Saturday, 16 June 2012

We survived the jungle!!

On Tuesday morning 22 clean, enthusiastic and energetic VMs travelled to Base Camp to commence jungle training and returned on Thursday, perhaps a little sweaty and tired but very much still full of enthusiasm.

So here is how we got on in Jungle Training:
After doing a successful vehicle check (a vital part of training) we all jumped onto a bus and made our way to Base Camp where we had an intense day of training which included first aid, how to put up a radio and what to do if a major incident/accident occurs. We also had to sort out the ‘Raleigh Rations’- our food for the next two days. The discovery of iced gems and peanut brittle caused particular excitement to those who had been on a Raleigh expedition before; this excitement was soon shared amongst the newbies of the group when we were half an hour into our trek and the peanut brittle was brought out- it perked us all up no end!

The evening before we departed into the jungle we had some surprise entertainment organised by Mac, Sarah and Petr. Much to everyone’s surprise we had the opportunity to partake in our very own Raleigh Samba Band (we weren’t sure what we were expecting but it certainly wasn’t that)! The guides from Asia Ability who would be leading us through the jungle arrived with a shed load of instruments at which point the majority of the group declared they had no rhythm. However Zul reassured us that everyone had a rhythm and we ended up with a surprisingly impressive ensemble. Check out the video at or on the left hand side of the blog !

On Wednesday morning after a quick jungle craft training session we began our trek into the jungle in our Tango groups, full of eagerness and excitement about how much fun it was going to be and at just two hours long, obviously it would be a piece of cake. Oh how wrong we were....

Less than 15 minutes into the trek grumbles of “how can I possibly be this sweaty?” and “oh my legs have never been so tired” soon started to arise. Half an hour later and the sweatiness had been accepted as the norm, we were all completely sopping wet and had learned to laugh about it. Tango 1 even had a ‘Sweat Off’, the winner of which was Nick who resembled a small waterfall by the time he got to Jungle Camp!

Bashas and a shelter had to be set up as soon as we got to Jungle Camp, and seeing as it took us about 3 hours, it’s a good thing we had set off early that morning! There were only a couple of hammock disasters, including Ian’s hammock string snapping, luckily when he was testing it out, not when he was sleeping! The quote of the day definitely came from Max, who when asked the best way to get a mosquito net back in it's bag replied, "You just roll it like a sausage" which at the time, in our tired, sweaty states was completely hilarious!

Another night of experimenting with Raleigh Rations and Tango 2 made the discovery that the Prawn Sambal does not need chilli and half a bag of garlic added to it, it will cause enough mouth tingling and brow sweating all by itself! We finished up the evening with hot cups of Milo and tea, and some iced gems whilst Zul gave us a talk about the rules of the jungle. We were all in bed by 8.30pm, which may seem a bit ridiculous but when you have been up since 5am, and trekked for what seemed like forever, bed(even if it is a slightly dodgy looking hammock) was the only place we wanted to be! 
We set off the next morning bright and early at 7am, and were back by 12pm ready to hear where we would be allocated to.

Final part of the trek, bridge to Basecamp

Tango 2, return to Basecamp!

Want to find out where everyone is going? You’ll have to wait for the next blog which should be up in the next few days!

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