Tuesday 2nd 3.15pm
We're back at San Pedro Sula the return leg having now begun. The students were excellent this last night and this morning getting everything ready for the off. Hopefully this will prepare them for the 3.30am start tomorrow morning! Next time I communicate with everyone reading this it will be in person.
Personally I prefered the diving. The Dive centre was brilliantly run, in every way as good as any professional Dive centre I've been to. Despite all the students loving the water this time I think Amy Slaters wide eyed wonder at anything sub-aqua made her the most enthusiastic Diver. It was close for the most enthusiastic Snorkler between Tom and Jack S, and as I watched them leap into the swell off the last boat with huge grins I've decided I can't choose between them. We played lots of Volley Ball while not Diving and this last week has been so busy that we have all lost weight (Girls generally pleased, boys generally less so) and will be looking forward to a smaller proportion of rice and beans in future meals.
We unfortunately haven't really had chance to thank Mr Arnold while we've been here. Despite getting no reward from actually getting to come he organised the entire trip. As I sit here now we all feel it has been a massive success. I hope he is reading and we are all very greatful!!!!!!!
See everyone back in blighty
OpWal Trippers 2011
Sunday 31st 8.05am
Unfortunately I'm sulking today. It's raining this morning and the stomach upset that hit some of the students earlier in the week has claimed one last victim....me. As I've decided to leave the diving for the morning it does give me time to track down a laptop and write to you all though. The students are all out diving as I sit here and in my land-based state I hope to wander round and take photos of them all in their dive kit upon their return. Some of them saw Eagle Rays yesterday which was great and has been a real highlight. Joe jumped in without air in his jacket, air in his mouth to breathe or fins to stay afloat without the air in his jacket on the afternoon dive. Feel free to take the mick upon his return. Ellie and James have decided they love the diving so much they are doing extra dives to become advanced divers. All the students are going out every day at the minute to snorkel or Dive, no-one has decided the water isn't for them. Last night all 37 of us went into the town for a a meal at a resteraunt. We had meat and everything! We have a quiz this evening before one final dive tomorrow morning. We that start packing ready to begin the Journey home. It's gone very, very fast which is always a good sign.
Next time I write is likely to be from San Pedro Sula before we leave on the first plane.
Mr A Petty
Thursday 28th 1.55pm
We're on Utilla and some of the students with fancy phones are able to use the wi-fi in the resort so you may have heard from them? We're finally behind the stomach upsets, which turned out to be a little more prolonged than I suggested/hoped earlier. Nothing too serious and all the open water divers started their diving this morning, with just a couple of the referal divers waiting till tomorrow morning to make sure they are re-hydrated. Diving is pretty good here, saw a chain moray eel swimming along next to me on my first dive and had onloy ever seen their heads poking out of crevices before. The students claim to have seen a barracuda, but I recon it was the same trumpet fish I saw sauntering over the surface as I was returning to the surface. It is very, very hot here. Expect all the students to return looking disgustingly well tanned. Some students have already decided to sign up to extra dive qualifications they loved their first dive so much. None of the students seem to have any trouble diving so far with things like equalising their ears. Food here is good and accomodation very well tended by the owner called Miss Tonia. She mothers all the children like crazy at times delivering soup to their rooms. As you can imagine they've taken to this well though I'm sure better not get too used to it.
Been great here, very well organised. Hope to go to an iguana sanctuary and organise a trip into town for them to buy gifts for all the people who didn't get to come...maybe.
Hope the weather is good back home, there's no way it's as good as here.
Tuesday 26th 4pm
We have been reunited back at the ecolodge. Unfortunately a couple of students are feeling a little under the weather, with a stomach bug. Fortunately the symptoms don't seem to last long and students that felt a bit ropey last night are feeling much better this afternoon. It's nice to get the chance to clean our clothes and have a shower. This morning the students caught some humming birds and a red pigeon in the mist nets. We're taking it easy today really, ready for the journey to Utilla tomorrow morning. We had a talk from the scientists on endiginous iguanas found only on the island we're going to. Unfortunately apparently they taste pretty good which is never a great adaptation. Last night the students at sat camp dressed up as animals foraging their costumes from the jungle which was brilliant, Michael and Duncans mutated stick insects are worth a look on the photos. Holly, Jack, Mike, Rowan, Rob, Dave and Amy made a 7 man shelter out of vines, sticks and leaves that could withstand 10litres of thrown water. The students also made a pan to cook eggs out of leaves in the forest. Unfortunately most of the eggs exploded. Next time I update this we should have started diving on Utilla.
Saturday 23rd 12pm
Sorry for the delay in writing.Internet is unsuprisingly hard to come by and lets face it, if I was on this all the time you would think we weren't enjoying ourselves. The group split into two once we had travelled up the mountain. Half stayed with me at the ecolodge (complete with running hot water, and at least some electricity), the other half went to a satelite camp out in the jungle. The sat camp doesn't really have anything except hammocks and mud although the kids have come back today raving about how much they have enjoyed it. We have caught blue crested mot mots among other birds in the mist nets (apparently they are very rare in Cusuco), and spiny forest mice in the small mammal traps. Last night we caught some pregnant bats and the kids could feel the twin foetus' which isn't something you get to do every day. There is a lot of mud and Duncan, Jack Durrant and Sam Brown seem to have spent most of the journeys sliding down one gentle incline or another on their bottoms. We swap over today with my half disappearing off into the jungle in search of Sat Camp and the other half getting the opportunity to feel a little cleaner here in the ecolodge. The kids have been brilliant! Going to bed by 9 of their own accord and getting up at 5 to watch the humming birds feeding from the balcony. The students who opted for Canopy access are doing it today with the teams that take Attenbrough n co up into the tree trops. I'm not sure if this will be the last time I get chance to write before we come back together back at the ecolodge on tuesday ready to travel to Utilla. I'll update again when I can.
Tuesday 19th July 10.57pm Honduran time
The group, and every bag are in Honduras! We've been up for 29 hours and it's taken it's toll on some of the students who looked a little jaded by the time we collected the room keys. Miami airport was a little tricky to navigate as it's having building work done, otherwise evrerything has gone smoothly. We're in San Pedro Sula at a nice hotel with a pool <unfortunately now closed to the students, who would proabably not have the energy to swim anyway>. We get on the buses for the cloud forest at 8am tomorrow so going to collapse now will update again from the mountains.
P.S The Keyboards in Honduras are hopeless with all the keys indicating the wrong punctuation and occasionally letters. Apologies if future updates are not grammatically correct.