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

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

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Tango 6's Tale of Exhaustion, Hygiene, and St. Patrick's Day

It's Changeover and everyone from Charlie 1 to Tango 6 has paid a short visit to Fieldbase just to drop their rucksacks and head straight off to Mysore for swimming pools and train tickets. I grabbed Tango 6's spokesperson Natalia Robinson, hoping to get some news about how their trek in Kerala's remotest parts went. And Tango 6 did not disappoint! So while I am figuring out what kind of madness exactly is going to happen around here during two full days of Changeover (and then tell you about it), you, dearest reader, can enjoy the following south Indian fairytale:
Tango class...
...in front of dramatic views
It is currently day 12-14 of Tango 6’s 19 day trek. You may be wondering why we don’t know which day it is exactly; it’s down to the fact that out here the expression “time flies when you’re having fun” takes on a whole new meaning. Today is also the second of our two rest days, and frankly one that couldn’t have come at a better time for we exhausted Tango 6’ers, most of whom – as I look around me – are soaking up the sun on their roll mats, relaxing surrounded by palm trees, tea plantations, and a beautiful river (in which swimming, fishing, and to our delight also washing have also been used to pass the hours). Quite simply, we are all in paradise.
The fine line between happiness (author Tally) and exhaustion
Three Musketeers
During our time out here in the depths of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Tango 6 - led by our wonderful guides Ragu and Manoush - have managed to summit the second highest mountain in Southern India on only our second day – definitely a group highlight. Needless to say, this was not a task to be taken lightly. Indeed there were fears from some of having to be airlifted. However, Tango 6 stuck together and pulled through – summiting all at once. As we stood (well, in reality lying, dying from exhaustion) taking in our surroundings, which was one of the most breathtaking views any of us had ever seen, we realised what we had all achieved, which made the hard moments a thousand times worth it… that is until we started coming down again.
The summit of Misappulimala
Slight trekking repercussions
Summiting the mountain is far from all Tango 6 have been up to. Apart from the obvious abundance of walking, we also completed a survival day during which we built a shelter, killed two chickens for supper, and taught the local children how to use water pistols. Another day was spent building and sailing our own rafts, which started a heated race between “Team Evil” (led by Cate with Mandisa, Haydn, James, Joel, Helena, and Jules) and “HMS No Problem” (led by Reggie with Charlie, Tally, Reece, Alex, Christine, Ollie and Ragu). By the end of the 16 km journey, we had to deal with a burst tyre (leaving the person at the back fully submerged), a lion king sing off (to which Reggie and Charlie knew an alarming amount), and loads of sore arms. Unfortunately two slight hiccups have become apparent during the Phase: Firstly getting up in the morning (on a good day it takes two hours) and secondly the cooking (let’s just say that we now all know, what Tumeric tastes, looks, and even smells like). Most nights, attempts have been made to cook gourmet food out of Raleigh rations. Yet, sadly most have failed although sandwich spread with pasta has become surprisingly popular and Nutella has never been more appreciated. 
NOT a victim of survival day
HMS No Problem
Team Evil
Good food only on birthdays :o)
Washing has turned into a competition of “Survival of the Fittest” with everyone relishing a wash and a chance to smell “decent” (well, as fresh as you can on trek). A prime example was Cate who managed to bathe in about 3 cm of water = needs must.
St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in true Cate and Reggie style = madness. Accessorised until our group hats (tasteless to say the least) from a local vendour, we were all adorned with glitter paint, badges, and green garlands and accompanied by Paddy, our green inflatable dog. Being stared at suddenly took a on a whole new meaning, especially with our two PMs serenading us with classic Irish songs. 
Ireland 1 : 0 Bermuda
Beauty and hygiene may not be top on our list of priorities, but we are all having one of the most amazing experiences and an incredible time. This is Tango 6 saying hello to all the other groups, hoping they are all having fun. Tango OUT.

And now: Messages that actually do smell "decent":

From Alex

From Joel

From Mandisa

From Mandisa, ignoring the 1 message per person limit

From Mandisa, REALLY ignoring the 1 message per person limit

From author Tally


  1. To Kris Clayton, was Echo 2, not sure what group now.
    Alllright, i am nearly Welsh speaking now, i have worked at so many Welsh hospitals these past weeks. I can't believe you are on your last project now, the time has flown, i expect it has for you too. By the time we come back from Malta it will be less than 2 weeks and you'll be home. There is still likely to be ceilings to paint and a bit of clearing outside but we'll give you a couple of days off first!! Looks and sounds like you will need a bit of fattening up too so lots of Mums home cooking. I am actually having a day off today, Beth has allowed me, so i am going to walk Mollie and then try and paint all day, Beth is at Uni so i will have daytime TV to keep me company. Enjoy your trekking, i know how much you have been looking forward to it, drink plenty and take in plenty of calories and carbs for your energy levels. Love you and miss you loads. Mum.xxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. James Walker - Tango 6?

