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Celebrating New Year's Day in the Jungle 2005


It was sunny all day until about a half hour b4 the run. Then rain. I went in anyway, as you barely feel the rain in a rainforest due to the dense foliage.. however this turned into a mini-monsoon..... we felt it!!

For about 40% of the time we were ankle high in muddy water on what was once a path.

We spent another 20% of the time in streams ranging from waist-shoulder deep...which were probably empty when the course was originally set.. I had moved the copy of my passport from my pants pocket to my shirt pocket...but after wading through an area up to my shoulders, I was glad I had covered it in plastic wrapping tape! I’ve been wanting to take my camera with me on these runs to share the scenes with you... but its situations like this that make me keep it in the car..

I don’t know why I bother to dry out my shoes between each run!!!

Approx. 30% of the run involved crossing over swift currents on log bridges..

which fortunately for me, all had some sort of “thing” to use for a hand rail ....none of which would have helped me if I slipped.. as a matter of fact I was warned not to rely on them.. but it was helpful psychologically. These literally were “log” bridges - as in 1 log – and so flimsy that we went across one by one.

Finally the rain stopped and the remaining 10% of this trek was on higher ground .. wet, but not flooded, and requiring more “typical” trekking skills.. going up & down hills using tree roots as footholds. If the hill was very steep and muddy, I would just sit on my butt and slide down!! Cause sooner or later I would have fallen anyway... and this way it was fun!!

The end of the run was followed as usual by the ritual of washing up by splashing or pouring water over yourself, and changing clothes behind your car, but we were in the middle of a village...and my resourceful friend had gotten permission from one of the villagers to allow us to use their tanda (wash room). She led me into the home and we used a real shower (cold water in a bucket with a scoop to splash yourself!)

The day ended as usual...with all of us going out to eat & party at an open air restaurant..(called coffee shops). The entertainment for the evening was yours truly... they decided to ‘re-marry’ me to my “hash husband” from last year. (Last year they had said that if the marriage is not consummated by the next full moon, we will have an annulment...) so although we were ”annulled”.. he was continuing to help me navigate in the jungle.. thereby necessitating the re-marriage!!

(He’s the one who helped me through my first few runs last year, teaching me survival trekking skills on navigating through the jungle ...using branches or vines to rappel down the hills ... or tree roots to slow down or stop your fall in the absence of either.. and to look out for vines with sharp thorns and leaves with sharp edges before grabbing anything!)

Because I was so slow...we usually completed the run about an hour after the last of the group came out of the jungle.. and so were constantly teased about taking so long and being alone in the jungle!!

(note: The jungle shots included of me here are more recent, when I was agile enough to bring my camera!!)

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