over an open fire, in their makeshift kitchen
After living out of our bags for five days now, crackers and porridge have already become repetitive and unappetizing. Dreams of pizza, a full English and a Chinese take away are all too common.  I’d still like a ‘proper’ cup of tea with real milk, but I can only imagine. We top up with water each day otherwise we have everything already in our slowly lightening rucksacks.
Oliver Cobb

I am having a good time in jungle with the beautiful scenery and weather (even the rain). When it started raining I was looking forward to spending the night in the dry only to find the waterproof qualities of my tarpaulin to be severely lacking. Fortunately using my ‘commando-esque’ skills  I managed to construct a secondary tarp. It turned out to be a slightly damp, but memorable night. An ample serving on Raleigh rations ensured I slept like a king.
Rufus Morse
Jungle Kings need jungle jewellery. 
Local guide, Inus teaches the group the art of making bangles out of rattan
I’m having a wicked time, the food is "amazing"! But not to worry I brought a mini herbs and spices shop with me. Truly though having an amazing time meetings lots of new people and going to new places.
Michael Jarvis


Anonymous said...

Rufus (Alpha 5), glad you survived the jungle. Did you have to drink your own urine or juice squeezed from (Sun)bear dung a la bear grylls? Did you eat any insects apart from that big black crunchy one?
Funny one of my abiding memories of Raleigh is ... Bloody porridge! and feeling always hungry. Glad things haven't seemed to change very much.
harry's birthday today - Lasagna and chocolate cake tonight. ( Just thought I'd better let you know). Dad
Thats really funny about the food fantasies, what did i tell you, happiness is a crunchy leek. Are you doing a night dive? The beach and food look and sound perfect, have you had any real malaysian food yet?
Dinner times are pretty quiet and have had little lavatorial content , so it must be you that starts it up.I am really enjoying the blog and seeing what your world is like. love mum, letter on way

Died en Ther said...

lieve Julie (Alpha 5), wat een tocht hebben jullie gemaakt, een soort survival of the fittest, en dat zijn jullie allemaal! het lijkt wel een dieetweek te zijn geweest met crackers en mayonaise... heerlijk dat jullie nu aan zee kunnen uitrusten! You did it, de eerste week van alpha 5 zit erop! leuk om jullie verhaaltjes te lezen. zet hem op, dikke zoen, mama xxxxxxxxxxxx

Gail Cobb said...

Hi Oliver (alpha 5) your trek looks amazing but I am sorry you all seemed to be hungry and missing your cups of tea :) Hopefully the beach and diving are making up for it. Can't believe it is 2 weeks already, 8 to go. We are missing you here, Footloose is next week and it sounds to be coming together. Then we are off to Paris. Love you loads and loads. Mum x

Anonymous said...

Michael Jarvis (Alpha 5) lucky are you guys to be on that amazing beach right now...Diving, Eating,Sleeping..truly brilliant. Pleased to hear ur having a wicked time..cant wait to hear all about it and about all the new people you have met..well enjoy your next 5 days on the beach...not jealous much lol ...Nina x

Anonymous said...

Maggie Obhrai says;
Hi Em, wonderful to read your comments and to see you. Sorry to hear that you are feeling hungry especially as just at the moment Olivia is tucking in to oat cakes and bacon! How cruel am I? However you have that beautiful island to look forward to and I know what I would rather be doing!Love and miss you, Mum Dad Olivia and Nan xx

Merel van Olffen said...

julieeeeeeeeee!! Hoe is het daar? ik hoop dat je het allemaal leuk vindt! Ik zag al dat je bloedzuigers had gehad, leuk hee, weet je wat ik had! je kijkt heel blij op de foto.. Zit je nou met steef in het groepje? Super gezellig! ik ben alleen maar saai aan het leren nu.. We zijn wel al naar Maastricht geweest enzo. Het is ook heel saai hier, iedereen is weg..

Penny Yates said...

Oh Jemma, I don't like the sound of you having the "best" leech experience with one in your bed, hope you slept through and didn't know till the morning. The beach pictures look dreamy, worth the trek I'm sure. Love Penny x

Died&Ther said...

Lieve Julie,
Wat een avonturen allemaal. Geweldig hoor. Op de foto's ben je niet altijd herkenbaar. Een beetje een inboorling gewordn. Maar volgens mij hebben jullie het heerlijk!. Nu duiken. Ben benieuwd welke cursus je gaat doen. Rescue diver? We zijn benieuwd. xx Papa

alastair yates said...

Jemma (Alpha 5: you'll be looking forward to your 5 star hotel in KL after sharing your bed with a leech. YUK. Your relaxation time sounds suoperb and I am soooo jealous of you swimming in that blue sea. Love from Teddington x

Anonymous said...

