Saturday, December 13, 2008

Have a nice Trip

Day 277 Add ImageEveryone was up pretty early and I was hopeful that we would get an early move on it. I had no idea how I was actually going to get out of the jungle, I just felt like the sooner I started on it the sooner the whole ordeal would be over with.

I was able to slowly go to the bathroom on my own and make it around the campsite a bit. I had to be very careful though about where I stepped. If I put weight on my foot the wrong way it was very painful and I typically would fall over. Breakfast was quite good though.

There were some rather cheeky monkeys hanging around the campsite. They wanted bananas and kept trying to steal our food. Some of the others took turns feeding them, but I couldn't because there is no way that I could get on on the rock to do so. I told the group to just leave me and that the monkeys would adopt me and next time they came there I would be the one hanging from trees getting bananas from tourists.

Ali decided that the quickest and flattest way for me was to walk about half of the way along the river bed and the rest of the way through a rubber plantation. At first I thought that I was going to be on my on but Kieron hung back a bit to give me a hand. Eventually both of the porters ended up helping me out. They ended up holding each of my arms in case I fell. I also had a walking stick. The first part wasn't yet in the river and it was all uphill and awful.

When we got to the river it was much flatter, but also much more difficult to see what type of step I was taking. Whenever I stepped awkwardly my food would refuse to hold my weight and if it wasn't for the porters catching me I would have floated away. Walking over the rapids was the worst, except for when it began to rain. That part was the worst. I was in quite a bit of pain, my foot was throbbing badly at this point. I really wanted to just give up. I also hadn't seen the rest of the group for some time. Suddenly Ali showed up with my rain jacket and told me that it was only about another ten minutes until I would be out of the river and walking in the rubber plantation. He said that it would get easier from there.

The first ten minutes or so out of the river were pretty painful and hairy. At one point we had to go down a really steep hill and into a small stream. Ali and the two porters basically carried me down it.

We stopped for lunch at a small hut. It was good to finally get to sit for a bit and take a break. I could tell how swollen my foot was just from how much the tongue of my shoe protruded.
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The last 40 minutes or so weren't that bad. Most of it was flat, but quite a bit of it was rather slick. If I was careful I could walk on my own. I much preferred this and I am sure that the porters did as well. I'm sure that all this help wasn't easy on them. They had all of the camp supplies to carry as well. Now that I wasn't in so much pain I felt bad for being such an annoyance to everyone else. I really appreciate what everyone did for me. Whenever there was a slightly slippery or difficult spot both porters would grab my arms and help me through it. Sometimes they argued a bit over which way was the best to take me. Or I think that's what they were saying, they didn't really speak English. The final bit of the trip was over some nicly paved paths. I can't believe that the porters walked the whole way barefoot!

After about 3 hours I was finally out of the jungle. I would have jumped for joy if I could have. I said goodbye to the porters, but I don't think I thanked them properly. I was just so happy to be done with the whole ordeal. The rest of the group was waiting for me at the bar. I grabbed a beer with them, but all I could think of was taking a shower.

I took a room close to the restaurant with a western toilet. It was a bit more expensive, but I felt that I deserved it. Plus, I knew that I would be stuck there for a few days and I didn't want to have to walk that far. It took me forever to get all of the dirt off of me. This might have been the best shower of my life, despite the lack of hot water!

When I was finished I headed out to the restaurant. Ali was there and let me use his cell phone to call my parents. I had been off the grid for several days already and I knew that there would be another few no internet days and I didn't want them to worry. I just didn't realize that it was 6 am at home. Sorry Mom.

When I was done with the call I thanked Ali for everything and asked him to pass along my thanks to the two porters who all but carried me out of the jungle. I also gave him a nice tip and asked him to share with his friends.

Shortly afterwards the rest of the showed up for dinner. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating getting out of the jungle. Well, that's what I was celebrating, I think everyone else had a really good time.

One of the people on the trek asked me if I was proud of accomplishing something that I wouldn't normally do. I told him that I wasn't proud of myself at all, that I just felt stupid about the whole thing. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't enjoy it and I knew that my foot was already injured to some extent. Choosing to go into the jungle knowing20these things was just plan stupid, yet I did it anyway. Even a few days later I don't feel any pride, just gratefulness that its all over.

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