      Was so lovely seeing the photos of you on the trek today!! Still miss you like mad! Cant wait for you to come home but not looking forward to the washing LOL!!! Hope you have a wonderful last few weeks! Enjoy it and I shall see you hopefully at the airport somehow LOL!!! (Billie was pleased to see the photos as they arrived on her birthday today!!)

      Love you lots!! xxxxxx

  2. To Venetia - Tango 5
    Hi Venetia (again) - I mailed Venetia in Bangalore about sim card. She said try and get a friend to help you get one. So, a suggestion - ask one of the local venturers to help you get one when you next get a chance to be in Mysore, or anywhere else you may be? Hope that is helpful(ish!). Have fun & loads of love, Mumxx

  3. To Natalie Davis (PM)

    Yo...Good to speak to you last night. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks and hearing all about it (I'll make you a nice curry :) ) I hope your last project is as good as the first two (I'm sure it will be) and you enjoy that first drink.

    Much love
    Liz xx

    p.s. Lasagne was pretty good although was a little crusty on top!

  4. Marjolein Bender - Tango 6!

    Hey daar lieve Marjolein, wat heerlijk om je vanmiddag even gesproken te hebben en dat je al wat details kon vertellen over je nieuwe groep en jullie nieuwe project! Top zeg, om nu weet zo'n mooie reis te gaan maken. De foto's van de vorige groepen liegen er niet om! Ik schrijf nu nog even snel dit berichtje in de hoop dat dit je vóór jullie vertrek morgenvroeg nog bereikt (wetende hoe leuk je dat vindt!). Wat een organisatie moet dat zijn om iedereen op de juiste plek te krijgen en op het juiste moment van vertrek bij elkaar te hebben. Ik bedacht me, dat die twee brieven van Door en mij misschien in de verkeerde groep beland zijn, Delta 4 of Charlie 1. Volgende x anders nog maar even naar vragen. Ik heb Dorine inmiddels al alles verteld van ons telefoongesprek van vanmiddag en die 'hing echt aan mijn lippen' om alles te horen. Lieve schat, voor nu wens ik je weer heeeeeeeeel veel plezier, flink genieten van alles, besef goed hoe uniek het allemaal is en tot over een paar weekjes weer. Wij volgen de blog hier elke minuut :) Hou heel veel van je xxxxxxx mama

  5. Catherine Perry27 March 2012 at 23:43

    For Rhian Perry, was Tango 5, now Charlie 2 I think

    Hi Rhian! Sorry I missed your text, did text back but you may have had to give phone back. I am sorry about your phone, wonder what has gone wrong there then? Maybe some kind person will let you use your SIM in their phone again sometime? Anyway, I hope your community project is good. I will look forward to seeing what it is on the blog. You know you have always loved camping!! Just been speaking to Uncle Paul and he asked after you and sent his love. Apparently Gilly is not in a good mood because Leo will not go to bed! Bill next door has been asking about you too. As you know it is Wendy's birthday on Sunday so we do something nice. It is actually the Wirral Egg Run that day, Gillian did ask if we wanted to go to her house as they go along her road, but it would mean getting there very early as they shut the roads, and I do not think that Wendy is keen on that! Anyway, enjoy yourself, I hope your new group is as nice as the last, I am sure they will be. Miss you and lots of love, Mum xoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxo

  6. Alex - Tango 6
    Al, the letter is lovely to see. We haven't had any post from you. It's great to hear that you are having a fabulous time and my goodness, hasn't time flown. You'll be home soon. Enjoy the rest of the trip and I hope you had a wonderful birthday. Look forward to celebrating with you again when you get home.
    Love you loads, Mum xxxxxx

  7. Patrick - Charlie 2 (soon to be T something)

    Hi Patrick. Looks like you enjoyed the last project from the photos and now already you are onto the last stage. Not long till you're back!
    Seems like we've just had our summer here in Aberdeen over last few days - it's been great weather and I managed to bag a few more munroes last weekend. My training is still going OK apart from a knee twinge I have developed. I'll be glad when I reach the finish line though. Hope you enjoy your last few weeks.
    lots of love
    Dad XX

  8. Hi Richard. Just wondering if my bloging skills will work. If they do I will write bagain straight again. love you. MUM. XX

  9. Tina Jones/MUM !!28 March 2012 at 13:52

    hello Tango 6 - Richard Jones. testing again. let me know if you receive. IT ALL SOUNDS AMAZING. experience of a life time. Treasure every moment and view. well done to you all. Takes a lot of strength. thank goodness for the team. Love MUM. XXX

  10. Tina Jones/MUM !!28 March 2012 at 13:53

    Tango 6 Richard Jones - is that you sleeping under the tree?
    Do you eat nutella now?
    give us your shopping list before you return!!!!
    Take good care doc. XX

