Fight to the Finish
The walk started off at a good pace, everyone was raring to go. Music was playing, getting us all pumped. We were going to win! However, after the first few miles people started to slow. The group began to split up with one group up front, some taking centre position and the others bringing up the rear. Although there was a lot of stopping and waiting for the team to regroup, we were still in high spirits. The high spirits rose even higher when five members at the back of the group spotted a jaguar on the trail in front of them. The moment was brief, but unforgettable. From that point on it was clear at least for those five that it didn’t matter if we won or lost, the real win of the day was the rare spotting of a magnificent jaguar. The walking team kept plodding along, battling the heat, mosquitos and the biggest blisters ever seen. Sweet relief was felt by all when we finally arrived in Tortuguero, took off our sweat-filled boots and helped ourselves to a cold beverage. We all felt a great sense of accomplishment with what we achieved for such a great cause.
The five chosen to canoe were definitely the most elite and coolest in the Jalova camp. The evening before the race we had a rehearsal, which was basically practicing the dance we would display when we arrived to the docks of Tortuguero after we won. When 5am came around the next morning the elite five applied their war paint and set off. The moment our paddles touched the water, we knew we were going to win, however we didn’t know how long it would take us. So feeling pressured by time, we didn’t stop paddling in the canoe once! If someone needed a break we would rotate or switch sides. We listened to upbeat soundtracks, and snacked on energy tablets. When we saw Tortuguero on the horizon, we decided to stroke with all our might. We counted out loud each stroke, louder and louder we yelled. All residents and tourists were staring as this canoe of five, painted, sweaty warriors launched onto the docks. We didn’t see a walker in sight. With paddles in the air, and smiles miles wide we parked ourselves in the café by the docks and sipped on cold drinks.
Both teams accomplished a lot that Monday. Through determination and strong will we were able to complete the challenge and help a friend in need. All in all we were all in high spirits that we were able to give back to such a wonderful man.