Welcome to the official blog for Raleigh India 12I | July - August 2012

Welcome to the Official Blog for Raleigh India 12J September - December 2012.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

In the trenches

John and I (Fletch) returned from both environmental groups yesterday and you’ll be glad to know they are all doing fantastically – building up some serious muscles too with the metres of trench they are digging. Our first stop was Echo 3 in Huskurhaddi and we found them all finishing off the final touches to the solar fencing. They have also made a further addition to the camp – a scarecrow. Since making an appearance Shaq has not had to sprint after a crow to retrieve a packet of crisps which are a treasured commodity on expedition.

Charlie, Ganesh and Vandy working on the solar fencing

Shaq and Vandy at work

Charlie and Lou moving more dirt

Shaq's scarecrow 
We were treated to a spectacular picnic spread on a tarp with unrivaled views of the reservoir. Shaq and Dwayne were better than the crows at polishing off the leftovers and it is amazing how skinny those boys still are. In the evening John and I cooked up a chili for the hardworking group and some competitive werewolf was played. The group also treated us to an Echo 3 banoffee pie special – yum! 

The view from Echo 3's campsite - nice eh? 

PM Julia 
Grandpa (one of the local villagers who watches the camp by night – even though he is 85!) came and joined us for an evening beside the campfire under the stars. That night we had a visit from two elephants but the camp was well protected by the villagers who turned up in force to chase them away with their shouts and firecrackers. 

Grandpa enjoying the campfire 

PM Lindsay 




Dwayne and Ganesh 

In the morning we waved goodbye to Echo 3 and hit the road once again, this time heading for Echo 4 in Basava Pura. The group were in the trench when we arrived and the progress they have made is remarkable – Ram is apparently the machine of the group. As well as working hard in the trench the group has been training hard for the 5 and 10K run, with PMs Cat and Lou leading the way. On the morning we arrived the group had been up early and had got a 4K run under their belt before getting into the trench. 

John taking the chili initiation test at Echo 4 

Ollie, Tabby and Sam engaging in a favourite past-time at Echo4  - eating !

PM Cat 

Struan making friends with the local wildlife 

Ollie belly tickling a beetle 

PM Lou 

Tom chronlicing his thoughts in his basha

Roxy's Basha

Struan building up his muscles
 Echo 4 made us feel very welcome, with Donks cooking up an amazing lunch followed by an even better desert – chocolate brownie cake. After making sure Echo 4 were well and truly stocked up on chocolate we headed back to fieldbase and some more competitive training for the 10 and 5K fun run.

PM Donk's Basha 

Ollie in the trench 

Rohith, Tom and Ram having some time off 

Here are the messages we picked up from the group while out on the loop.

From: Julia Selby

To: Friends and Family

Echo 3

Dear Friends and Family
Enjoying being back in Huskurhaddi. The basha beds are so comfy, I’m thinking of making one when I’m back home. The trench is coming on alone nicely (even if it’s just rock now). I’ll be sad to leave here but i’m looking forward to coming home now and seeing everyone! Mum, I’ll send you my request for food shopping list when I’m back a fieldbase.

Love Julia
From: Dwayne
To: Family, Loved Ones and Family

Hey Guys,

It seems like forever since I have seen you all. I miss you guys! You will be seeing  me soon though! I can’t believe how close the end is now. I have had an unforgettable experience over here. I can’t wait to see everyone and tell you all about the experience. Thanks for all the blog messages everybody they really lift my spirits. Mom I can’t wait to eat some pizza with my little bro. Love you guys! Especially Nana and Poppa.

Echo 4

From: Lou Shute
To: Harry

Harry my sweet! Thanks for your packages. Lacking a fridge, the magnets home will be the whiteboard. Tangtastics, whoopee! And the stickers, so useful! Bigger thanks for your words.

Having a great time making camp, building stuff, sleeping in bashas and working hard. The farming family are real characters. I’ve been able to run a few times a week and feet all good so thrilled about that. There is a 5K and 10K fundraising run at the end of expedition so going to enter the 5K so excited! If people want to sponsor me/ donate to Raleigh let everyone know they can do it through the blog http://raleighindia.blogspot.com/. Can you let Mum and Charlie know – chaslimford@yahoo.co.uk and James too shuter89@hotmail.com.  Thanks.

Looking forward to seeing you and coming home. Definitely going to Beinidorm, hope you and Hugo can come? Speak to Donna.

Speak to you on the 31st! Eeks!

Big love, hugs and Kisses,


From: Lou Shute
To: Nathan Roberts

Hey Nathan,

Thanks for your message. Having a fab time on environmental project. Trying my best to exercise the same PM standard you set all those years ago! Hope to see you in the UK before I head off for the ski season at the end of November. 

