Costa Rica day 5: trekking in the dark

Amazingly, I woke before the 3am alarm, as Sam snored on. It was dark when we went to bed, then dark as we woke up- it’s like a world where you can’t see! I edge to the shower and proceed to shower in the dark! With freezing cold water! I was also able to put my contact lenses in. Alas, I gave up hair gel 2 days ago!

We ate rice, beans and egg by torchlight, I couldn’t help thinking candlelight would be more romantic. I puzzled over which boots were mine, so waited until everyone was booted up, then we left. In the dark.

This was so cool though. Walking in the dark, through the mud, up the hills. It was the right side of risky, some gorge passes were challenging, and Hector and Chris assembled a rather suspect piece of string to catch our fall.


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As we walked, Carol had an epiphany over our favoured card game of PIG. I also wowed the crowd with my ‘it’s still dark outside’ comment. We ascended further, until we reached a bit of a peak, where we had early lunch (at 6am), and got bitten by lots of yukky flies!

One of my favourite parts came next, as we climbed further through narrow, moist gullies, where the ground and sides were covered in thick green moss. It looked like a 60’s hallway! We kept going up and UP, this was tough.

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We trekked for hours, and hours, with regular stops for kendal mint cake and dextro tablets. We each helped each other get things from our bags, we were like helpless tortoises! I camply tried to use a machete and screamed.

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The path went up and down, through streams. We messed around by putting our heads through some big leaves. We emerged from the thick jungle, only to see a signpost showing the town we came from as being ‘3 days away’.

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We were still quick as mustard, and arrived at our… ahem… accommodation by 2pm. It was a cow shed. This was a key moment in the ‘roughing it’ process, and a point where I’ll remind you to donate to the fund: http://www.justgiving.com/gardeninggreek

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I drank a beer, had a naked cold shower and wrote some diary, wearing my long johns. The girls huddled into sleeping bags and shivered, whilst the boys sat around talking about prostitutes.

Today, we had covered 17.7km, and walked for 8 hours and 47 minutes! Average speed of 2.2km/hour, I think that’s faster than days before!? We were now at an altitude of 1938m, and it’s chilly, so this is why the girls are moaning.

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I forgot to tell you we saw a tarantula today too. This was quickly documented photographically. We also saw monkeys in the trees, but little did we know days later our monkey sightings would get rather closer…!

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We had a camp fire that night, ate lovely chicken, asked Ken where his USB port was, and set down to sleep, ON THE FLOOR, in a row. You can imagine the medley of snores. I put my earplugs in and covered them further with a headband. And, shivered through the night, even though i wore my National Geographic fleece, mind you, it was free with a subscription, so not the best quality I imagine.

This blog is just a taster of my trek!

You can view all photos on http://www.facebook.com/planthunter.uk and tune in to the anecdotes onhttp://www.twitter.com/gardening_greek.

And, of course, you can still donate: http://www.justgiving.com/gardeninggreek

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