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

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

Saturday 8 December 2012

Tango Five - The Final Countdown

As we near the end of Phase 3, here's a third guest blog from Tango Five. This time it was kindly provided by Kana.

6 December 2012

It’s over two weeks since we’ve been on trek, and Tango Five are still staying alive. The past few days have gone so quickly it’s hard to believe that in a few days we will be home.

Right, here’s a recap on what we’ve been doing since our last update. Day 11 was our rest day, and we were very lucky to have a beautiful campsite this time, unlike the last rest day. That was also the day when we all properly washed our clothes after five days. In the afternoon we heard big branches breaking in the woods behind us. The guides told us that it might be elephants, so we had to keep quiet. We all stood still and listened very carefully. Unfortunately it was only a lady looking for firewood! The usual food sorting that night was done in the dark, again, since the food drop arrived pretty late.

Sorting food and supplies in the dark - Kana in the foreground
The next morning we set off at 09.00 for another, 13.7 km, walk. It took us about six hours to get to the new campsite, which was a cricket field by a freezing cold river. Some of us spent the afternoon having a second lunch at a parotta shop five minutes away from the campsite, while the boys played football with thirty local villagers.

On Day 13 we were back on our bikes. Everybody liked the long ascents and descents apart from George, who constantly worried about the possibility of having to do a CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) or INCREP (incident report) every time we raced downhill on the busy tarmac road. We stopped by a restaurant for lunch, and had amazing parotta and curries, which made getting back on the road very difficult. After cycling for 37 kms we reached our next campsite. It was a coffee plantation, surrounded by electric fences to prevent the animals from coming in.

The rain the next morning meant that Day 14 started later, because Joris insisted that we had to wait for the wet rubbish bag to be completely burnt. We had to walk, if not drag ourselves, for 13.7 kms that day. We crossed three bridges, passed a school that seemed to have a hundred kids out of lessons, and strolled around paddy fields. Our hard work that day was rewarded with a rather luxurious campsite. We stayed at a dormitory owned by the Kerala Forestry Department - and, yes, we had beds, showers and western toilets! Carlene was very excited about the showers, as this meant that she could have a naked shower. Simon joined us in the evening, and to celebrate his recent birthday we played koekhappen, a really fun Dutch game.

The fifth of December was Sinterklaas day in Holland, and so the Dutchies initiated the tradition on trek. In the morning our shoes were filled with sweets and chocolate and carrots, and during the night we read the poems we’d written for each other. It was a very lovely evening, and reminded us how close we actually are to Christmas. Having explored the area, seen tiger footprints and climbed up a massive rock that day, which was 1,700 metres above sea level, we all had a very good night’s sleep. Oh, we also saw a small group of elephants. It felt really surreal. Although we couldn’t get near them like in a zoo, we could hear them very clearly and we could see them very, very clearly. 

Today was our last cycling day, on which we cycled for 45.3 kms along the edge of a tiger reserve. We saw some monkeys and deer, and passed an ancient Christian church. When we stopped for lunch we’d left Kerala and entered Karnataka. Just when we thought we could make use of our limited Kannada knowledge again, we crossed a river that actually took us back to Kerala. 

We honestly do not want the next two days to be over so quickly. On the other hand we’re all very excited to see everyone back home. I guess this will be the last time you hear from us virtually. I wish everyone a very happy December.

Phase 3 ends tomorrow (Sunday), when all teams will be back at Fieldbase for final wash-up.

More anon ...


  1. To Carline Mohr: Tango 5
    Lieve lieve Car! Dit is het laatste bericht van mij via het weblog. Wat hebben jullie een geweldige reis gehad! Leuk dat jullie sinterklaas in de groep hebben gevierd! Het is in Bilthoven echt prachtig! Het heeft dik gesneeuwd en alles ligt nog op de takken, inmiddels vriest het en de zon heeft de hele dag geschenen. Zo mooi! Echt genieten. Donderdag met Mar naar een prachtig concert in Amsterdam geweest. Vanavond gaan we met een heleboel vrienden kaasfonduen in de buitenhut van Marja en Darre. We doen allemaal skikleren aan... Dat kan jij je denk ik bijna niet voorstellen. Lieverd tot morgen, ik verheug me op je stem!! HVJ XXX mam

  2. Hi crystal frm tango5 am really proud of everything u have done chris is doing amazen scott is his old self again brandon has a girlfriend her name is mya . Av mist u so much am glad ur home soon hunny. Ill see u wednesday all our love mum /family xxxxxxxxxx

  3. Crystal( tango5 ) we miss u wish wednesday would hurry up and get here xxxx mum/and ur brothers xx

  4. To Kanahaya Alam/ 12J / Tango-Five

    Hi Kana,

    Excellent trek and experience...!! Well done.... !
    Hope you'll have a nice farewell party at the field base.
    Please send our warmest regards for the Raleigh India staffs and supporting team.

    Looking forward to see you on Wednesday... ! Yiaaaayy.... !

    Safe travel home.... !

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Mum, Kakak and Andrew xxx