  11. Roos Groen Tango 5,

    Hey Gekkebek,
    Volgens mij heb je het echt heel erg naar je zin, en de foto's zien er ook allemaal fantastisch uit!
    Je komt echt al heel bijna naar huis, en kunnen we weer lekker chillen.
    Jammer dat we afgelopen weekend niet even konden chatten via facebook, maar vond je aanwezigheid op fb weer leuk om te lezen.
    Hier is verder niet zo heel veel boeiend gebeurd.
    ik heb laatst wel de deur voor maartens neus dicht gegooid toen die dronken aanbelde, was wel heel erg leuk om een keer gedaan te hebben, was verder ook geen ruzie ofzo en alles is weer goed.. (heel interessant he)
    verder is het hier best wel lekker weer geweest de afgelopen dagen, wat heel chill was, alleen vanaf morgen wordt het weer kouder en minder zon.
    Laatste tt niet gehaald erg balen.
    even denken wat kan ik nog meer vertellen..
    denk denk denk denk...
    iedereen moet steeds uitleggen waar 'relevante mensen' voorstaat. Heel vermoeiend. De gene waarom deze groep bestaat heeft een dikke kop gekregen, zie je wel op facebook (als je dat nog niet gezien had)..
    nou ik denk dat je zo wel een goede samenvatting hebt gekregen van het o zo saaie leven in Nederland. er is nog veel meer te vertellen maar daar kom ik nog even niet op. Hoop dat je het een zeer interessant en leerzaam bericht vindt. Geniet nog heel erg de laatste weken!!
    Hele dikke kus. Chaan

  12. papa, mama, hylke en stijn28 March 2012 at 21:21

    Eline de Vries Tango 6

    Lieve Lien
    Misschien bereikt dit berichtje je nog voor je vertrekt. Ik zal ook de komende periode nog wat sturen via de blog.
    Het was heel leuk om je eergisteren te spreken. Je klonk enthousiast ondanks de diarree. Ik hoop dat deze nu weer over is.Je vertelde dat je heel veel zin hebt in de trekking. Alweer het laatste project! De trekking die jullie gaan maken leverde bij de vorige groep heel mooie foto's op, dus geniet ervan. Deze ervaring is echt uniek! Hopelijk lukt het lopen met de geleende schoenen. Heel veel plezier in ieder geval. We missen je en houden heel veel van je.
    Liefs papa, mama, Hylke en Stijn

  13. papa, mama, hylke en stijn28 March 2012 at 21:26

    Eline de Vries Tango 6

    Lieve Lien
    Hartelijk bedankt voor je leuke kaart. Ik zag dat opa en oma er ook een hadden gekregen. Hij heeft er dus echt 3 weken over gedaan. Hopelijk komt onze post ook nog aan. Toch leuk dat sturen van kaartjes en brieven hé,

    Liefs en een dikke kus

    Mama, papa en je broertjes

  14. Dearest Helen, Tango 5

    So you are off on your trek! How exciting! I've googled the area you'll be walking through and it looks absolutely beautiful. Be careful though - don't get burnt and remember to monitor the asthma situation. I hope you had a super birthday -I'm sure you did. I am looking forward to going home for Easter but it will be very quiet without you around. Lots of love from london!

  15. Eline de Vries Tango 6

    Lieve Lien

    Je Cambridge Advanced English certificaat is net bezorgd. Mooi hoor! Na deze 10 weken Raleigh zal het allemaal alleen nog maar zijn verbeterd.
    Vanmiddag gaan we een Abraham maken voor Ronald. Hij is vandaag jarig. Het wordt natuurlijk een hele hippe!



  16. stien!!!!! ik mis je zooooo!! ik hoop dat je het zo leuk hebt!!!!!
    super leuke foto's, ik wil het ook doen!!! die uitzichten zijn echt niet normaal mooi!! jouw Cambridge Advanced English certificaat is ook net aangekomen! zo goed! jij bent nu aan het lesgeven en ik hoop dat je een leuke groep hebt, vast wel!! wij gaan over 4 weken naar turkije en papa gaat waarschijnlijk naar Argentienie maar daarna willen mama en papa jou heel graag gaan bezoeken!! ik trouwens ook hoor maar ik heb school.. ik moet dus nog ongeveer 2 maanden wachten... oja Kiek is nu naar Rome!
    stien heel veel liefs en kusjes en knuffels van je zusje Isa!


  18. To Hari in Tango 6

    Hey Hari,

    Hope you're enjoying the trek - the pics look pretty amazing. I can't believe you've almost finished your 3 months - I'm still hoping to get for June which isn't too far off now.

    Missing you loads and looking forward to speaking to you soon.



  19. To Annie Woodcock - hey babe - hope to hear from you when you're back at base tomorrow - hope you've survived trecking - looks amazing but pretty hardcore and can't see you in pics so think you may have been doubled over with d and v ... yikes, poor you. All well here, Vix and Gibbo just left, Flans here yesterday, Ro has been hanging out with quite a few Hbury peeps. Everyone sends lots of love, we miss you!! mttww etc, Mumbo X