So I'm back from four days of trekking with not quite the outcome that I expected.
They were four hard days - every one of them (see http://raleighcostarica.blogspot.com/2010/10/phase-1-begins-on-road-with-alpha-2-and.html). The first day was dissapointing for being unable to cross the river so early on, the second for the difficulties in finding a new route and the amount of boring road walking we did, the third for the foot pain and the fourth for the massive amounts of hills we climbed and the huge double back we had to make.
But the hardest thing for me was the guilt I felt for leaving with the food drop. We'd been through so much and there was still a couple of really hard hours to go (huge hill and added weight of the new food) and it really felt like I was taking the easy way out and abandoning them.
I can't believe how much I enjoyed it - I really can understand why people do it and I can only imagine the feeling of satisfaction and achievement they will feel walking down onto the beach on the Pacific coast after 19 days. They are a great bunch - though my usual cynical eyes didn't think so immediately. After just a couple of days they had all showed their metal and I couldn't believe what they were putting up with without so much as a murmour.
When I showered that night it felt like I was washing it all away (holy hell did I stink), but also more than that, everything felt different and lighter. Walking and talking and thinking gives you a lot of time to think and I have a few more ideas about my life that I want to explore when I get home. When I finish Raleigh I want it to be the start of the best part of my life, not the end.
The next morning was really beautiful and it dawned on me that I'm only 1 month in and already have had the most amazing time of my life. I
Can't wait for whatever comes next!