As I recall, the weather was freezing cold we had no choice but to hunt for firewood to warm ourselves up with. With the help of the brief gusts of wind, (stop it) the fire took hold whilst we were all playing a game of Crocker. Crocker is an African version of cricket, so I’ve been told. For all of you reading this saying “Oh cricket’s boring”, you’ve obviously never seen a T20 match. Having not played cricket since I was about 14 years old, it’s safe to say I was more than a tad rusty. In fact, that’s just me being nice – I was awful.
Gutterball involved guttering pipes and a tennis ball from A to B in less than 7 seconds. We failed so many times before we even got close to 7 seconds. Each failure made us more determined to get it right the next time around. We didn’t stop. Those who are determined and competitive made sure that nobody stopped until we beat the 7 second target.
5 by 5 involved moving 5 tyres onto another post without putting big numbers on top of small numbers. There were three posts in all. I forget just how quick the time was but it was less than 5 minutes.
Triple Barrel involved three barrels and two planks of wood and we had to get the entire team from one point to another in less than 12 moves. I think we managed it in about 10 moves.
In the muddy sludge, Tyre Gap was horrible in terms of trying to deal with the mud and close for comfort at times. On the plus side, the body heat made the cold more bearable. The awkward laughter allowed the entire group to bond. There was an awful lot of awkward laughter and people holding onto heads and shoulders. For those who aren’t so touchy-feely (there are a number of us in the group), we had to let go of our insecurities somewhat.
After lunch there was the crate stacking, I lost count how many times I hid behind the trees to avoid climbing those crates.
Why? I’m terrified of heights. Some of the other members of the team were the same but they still did it. “It’s the adrenaline fix I want” one of them told me. I don’t mind adrenaline but I still felt peculiar after that morning.
But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t help others who attempted to try and beat each other in how high they could get. In the end the highest anyone got was two columns of 17 crates. Besides which I had already passed out earlier that morning from cutting my finger whilst looking for my deodorant. If it had happened again that afternoon, I dread to think what sort of state I’d be in. In fact, the people who know me could very well imagine just what sort of ungainly picture I’d have looked like. What can I say? I’m the biggest klutz going. For the rest of you, you really don’t need to know.
Just before dinner we did ‘desert island’ where Martin and Rich got us to list 20 items that we could have on a desert island. The instruction was to create a list of the most important items and get rid of the five least important. The aim was to see whether we would pick items that would aid survival or items that would help us get noticed and rescued.
Dinner was spag bol, although most didn’t realise that we were actually eating lamb mince rather than beef. Whoopsie. It had been a long day for all of us and the amount of us suffering from fatigue made us drop the clanger. No-one objected.
‘Observation lane’ involved us observing the items in the corridor of the place we were staying in.Then a five minute break and then another observation of the corridor and we had to record which items had been put there. Being as tired as I was, I felt like I let the team down.
That evening was a struggle to stay awake. Old age must have finally come knocking, or all the sleep I lost during those all-nighters I pulled whilst at university finally caught up with me. We had to make shapes out of the ropes with half of us blindfolded and the other half had to give us the specific instructions. Irrespective of whether I had the blindfold on or not I really struggled to stay awake. I think we all did.