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

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

Friday 19 October 2012

On Trek With Tango Six

This first blog from Tango Six on expedition comes thanks to Adele Halsall, a 12J Venturer with the team, and David the photographer. Dave has just returned from a visit to Tango Six with the ‘Loop’ (the periodic visit to the projects by Fieldbase staff bearing gifts and the ‘Raleigh shop’). He brought back a copy of Adele’s journal and took the photos. Thanks, both.
Adele - writing what you're about to read
Extract from Adele's Journal

On Thursday 11th October Tango Six set off (almost) bright and early for the trek starting point in Tamil Nadu.  Breaking our journey with stops for a dosa breakfast and a chapati/parotta lunch, we arrived at the lodge around 4 pm. We all went out to dinner, enlisting Raja’s and Sridhar’s help in ordering something good to eat! 

After a 4-hour drive on Friday morning, during which we presented Dave the photographer with a belated 30th birthday present including butterscotch chocolates, we began a short trek to our campsite, in Kerala.
Dave - birthday boy festooned with gifts
At this point we were confronted by our first natural challenge – leeches! These ugly worm-like things are cheekily persistent at trying to get into your boots. Happily nothing a bit of Alex’s medical gauze wouldn’t be able to sort out. (Although possibly uncomfortable they are harmless – ED.)

On arriving at the campsite we freshened up and, after a dinner of boil-in-the-bag rice (a classic trek dish), had our evening review around the campfire in the middle of a monsoon storm - entertaining to say the least.

Saturday brought Tango Six a fearsome challenge - we were to climb Misappulimala, the second highest mountain in southern India! Each of us had to carry team kit, our own equipment and food. It was a tough challenge, involving steep inclines, unstable rocks, the merciless sun, and more leeches. We eventually made it to the summit, tired yet satisfied. We enjoyed a lunch of Parle Gs (sweet biscuits) and Nutella, before feeling energized enough to make our way back down. 

Parle G - the world's largest selling biscuit (mainly thanks to Raleigh expeditions?)

Highlights of the day included passing through the beautiful tea plantations, being joined by a green vine snake when we stopped for a rest, and the stunning view from the mountain’s summit, which was shrouded in a misty and peaceful silence.

Stunning scenery - and a snake
At the end of the day, Dave treated us all to fresh pasta and rosemary as we settled into our second campsite for the night. Everyone went to bed feeling full … and fully worn out.

Sunday brought a survival challenge. After leaving at 8 a.m. we were led by our guide Ragu to the home of Jess, Jess’s husband, their two dogs and four cows. Our task was to build a shelter and search for fresh ingredients from which to make a nutritious meal. We worked together to build a shelter out of bamboo, coconut leaves and rope. Jess helped us make a tasty chicken and vegetable curry, and mashed potato too.

Happy campers - but would you stay in this in the rain?
In the face of another monsoon storm, we were relieved to find that we didn’t have to sleep in our far-from-waterproof makeshift shelter but could spend the night on Jess’s living room floor, hooray! Together, the thirteen of us (yes, thirteen) huddled down amongst our sleeping bags and the soft glow of the oil lamps. It was a squash (a big squash) but we all knew one another a little better after that night…!

On Monday, Simon and Anna from Fieldbase joined us. At a nearby lake we were split into two groups and competed to build the best raft from bamboo, tyre floats and rope. This quickly turned into a competition to see who could row out to the embankment first …and then who could splash whom the most!

After a short late afternoon trek, Tango Six reached its next campsite location. Here Simon and Anna opened the Raleigh shop in their Bravo jeep, and presented us with fresh fruit, blog updates and messages, and a new jar of Nutella! After a dinner of rice, tuna and green chili sauce, all turned in for an early night.

David returns to Fieldbase on Tuesday with Simon and Anna. Everyone has loved having him around and hopes he will have some awesome pictures to show off.

The trek continues. Here’s to Tango Six! And here’s hoping there’s plenty of Parle Gs left …

Expect more photos of Tango Six and their adventures in the next couple of days...


  1. To Beccy Berry 12J T6
    At last some news from Tango 6! You all look to be having a brilliant time and the photos of the views are sensational. Just a little concerned by the mention of a leopard by someone who had been in phone contact? Not much to report at this end. P's bike still not arrived though expecting it today. J off on his travels on Monday. I sent him a parcel of various items all pyramid shaped (eg PG Tips tea bags) or almost pyramid shaped (eg Toblerone) and hope he can work out the theme! We gave him a Berghaus backpack as his main birthday present. Saw Ana's sister recently and could not believe how grown up she looks (and how like Ana!). She says Ana is having a great time at Liverpool and she came home last weekend. Hope you are taking good care of the Parle G supplies and the leeches are not too much of a problem? We have seen a short video clip from Charlie 1. When can we expect to see a T6 video?
    Lots of love from M&D

  2. Lindy Richardson19 October 2012 at 16:54

    To Adele Halsall 12J Tango 6
    cc Anna Richardson 12J
    Dear Adele,
    Thanks for such a great descriptive blog, we really enjoyed reading it. All the best to Tango 6 and your project!
    From Anna's Mum, Lindy Richardson.

  3. Adele Halsall/ Tango 6

    Good work sis, I was hoping you would be doing some reporting :-)

    Oh and Leeches?!?! You're a much more brave person than I will ever be. Look forward to the next news!

    Big Love XxX

  4. To Beccy Berry, 12J, T6

    Hi Sis, photos look amazing!! Have you got my birthday present yet? Also, I found some more of your nail clippings, do you want these ones sent on too?

    Love Peter

  5. To Adele Halsall / Tango 6

    Great to read your blog and you seem to be having a great time.
    It was good to see the photos too as it seems ages since we've seen you. A letter is on its way but we don't know when you will receive it. Stay safe and keep the hat on. All our love mum and dad.

  6. To George Pavey Charlie 1 12J
    Hi George - hope plumbing going well and not too many leaks - don't fall in! Love the video and your fascial growth - bet it itches. In solidarity with you and your crew we're off for a curry tonight in deepest Brighton (bring your own beer would you believe). Mum off on residential next week - she's looking forward to jumping out of a few more towers.
    Stay safe. Lots of love Dad and Mum xx

  7. Seth Somers Tango 6, 12J
    Good to have some news of you at last. Don't like the sound of the leeches Yuk! I imaging you enjoyed the raft building bit though. It is now 10 days since we last spoke and that feels very old. I like sending you these little messages though. I hope you have received a few now and will soon get the letter I sent. Must get another off to you ASAP.
    Your uncle, aunt and cousin have been asking after you. I sent them a copy of yesterday's blog..Sarah tweeted about it say how proud she was of you and Simon asked if ou had been tangoed..

  8. Seth Tango 6 12j
    Alex is going to try to send you a message. She is coming to Suffolk before Christmas so hopefully we can hook up with her then and here of all our adventures. X Love from Mum..
    You are the best son and I miss you lots x