Love Lou x

From: Catherine
To: Sis

Happy 21st Birthday 

Love Cat

From: Jason
To: Maria

Hey Maria,

It’s great to hear from you. You know how I like the Dutch/English notes. Environmental is going really well . it’s really chill out here, a good way to wrap up the expedition. At the same time I’ve found it similar to how you described phase two in your note, in more ways than one. I hope you had fun driving up to France with your brother. I’ll give you a shout when we’re back in Mysore, I think that’s the 31st? Could you do me a favour? See if there’s anywhere near your school or in Copenhagen that could fix my camera. Looking forward to Denmark.

Miss you.

Jason x

(From Fletch – Hey Maria just to let you know Jason got the date correct J. I’m back out to see them on this Saturday in case you want to get a note out)

From: Tabith Ha
To: Mum, Dad and co

To add to my last blog, I’ll be leaving Raleigh on the 3rd September in the morning. So I will give you a call that day or possibly the day after because I will be finding somewhere to stay/party! Haven’t got your first letter yet and yes the water proofs have been useful – it hasn’t been wet but it’s nice to have fresh socks! Glad you managed to see DH mum! Looking forward to seeing photos.

Lots of Love,


From: Tabitha Ha
To: Fahim (a.k.a The Fox)

It’s weird thinking you’re back home! Hope Ramadan is going well and that you’re excited about university! Make the most of it! Environmental is pretty chilled – our trench is less rocky then Huskurhaddi which is nice, and the sun is shinning beautifully! Have a few plans coming together for after Raleigh now, including a possible work placement in Rajasthan.

Thanks for your blog message, blog messages are always a highlight. The others say hi – the mud warriors streak is still going strong in our hearts – Mama Africa too.

Take care,

Tabby a.ka Walf, a.k.a Fox’s partner in crime

From: Tabby Ha
To: Maria

Maz, my crazy Dutch friend! Indeed I am brown (both mud and a hard earned tan). Will Skype you when I finish, leave your contact details on my facebook? Hope you are LOVING being back. Hope you have a fun trip to France with the old bro. Safe flight to Denmark – you have so much to look forward too! Oh and I’m wearing your trousers everyday – absolute life savers.

Lots of love

The one and only Tabster (Tabitha, obviously)

Tango 5

From: Ashley Johns 
To: Dad

Hi Dad,

Have a great birthday!!

Lots of love

Ashley xx


  1. To: Eleri Evans PM Tango 5

    Hey Eleri! Just had a read of the blog - it's so lovely to keep up the India/Raleigh love and hear how you lot are getting on out there :) It looks fantastic as always, I hope you're having a wonderful time. I just got back from the Allgauer Alps in South-west Germany/Northern Austria on a cycling holiday with my family. It was really really fantastic, and reminded me a bit of the T6 cycling times! lots of love, enjoy the rest of the phase! Lucy xxx

  2. To: Catherine Playfair PM Echo 4

    Dear Catherine,
    HELLO lovely!! Can you believe phase 3's well underway?? Bet you're getting some serious trench-digging done :) And teaching too? Can't wait to hear all. Are my letters arriving? Been thinking of you loads!! Just back from Germany/Austria with family, cycling was incredible, soo much fun and boiling hot too, so swimming in lakes was a must too. Will have to tell you all about it and hear your news as soon as it's possible to do so :) lots of love, Lucy xxxx

  3. Emma Williams Charlie 1

    Hi Emma,

    Fantastic to chat to you the other day and we are looking forward to seeing you in 11 days :).

    The photos of you on the blog visiting the village are lovely (see you haven't lost your skills with children). You look really well and like you are all still having a great time. Enjoy the overnight trip.

    We have all been busy sorting out the garden this week and having new fences put up. You should notice a big differnece when you get home - just in time for helping to paint them!!!!

    Nan is looking forward to seeing you soon. Jade says 'be safe and come home soon and she hopes you don't have too many bites!'.

    Vicky keeps reading your letter and crying - bless :(. Aunty Suzi sends you lots of love.

    Make the most of your time left and have a safe journey home.