Steefje, het is hier koud, dat zal je leuk vinden! zoen Pappie

Steefje, heerlijk je om op de blog te kunnen volgen;de bloedzuigers vallen mee?
Pieter zit de hele herfstvakantie achter zijn bureau (naar de zitkamer verhuisd, voor de betere concentratie) voor zijn SE volgende week.Heb jij al gehad:), denk daar maar even aan!! :)
Verheugen ons op de volgende blog nieuws.
Grote zoen Mam
(wordt dit voorgelezen?Volgende keer beter in het engels?)

Hilarie Fryer said...

hi Jemma
What a strange bedfellow to pick! Assume it chose you and not the other way around!! Sounds like you could all do with some decent home cooking - crackers and porridge not the most inspiring of meals! Am glad the trek is over and you are now diving - suspect your favourite bit. The beach looks fabulous. Dad arrived home Friday and once more my dining room is full and the house has to somehow absorb it all! He has now gone to Wychnour for a couple of days. R is heading to the Caribbean in a couple of weeks for 6/12 and Ian and Co are there for a few days of half term. My weekends of RWC have come to an end. THE ALL BLACKS DID IT!!! They beat France 8 7. It was tough though although they deserve to be RWC Champions. Fiona was in the Fanzone in Auckland with 150K other rugby mad kiwis. Nice to be able to text with her during the match. It will be a wonderful party there tonight. Ok angel take care and try and not make any more wildlife pets! Loving the photos of you. Miss you darling. Love you millions Mum xx

Anne van Olffen said...

To Julie van wassenaer
het ziet er echt onwijs leuk uit op de foto's! Jungle jewellery? Maak maar een mooi sieraad voor mij haha. Dive Island ziet er echt heeel mooi uit, lekker rusten! Er stond dat de trek best wel zwaar was in de hete zon, je ziet er ook best moe uit op de foto! Ik ben nu nog bij Amber, gisteravond was haar feestje was heel gezellig en micha was er ook, die ik tien jaar geleden had ontmoet weet je wel! Was echt heel raar! Ik ben voordat ik naar Amber ging nog even gestopt in Amsterdam heb allemaal leuke dingetjes gekocht, ook maastricht was heel gezellig daar heb ik met atot gewinkeld ik heb zo'n leuk vest voor hem gekocht van die leuke film haha en zelf een zwarte blazer boring. We zaten in Valkenburg waar we toen na de wandeling in Meerssen naartoe waren gegaan en in die Hema iets hadden gegeten en jij je pyamabroek had gekocht haha, was een heel leuk huisje en met atot was ook heel gezellig! Ik hoop dat je me snel mag bellen want ben echt zoooooo benieuwd! Heel veel plezier! Groetjes van Amber en mn ouders! xxxxxxxxxxxx

Kate said...

Matty (Alpha 1)
Saw a massive pink inflatable rabbit wielding a saw on Regents Park Road...

Ann said...

Hiya Rowan Alpha 4. This is the second comment, didnt spot the first, just had your letter, well done!! everything sounds amazing. Phone is not off contract, wrong info from shop!!Everything good here your bedroom is coming on a treat. Looking forward to seeing some pictures from your first project. Will blog again. Love Mum.xx

Ben said...

Hey Anne (Mum)
hope every thing is going amazing.
Cant wait to see you again it feels like its been months.

any way keep safe
love you

Dad said...

Hi Frazer Alpha 5.
Dive island looks like paradise.Hope ankle is ok now so you can fully join in.All ok here. G n G gone to J n J`S for long weekend back tues.Flint`s neck has healed up ok.Parcel sent to Australia today, should be there in 4 days.Ellie will BBM Freddie to let him know.
footy-UNITED 1 CITY 6. I have not spoken to Paul yet take a while to get over that,we play tonight.

Caldaralo's said...

Hi Paige (Alpha 1)
Hope you are well. We received your letters today. (Monday 24th.) Typical,we've been waiting for a letter for the last week, then we get 2 at once. Not complaining though. Really good to hear what you've been up to. Hope your leg is not badly hurt.Have you gotten used to sleeping in the hammock yet?Blaise and Mum are in the process of writing you letters so they'll give you the full update on what's been going on here. Rained all day today.
The bugs sound interesting, Blaise wanted to know if you managed to get photos of them and the funny looking dog.
Hope you enjoyed your birthday. Please keep sending the long letters. Love you lots. Dad, Mum &

MUTTI said...

