Reflections on trek

11th December 2017

Our Phase 2 group reflect on what trek was like for them. They spent 16 days trekking 80km through the Crocker Range.

How would you describe your time on trek?
Rory

Alpha 4 trek group
Alpha 4 trek group

My time on Trek is impossible to put into words. Being thrust into the frantic and frenzied world of the jungle is such a unique experience; from the physical strain of trekking with heavy backpacks, to coping with the numerous ant invasions in my boots overnight; Trek was very difficult. Although arduous trek was extremely rewarding due to the amazing views and many jokes made with the team to keep up morale. Overall, trek was an amazing experience and I was able to grow as a person as well as a member of a larger team. It was a great opportunity and I would 100% do trek again… albeit not for a while!

What was a particularly memorable moment?
Hein

The trek guides showing off their culinary skills
The trek guides showing off their culinary skills

We had trekked for around 5 hours and when we reached our first rest day camp, Boot Sauna, it was raining heavily. I remember everyone hauling up their tarps and hammocks with water dripping down our faces and mud squelching beneath our feet. It was rather miserable, especially the thought of having to cook dinner. However, Ken (our guide) quickly came over to the communal tarp to tell us that they were providing dinner that evening. In only a few hours the guides had whittled bamboo spoons and lined bamboo halves with sticky rice, spicy pumpkin curry, chicken curry, fresh vegetables and large pineapple slices. It was absolutely delicious and eating traditional food alongside the guides enabled us to really get to know them. I found that this surprise created a dinner, which in that moment beat any fancy dish at the Ritz!

What was your most challenging moment?
Ethan

A jungle shelter
A jungle shelter

One of the most challenging yet valuable lessons I learnt on trek was not to oppose nature but adapt with it. This included using multiple elements we faced in the jungle to our own advantage in order to survive. Our guides taught us how to use bamboo to create shelters and utilise it as a water source. Trek pushes you to be resourceful, whilst caring for the jungle around you.

How do you feel now after completing trek?
Emily

Good! It’s such an accomplishment to know that you managed to push through and take that extra step in order to reach the peak of the mountain and experience its breathtaking views. Trek really made me appreciate the small things. I loved seeing everyone’s excitement when we got to wash after 6 days and when we realised our next camp did not require us to set up the huge communal tarp. Even finding that extra pack of peanut brittle at the bottom of someone’s backpack, or just being allowed to sleep in 2 hours longer than usual initiated so much happiness. More than that, I have appreciated the things that I take for granted at home – a sit down toilet in particular! Overall, I found that trek gave me so much time to think and reflect on everything past, present and future. I also had the chance to push myself to new limits, overcome challenges and get to know a completely new and totally incredible group of people! Honestly, it’s been a blast and I would totally do it again!

Sunrise over Mount Kinabalu
Sunrise over Mount Kinabalu

Photos by Nick

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