Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Adventure PPV - Alpha 7 & 8

Alpha 7 & 8: Trek and Dive/Dive and Trek
Beth, Sarah, Refat and Kris

Our PPV to Long Pasia started with a 3 hour drive to Sipitang, where we had a quick lunch stop before continuing the 5 hour 4x4 journey to Long Pasia. The length of the journey was bearable but unfortunately the driver’s Eurotrash tunes weren’t! However, there were a few Venga Boys tunes thrown in to the mix, much to the delight of Beth.

Upon arrival in the surprisingly modern village we were met by one of our guides, the self entitled ‘Nooh the legend’. He’s certainly a character, more than making up for his lack of English with his wicked jungle skills. The four of us crashed at Nooh’s pad for the night, and had some food cooked for us by his wife, although, with two veggies on the team we had a good laugh trying to find out what did and didn’t have meat in.

Refat, Sarah and Beth

The next morning we were met by our other guide Fauzie, a really humble guy who speaks English well and also knows the jungle like the back of his hand. Together we embarked on a trek into the jungle, which we smashed in good time. Physically, the trekking wasn’t too hard but the terrain was challenging, with a few trips and slips happening from time to time, and an amazing superman dive/face plant from Kris. After Refat’s initial horror and screaming, we soon got used to finding leeches all over our bodies and accepting the fact that the little blood suckers get absolutely everywhere. One of the hardest things about the trek was pulling them off!

 When we reached our camp for the night Nooh and Fauzie had built a kitchen area, put up their bashers and fallen asleep in them for a power nap whilst we were still trying to get the dipole up so that we could radio through to Fieldbase. We then spent an equally long time erecting our bashers before sitting around the fire for a nice meal courtesy of Raleigh rations (probably not the birthday meal Sarah was hoping for), listening to tales of jungle spirits from the guides. The guides really do believe in these spirits and follow strict jungle rules to avoid upsetting them. Certainly, the jungle is a strange place at night. In pitch black darkness your senses are sharpened and every intricate sound heard, as we swayed in our bashers thinking about spirits constantly watching us.

The next day we learnt how to make a fire and use a parrang (machete) correctly, a highly important jungle survival tool. That night we met the village JKK (head of the village) to thank him for the local hospitality and ensure a strong relationship with Raleigh is maintained.

Overall it was a fantastic and productive three days away from Fieldbase, a unique way to spend a birthday that Sarah will never forget, and we’re all really looking forward to returning with the venturers.

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