Monday, 4 March 2013

Alpha five Imbak canyon

The project based in Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA) is one of the few remaining areas of untouched and unexplored rainforest in Sabah.  Alpha 5 are assisting the ICCA Rangers to construct a second suspension bridge to span the Imbak River in order to link the BBC and Bukit Beruang trails. They are also busy at work to make the camp homely and the team are also sharing their cooking skills and making entertainment for each other in the evenings with team bonding games.

Alpha 5 meeting at allocations
Alpha 5 sent us this update...

Salamat Datang from Imbak Canyon!

Alpha five at Imbak waterfall
We are here in the beautiful, remote, untouched rainforest, waist deep in mud but still smiling and planning to build a suspension bridge with the local rangers.  Also whilst we are here we are creating a new research camp and helping to maintain the trails so that researchers and scientists can more easily explore the unexplored rainforest.

Checking out the existing suspension bridge
There’s been plenty of type 2 fun out here – moments that are challenging at the time, but afterwards you look back and laugh.  The rain and mud has definitely been hard work,  especially when it rains for 48 hours straight, but then we are in a RAIN forest! This makes it hard for clothes to dry so everything smells damp, but without the rain we wouldn't have had a Borneo Shower or the massive mud fight it evolved into.

Alpha five down at Imbak Canyon
As soon as we got to Imbak Canyon we made our camp a home, building a dining area, an impressive drainage system for the rain.  We cleared away the dead leaves and scorpions that live there and built some steps to make it easier and safer for us to get around camp. 
Imbak Canyon camp
We got to know our rangers really well by doing this, learning their impressive jungle knowledge, making our life easier at camp and also helping us to appreciate our unique environment.  We have also been learning some Malay, adding extra value to the expedition!

Emma, Anna and Lucy three bowling!
We got thrown into jungle life straight away and have experienced the leeches first hand.  Although, they seem to favour some people over others, Emma and Tom!  There seems to be no way of avoiding them but at least they don’t hurt.  The jungle is constantly buzzing with sound and everywhere you look something is crawling. Apart from the things we can see the rangers have told us about jungle spirits and how we must respect them by keeping quiet at night.  Also they told us not to use people’s names, otherwise the spirits may mock that voice and lure people into the jungle in the night.

Nigel getting to know the local wildlife
As well as having type 2 fun we have had plenty of type 1 fun as well.  On our day off the rangers took us on a trek to a 3000 year old ironwood tree and a hollow tree that could fit all us venturers in.  On the way we saw some wild Malaysian Ginseng.  Afterwards we went swimming in Imbak River next to a beautiful waterfall.  We have all really bonded as a team and worked together to prepare for the Loop’s visit – this including building an assault course and cooking a three course meal.  Unfortunately the Loop were delayed so we had a lovely candlelit dinner with our rangers, tried out a new Raleigh dessert and had a lovely singsong afterwards round our new dining table.

Welcoming the loop

We have also been learning about medical procedures and what to do if someone is taken ill whilst we are here.  Our practice casevac  (casualty evacuation) went really well with each and everyone pulling together to radio to Basecamp, take care of Rachel (our medic who was pretending to be sick) and build a stretcher which we used to carry her to the observation deck.

Reviewing the medical training on the observation deck
Thanks Alpha 5!

UPDATE - the last few days have been dry down at Imbak Canyon and Alpha 5 have got their washing and drying done and are making great progress on the foundations for the new suspension bridge.


Anonymous said...

Hello Borneo!
I will be joining Raleigh Borneo for the summer expedition as a VM in Logistics. It is great to see all the updates on this blog and to see what I am letting myself in for. Thanks for all the amazing updates and allowing me to prepare for my own Raleigh experience.

Beth Jane said...

Fran Siodlak


Hope it's all still going swimmingly. I'm sure that you had an incredible time on dive island, can't wait for the amazing pictures! I really hope you enjoy trek, I think it was my most memorable part, just so different from any other time in your life! Maybe one day in the summer we should find somewhere to sleep in hammocks in the comfy! Hehe!

Absol loved your write up up of Raleigh Olympics...certainly a highlight. Did you play crab football where you scuttle about on all fours...I was hopeless at that because I was crying/dying with laughter. Hope that the mossies are not being too hungry and that you've learnt to love the leechies! (It's all about the roll and flick technique incase you haven't discovered this already.

About to go slap on loadsa makeup for my dancing show - we couldn't be having more different lives right now! Lols.

So much love, Beth xxxxxxx

Viki Williams said...