Lieve Saar, zo'n tochtje door de jungle zou goed voor mij zijn :-)! Ik hoop dat je het allemaal redt want je ziet er een beetje moe uit op de foto. Ik kan me voorstellen dat je uitkijkt naar het strand en duiken. Nik heeft het ook zwaar ze zit van 's ochtends 9 tot 's avonds 10 op school om te leren voor haar s.e. Coen en ik hebben net een kopje koffie gedronken bij Carine, het huis ziet er supergezellig uit!Geniet van alles en dikke knuffel van ons. Annette

Caldaralo's said...

Hi Paige (Alpha 1)
Just received a letter from Southampton for Chemistry, giving you the option of a pre offer visit day. Offer is not guaranteed but is also not conditional on attending a visit day. I've phoned southampton and they have other visit days in February. You could either choose not to visit, in which case they would make the offer or rejection in a couple of weeks or choose to visit in February when you can have informal chat, then decision will be made after that date. It's not an interview. We've contacted Raleigh to contact you and they've said you will be able to let us know what you want to do when you get back to base camp on Thursday 3rd Nov. If we don't hear from you don't worry we'll just book the February date. Hope you're well. Take care sweetheart. Love you lots. Dad. xxx

Derek said...

Hi Shaun (Alpha 3), have been checking the web every day but no update yet on your progress - although I did get excited on starting to read a report from Alpha 3, up a mountain, freezing cold......... and then realised I was reading the Costa Rica blog!!!
News here - well I did your 6A last Thursday on the climbing wall; my first 6A spurred on by my son - can't have you outdoing me!! Went to undercover rock in Bristol yesterday to do some more instructing - got my CWA assessment on 9th Nov, here's hoping I pass. Sam says she's received a letter from you, emotional mother says where's ours?! Looking forward to hearing all your news when you get back to base, look after yourself, love,Dad.

Anonymous said...

hi michael(alpha 5)
hope u are well some of my post not on here but we are thinking of you and enjoying seeing the blogs good thinking on taking the herbs and spices thought that was funny wonder if you been using your solar shower yet all the family send there love and heather misses u loads x x love you mum x

Anonymous said...

he Sari,
Volgens mij was je tocht behoorlijk zwaar. We zijn ook apetrots op je. Zeker nadat we gisteren Bear in de jungle van Borneo zagen. Emma gilde het uit bij de bloedzuigers. Maar nu lekker duiken. Geniet ervan. Zoen Papa

Heather Acott said...

Michael (alpha 5)

Heya Babe, Glad Your Having A Great Time So Proud Of You, Love Seeing The Pictures Of You, I've Sent A Letter Hope It Gets To You Babe
Missing You Loads
Love You Lots
xxxx Heather xxxx

Hannah said...

Heyyyyy Oliver (Alpha 5)

I just googled where Borneo is, could you have gone much bloody further?! It looks really awesome though, and you're much braver than me, I couldn't cope with all those bugs. I hope you're really really enjoying it and I'll see you when you get back :) We'll all have to go out for a drink (or maybe a cup of tea haha)

Hannah xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Em, hope you had a wonderful time with those tropical fish, did you get a pedicure at the same time?!I guess by now you are back in the jungle, please take enough food! We are all well and missing you, lots of love, mum,billy da reader,olivia and billy bs aka malc :) xxxx

Laura Heesen said...

to Saar de la Hayze, Alpha 5

Daaaag Raas!
nou mooi is dit, laat ik een bericht achter (nadat ik er eindelijk achter was hoe deze site werkten) plaatsen ze m niet!! misschien vonden ze de woorden 'flexible dj' e.d. als een bedreiging/geheimschrift klinken ofzo.
maaargoed, dan schrijf ik m gewoon nog een keer hoor, helemaal geen problemen mee! Ik ben nu heerlijk aan het leren aan mijn wiskunde tentamen van vrijdag en Frans van morgen. Vanmiddag heb ik helaas mijn tentamen geschiedenis verpest..
Verder is het hier een saaie boel hoor, heb helaas ook niet veel te vertellen aan je; i'm so verry sorry seah! ohja, binnenkort gaan we brieven naar jullie schrijven! Tink heeft luchtpapier ofzo, dat is goedkoper. maargoed voor we allemaal onze brief afhebben en hij daar aangekomen is zijn we waarschijnlijk alweer een maand verder! nouja hopelijk is ie dit keer wel goed, en anders probeer ik t gewoon nog een keer! Als ik wat interessant heb zal ik weer wat sturen!
kus en vrindelijke groet F.DJ a.k.a Arual Neseeh wehooo

G & G said...

Frazer Ross
We've had an update from Dad about your latest doings. Great to hear that you're mobile again. Have been looking at the website for the Borean sun bers - they look so docile. Have you introduced Alpha 4 team to builders' tea ? G & G