'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

TICKED OFF!!! - Day 23

I nominated myself to write the blog for today for a couple of reasons. One, because no one was standing close enough to me that I could give the job too. Two, I hadn’t done it yet, but most importantly, Three, its one of my best friends birthdays today and it gives me the opportunity to wish her HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Talz I hope you had an amazing day, I miss you heaps and can’t wait for our adventure when I get back! Hope you liked the present!!!

So here goes...

We awoke at the usual 6.30AM to give us enough time to pack up our hammocks and get ready for another day of walking. We left our beautiful campsite, after a breakfast which consisted of a quarter of a piece of stale bread and some eggs with garlic.

The group was in a fairly positive mood due to the swim the day before and the promise of a less strenuous day, which made us all feel a lot better about picking up our HEAVY backpacks. We left the campsite at 8.30 and began trekking once again through the jungle. We quickly fell into our routine, of watching each others ankles and yelling ‘heads’, especially to Nathan and Pat (Ed. 6’ 4” and 6’ 3” respectively). I have found that the best place to trek is somewhere behind Nathan, as he gets all the spider webs out of the way. :-) Today was a relative easy trek, with only a few small hills and mostly flat terrain. This gave the group a chance to chat about what we were missing from home and how we were feeling about the trek so far.

Cliff and I were reflecting on how the majority of the challengers have had a change in attitude throughout the month. Whilst we were discussing this, we were also eavesdropping on Kim and Kiara’s conversation, about how Kim had been given the choice of a shed or a pool. It was incredibly refreshing to then hear her talk about how much she appreciated everything that she had at home and how blessed she was. Cliff’s motto for the trek was ‘Strength of mind, Strength of body’. My own personal motto, which hopefully reflects the new found attitude of some of the challengers, after listening to Kim, and our own experiences at the orphanage has become ‘Grateful not Greedy.’ I think that we have all had our eye’s opened to how lucky we are to have been born in Australia, and how easy our life is, compared to pretty much every single person we have encountered in the last month.

We reached the campsite still feeling quite positive, after 4 hours of walking, at around 12.30. The campsite was pretty similar to the other campsites, a designated toilet track, a good tree section for hanging our hammocks and some rocks where we could light a fire and sit by some water. We got our hammocks sorted (we are now professional hammock hangerupera’s!) Then went down to the rocks for lunch, which was rice with some type of eggy soup. Cliff our fearless leader went down to wash and that was when disaster struck....

I was sitting down on the rocks talking to Kiara when I looked down at my leg, and noticed something unusual. Very calmly, but quite loudly I said “Guys, I don’t want to panic anyone but I’m pretty sure that I have at least 10 ticks on my leg right now.” Which I then followed, with quite a few hysterical screams of “HELP!!! Get them off me!!! EWWWWWWWWWWW!!”

Which, needless to say, caused mass hysteria... Cliff came to the rescue with the tick extractor and removed at least 12 from my leg. A few of the challengers (the girls and myself) decided to inspect ourselves completely, and to everyone (of us girls) horror we found that the majority of us had lot of ticks. Micheala, Amreeta, Xavier, Kate and myself in particular. Amreeta’s was the biggest, but Micheala and I probably had the most.

We had a quick wash, after Cliff convinced us that ticks hated water - not sure if thats true Cliff... but it got us in the water ;) and the girls decided to retreat to the hammocks for the rest of the day. The thought of more ticks, tiredness and homesickness got the better of most of us and we spent the afternoon, hanging – literally – on our own in our hammocks. We surfaced for dinner, after coating ourselves in layers of bug spray, ate standing up in about 3 minutes flat, and then headed straight back into the hammocks to keep away from the ticks.

Looking back on it now, while typing in a bus, miles away from the jungle and completely tick free, it was actually a funny, albeit gross, but good experience for us all. And it is something that we can TICK off our list of typical jungle experiences!!

Jane (Miss Davidson)

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