    Love and miss you loads, Mum & Co xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. For: Ashley Johns - Tango 5

    Hey Ash!! Great to hear you are having a great time! So good to see you in the photos!! miss your smiling face! Hope you have a brilliant Birthday - I will treat you to a Nandos when you get back! Are you still planning on travelling? I know Leanne is excited to head to India in September! Met up with Helen B, Laura and Emily yesterday, we missed you being there. Next time hey! (btw are you back by the 9th Oct? having the girls over for the night)
    Anyway keep well and safe, Love and miss you loads - Em xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. To rohit, Echo 4

    hi rohit,how are you..hope having nyc time. njoy last days of expedition.i m missing raleigh ..now i m thinking y i havnt gone for 10 weeks..ll catch u in hyderabad. tell hi to prasath...actually confused with their full names... tell hi to all prasath's....tc..:)

  6. To Kai, Devon, Manpreet TANGO 5

    Hey guys I haven't forgotten you lot lol! Don't think I wasnt gonna see how you were getting on. Seen some of the pics on the blog and looks like you're having an amazing time (everyone looks skinnier :)). I'm doing good over here just sorting out my uni things but miss you guys. Its so weird how you're on this awesome adventure and I'm half way across the world living my normal boring life haha. Enjoy the rest of raleigh and you can tell me all about it when you get back home (Facebook FTW).

    Love, (the final member of the A-Team)
    Fahim xx

  7. To Devon

    Ahhhh!!! my arch rival and nemesis. You better have taken care of Kai and Manpreet for me lol :). It pains me to have to tell you (not really) but wenger sold both cesc AND NASRI!!! ahahahaha. So ummmm you've now sold your best defender kolo toure, best left back clichy and your only other world class midfielder to your biggest rivals lol well done. Utd gonna runaway with the title now. Looking forward to sundays match - me thinks utd 5-0 with a danny welbeck hattrick B). Anyway hope you're having the best time of your life sleeping next to Kai everyday (I feel your pain man) and just wanted to say best of luck when you get back to Berme :)

    The guy you hate (but secretely look up to)
    Fahim ;)

  8. To Manpreet Tango 5

    Im an idiot for leaving it late but hope you guys get my messages. Just wanted to say ~Happy~Birthday~(so sad I'm gonna miss it :( lol). Hope you've had an awesome time on trek (obviously would have been more fun if I was there haha). Wish I was back there with you guys its so weird coming back home and everything slows down.
    p.s. dw your stuff's safe with me...oh yeah and you better bring me back a present (lol im jokin).

    A-Team and Brown Beauties stay strong ;P
    Fahim xx

  9. To Kai Meyer Tango 5

    Alright mate hope treks not too hard for you :P. Feels weird that im all the way over here lol. Miss the laughs and fun times we had. I've kept my promises lol. Had a movie marathon nite wiv my mates: dark knight, pulp fiction, snakes on a plane lol it was epic. Can't wait to hear about all the stuff you lot have been up to.

    p.s. true to form I've been stuffing myself with all the pizza and ice cream in the world lol (and soda ;))

    Enjoy the rest of india and good luck with life after it. You have my best wishes.
    I'll finish with our customary fist bump *bam*
    The ultimate duo like samuel jackson and john travolta lol.

    Fahim xx

  10. michael johns (DAD)25 August 2011 at 23:20

    Hi Ashley

    Have a great birthday!! on the 26th

    Lots of love

    DAD xxxxxx

  11. For Shaq - Echo 3

    Hey Shaq + Echo 3 :)

    Hope you are all having fun! Shaq, just a quick note to say HARRY POTTER IS AMAZING and you will love it, and Dwayne, Bellatrix rocks. They kept the Mrs Weasley line in too :)

    Very jealous of all your basher sleeping...wish I was still with you guys!

    Amy xx

  12. Yasmin Kanji/ E11/Tango 5/ Charlie 1

    My Dear Yamena
    I no longer know which group you are in , so I have put some Charlie, Tango etc... numbers to make sure you get my mail !

    Not long to go my love....
    Can't tell you how excited I am to see you back in rainy London ! It looks like I will be there to pick you up from the airport, just like I dropped you off. Shall I bring Toby with me to the airport ? Not sure if dogs are allowed in the airport. Anyway, I am doing my best to be in London when you come..... Wof Wooof ..... Then home sweet home the three of us just wooofing each other.

    Love you soooooo much....

  13. For Tabitha Ha, Echo 4

    Hi Tabitha,

    Okay look forward to hearing from you on 3rd or soon after.

    Hmm...it seems you are never going to get that first letter, a shame as I put a couple of printed pics from Em's prom in for you....

    So glad to hear the waterproof socks are useful, although they would probably be of more use if you were still getting wet lol

    You can see the pics from Sat on fb whenever you get a chance to go on. Was a totally amazing day :)

    Emily got her results on Thurs. She did really well, inc last years she now has 7 A* and 5 A's only for some reason she seems to have one each in Religous Studies!

    Take care and have fun.


    Mum, Barry, Alex and Emily x x