World Challenge 2019

World Challenge Belize 2019

 

On Tuesday the 2nd of July 2019 Fraserburgh Academy’s World Challenge Team left for Belize. The team had spent the previous day preparing their kit, planning the logistics for when they arrived into the country and selecting roles for each team member. The team travelled from Aberdeen airport, to Amsterdam then Atlanta where they had an overnight stay before arriving into Belize City on the Wednesday morning.

 

 

Upon arrival into Belize the team met their in-country agent who provided local information. They then went to stock up on supplies before heading to the first camp site at Cockscomb Basin.

The team were based at Cockscomb Basin for four days. Camp was in a jungle clearing within the world’s first jaguar reserve.

 

 

During the day the team completed many of the local treks returning to the campsite for meals. The purpose of these treks were to help the challengers acclimatise to the very hot and humid conditions. The team discovered a local river and waterfall to swim in, these provided a much required wash and chance to cool down. The team bravely completed a night trek through the jungle led by a local ranger.

 

 

On Sunday the 7th of July the team travelled to the Yaxche Jungle Camp. Getting there was difficult because there was no phone signal to book transport so the team had to send a letter to the nearest village. Whilst at Yaxhe the team got to go cave tubing and swim in Belize’s in-land blue hole.

 

 

On Tuesday the 9th of July the challengers left Yaxche and travelled to San Ignacio, a town on the western side of Belize. Here they explored the local markets and spent a day exploring the Mayan Temples.

 

 

From the 11th to 16th of July was the team’s project phase. They were based at St.Matthews Government School helping build a septic tank, the tasks included digging a hole for the tank, cement mixing, bricklaying and plastering. The team took turns to work on the project, whilst others engaged with the community in a range of activities, including football and hammock making.

 

 

Having finished the project phase the team commenced their final, most difficult trek. On the 17th of July the team met their local guides, stocked up on supplies and repacked their rucksacks. Starting at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary the team walked through thick jungle in single file led by the guides. The first night was spent camping inside a cave, once camp was set up half the team went cave exploring whilst others enjoyed the campfire.

 

 

The second day trekking was extremely difficult, having to climb over fallen trees and avoid the insects and branches that covered the trail, camping that night was in heavy rain. In the morning of
the third day the team were visited by monkeys in the branches above camp. Day four was slow moving as the terrain become even more tricky to navigate, but the team did an amazing job to keep moving forward and keep energy levels high despite their tiredness.

The weather took a turn for the worse with heavy rain meaning the decision was taken to alter the plan and to get the team out of the jungle as conditions were progressively getting worse. The new route required swimming across a river, that had an extremely strong current. The local guides helped make a pulley system for the rucksacks and each team member crossed individually as everyone else watched on nervously. Having made it across the river the team had to trek across farmland for a few hours to reach a road, where a bus was able to pick them up.

 

 

Having survived the trek, the team returned to Yachxe Jungle camp for a final night before getting a ferry out to Caye Caulker, an island off the coast of Belize. Here the team got to enjoy exploring the island and spent a day snorkelling in an area called Shark & Ray Alley.

 

 

Their last day in Belize was on the 24th of July. In the morning the team had to catch the ferry back to the mainland and then travel on to the Airport.

The team did a brilliant job, in very challenging jungle conditions. Well done everyone!