To Alex Williams - 13C Alpha 9

Hi Alex,

How are you doing? I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the diving and the trek is going well. I loved the photographs on the blog and laughed at the state of your boots!! Grandad spotted your camera so Nana is very hopeful for some great photographs!!
Everyone is well at home. Uncle Russell is coming over for a weekend shortly and bringing the 3 children - what a shame you will be missing playing hide and seek and singing nursery rhymes - we are really looking forward to seeing them though. Nana, Grandad and Nanny are all keeping well and Grandad checks the blog every day.
We have heard that you have been having some rain. Hope it is clearing up now and that you are managing to have some good dry weather. Cannot think of anything worse that clothes constantly being wet but then that's why you are in the jungle and I'm not!!! John is coming to decorate your bedroom this week - we decided not to let Niche do it in pink for you! Can't believe how tidy the house is since you have been away or the money we are saving on the food shopping!!

Carry on having a wonderful time and enjoy the experience and challenges ahead of you. We look forward seeing you on the blog again soon and seeing what you have been up to. Please thank Jo in communications for doing a superb job and also to everyone else who makes the blog so interesting and informative. It's great to see what everyone is getting up to.

Take care Alex and we send you all our love. We are so proud of you.

Mum and Dad

Anonymous said...

from Church Farm

to Peter Hodge

You still look your having fun and doing constructive things, I bet you love the dumping your clothes no one to nag to clean them up!! James is missing you as I am too and we are looking forward to the 3rd another month to wait. If you want we also have a summer job for you in Cyprus. Take care we miss and love you lots. Me and Jammie & not forgetting Robson xxxxxxx

Family Cox said...

Hi Rach
That entry about Alpha 5 battling with the elements looks amazing. Good to see you smiling despite the scoprions and leeches! Hope the bridge building goes well. We had a good weekend in un-exotic Tavistock and thought of you. Lots of love Mum, Dad and Maddy xxx

Anonymous said...

For Mitchell Wodcke Alpha 4
Hi Mitch
Hope it is all going well, can't wait to hear more about how your alpha group is getting on.Last we heard it was raining (alot!), maybe it has stopped by now. Everyone here is well. Dad is in Singapore at the moment so not that far away! Take care of yourself, love Mum (and Dad,Tom,Lauren,Rosie and Puss) xx

Will Farmer said...

Digby Parsons, Alpha 1

Hi mate hope all is going well, from the photos it looks like you're having a great time. I got a place with VSO in Kenya from 23rd April until 16th July.

In other news, Steph Carter has left Gallows and Andy has got a place at Exeter.

Stay safe mate

Anonymous said...

message for Sam Griffin Beat

Morning chops

well I thought you were in alpha 5, but there has just been an update on alpha 5 an your not in it!! ive just gone back over the old blogs, and when you had the olympics you were in delta 5, thats where i get that from !! what alpha are you in? they havnt told us. anyway no update on you yet, it was swelltering here yesterday, as it is where you are, but today hopefully low 30s, hope all is well, if i dont get an update on you soon i am gong to spontaniously explode!!! love you loads mum xxxxx

Poh-E said...

What a great chance to be at Imbak Canyon! It is a great place! Missing the place!

All the best Raleigh 13C!

Shout outs to all Raleigh KL and Sabah venturers!

Raleigh KL

Base Camp Mum said...

For Max Sheldon Alpha 5
Great to see photos of you and your group at Imbak Canyon. It looks amazing and you look happy. Your camp looks like Yasemin's room on an especially bad day but without the rain that's been with you all the way. Luckily you had all that training working in the elements and always being picked at Chartwell as the one to put on the waders and work in the water.
Hopefully the day the Loop came they brought letters from home so that you know we're all thinking of you and love you loads. Lots and lots of love, Mum, Dad and the Animals

mum said...

Ellen peacock alpha 9
Hi Ellen
You will probably have completed all your trekking and diving by now, hope you had a fantastic time. Thanks for the post card it was brilliant to get it, hope you got the parcel, let us know if you need more supplies!
Looking forward to more updates and photos of you on the blog...nan's printed some off and sent them too us.
Write4 again soon.
lots of love mum, dad, Tom and Dan xx

Jenny Twisleton said...

For Lucy Twisleton Alpha 5

Hey Lucy!
I hope your having an amazing time in Borneo, building bridges and fighting leeches and such! Borneo looks great, if a little muddy and rainy (seems you've taken my Lancaster weather with you!) and I'm glad to see you've finally changed your T-shirt... I've written you letter which should reach you soon! I had two little orangutans on my calendar all through February which always reminded me of you (and made me miss you loads)- I hope you get to see some on your travels.I'm so proud of you!

Keep smiling, Lots and Lots of Love,
Jenny xxx

Never-at-home Mum said...

For Max Sheldon Alpha 7
I know Max - never home when you call. Bad mum. At least it's meant you've talked to Dad and Yasemin and they've passed on what you said. And of course I listened to your lovely messages. Dad told me that you're doing a trek and dive next. What a wonderful time you're having:)
We'll be thinking of you and send you all our love. Mum, Dad, Angus, Ellie, Jess, Maisie, Daphne, Letty, Lottie and Margot. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx