After an interesting trip down the Amazon river, hammocks squeezed next to each other and banging into each other as well as an early rise to the chug of the boat, we caught up with a few familiar faces and new faces to boot. At around 8am we stopped the boat near a beach and all jumped off to cool off, although the Amazon river is on the warm side.
We were then notified that the base camp this year change due to the old base camp village being torched. It was because of the envy of a neighboring village. The new venue, half way down the ‘old’ course, was a very sweet local village which involved getting into smaller boats and back and forth until all were on land. The process taking over 4 hours! Runners first of course, so the medics and helpers, young Katie Sheldrick included, had to remain on board.
Runners on land rushed to the camp to set up hammocks. Tom Bird esquire managed to set up right under a delicious mango tree. A few ripe mangos hitting the floor with an almighty thud. We were greeted in village by the local school children with traditional song and dance, a sight to be believed and hopefully the KODAK footage does it justice (thanks KODAK).
Hammocks up and the final crew on land, it was time for some local fish and rice in a watery soup which was delicious then more local dancing and in beds by 9pm. Unfortunately due to Katie s and my hammock location being like a battleship game with mangos falling to the ground throughout the night’, one hit Ms Sheldrick on the head during the night…much to the amusement of the Sky IQ team, Darren and Aaron, who were with me in the 2009 race.
After a restless night for all and early start with a swim with the dolphins at 7am, just the most random sight to be seen. More kit checking (including some of the generous Blacks kit) , medical briefing and chats about kit, race tactics and food plans – make s the whole event feel more real again. Gil, a local guide who has been involved in the race for years, made an inspiring speech about all the animals we will encounter this time. He also tells us of a recent jaguar killing. He assures us that it is a bit random and that we should be ok, he hopes!
Katie is still awaiting instructions but we think she maybe updating the official www.junglemarathon.com website – check it soon !
My pack is 13.4 kg (measured by Jim Binks who’s pack is coming in at 8.2), and everything is good to go. Stage 1 tomorrow and everyone is getting excited…kind of….
It’s 3:30 and the medics for check point one are off and checks 2-4 are soon to follow. It looks like the race is ready and set.