Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Adventure PPVs - Alpha 9

Alpha 9: Trek, Dive, Trek
Barry, Rachel and Fred

So. It’s 9am in the morning and we’re sitting in jungle camp. We’ve just realized that we have made the ultimate mistake. We are about to head into the jungle at the complete mercy of two local guides and we’ve forgotten their food. Not only are we about to face a grueling two day trek to get further acquainted with a few of the routes we are going to be treking, but now we have rations for three to share between five.

Fred, Barry and Rachel

Fortunately Hanry, our lead guide, is a font of local knowledge and directs us to the local shop. Fully laden we set off on our rainforest adventure. 
It’s hot and humid, but Hanry is incredibly adept at distracting us from the physical discomfort. He frequently stops to point out interesting things. We are given a brief introduction to traditional herbal medicine, but rapidly decided to leave well alone after being shown just how similar the curative and poisonous vine leaves are. 

He points out wild ginger, chili plants, jack fruit and the exotic spiky red Rambutan fruit. His sinuous movements with his parang (the local name for a machete) as he clears the path ahead lead to a new nickname of Hanry Solo, as he could easily be wielding a lightsabre. 

Around midday we reach our first camp. With only the occasional mishap we succeed in setting up our hammocks with tarpaulins above to shelter us. We then have a team dinner. We cook the Raleigh rations inspired Chili con Carne with pasta and cheese, and Hanry brings rice with sardines in a soy sauce. We then sit watching the fire slowly die down to glowing embers, with the sounds of the jungle filling the night around us.

Next morning is an early start, with a trek to another of the camps. Here Hanry disappears off for a while to go ‘jungle shopping’. He returns with bundles of Rambutan for us to take back to Fieldbase. As we swim in the pool at the bottom of a beautiful tropical waterfall, he cooks us a surprise lunch of fresh ginger noodle soup.

Barry, Hanry, Fred and Rachel
It’s only been two days, but it’s already sad to say goodbye. Laden down with necklaces, bracelets and bamboo cups that Hanry and his assistant have made for us along the trek we head back to basecamp. 

We’re hot, tired and I at least am a bit achey. It’s a chore, but we decide we really have to man up and go and check out Dive Island to make sure it’s ready for expedition. Jonathan welcomes us onboard the Borneo Divers boat, and we speed across to Mamutik island. White sand, clear blue water, schools of stripy fish… It’s a hard job. Can’t wait for all the venturers to arrive and for us to get going with the real thing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McFab - you should've had a haircut before you left!