Our adventure trekking coast to coast in Costa Rica

Annie and Elinor share the memorable moments – and mud - from their Costa Rica challenge raising funds for Girlguiding

Emma, Fundraising team
18 December 2018

Volcanos, rapids and rain? Not a problem for these women.

Our team of ten intrepid explorers recently returned from the challenge of a lifetime in Costa Rica. The 80km trek saw them traverse volcanos, climb through cloud forests and raft on white-water – all to raise money for Girlguiding.

The challenge was one of the adventurous fundraising events that we run at Girlguiding every year. Join us for next year’s trek of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Everyone’s welcome - you don’t need to be part of guiding to take part.

Here Costa Rica teammates Annie and Elinor share how collaboration, a little grit and a lot of humour helped them smash this year's challenge.

'I discovered that I was fitter than I realised'

Annie

'I was very excited when we all met up at Heathrow ready to fly out but under no illusions that this was going to be anything other than a hard, but rewarding, challenge. 

I was particularly looking forward to seeing the wildlife and the scenery - but the white-water rafting was going to be one of the highlights for me. And it was brilliant. We had the opportunity to water up a tributary river on the second morning at 630am to a waterfall and go swimming in the pool below and under it.

There were ten of us in all with ages varying from 29 to 65 years old. We worked well together, particularly when one or two were struggling with the steep climbs and the continuous mud and rain. It was the rainy season and it certainly rained a lot - but it was warm and so not necessary always to put on waterproofs.

It was all about adapting to the situation and being able to help those who were determined to complete this amazing opportunity.

I discovered that I was even fitter than I had realised and that I was capable of tackling everything thrown at me in this trip.'

Above: Elinor makes her way across a bridge suspended above the jungle and Annie crosses the thundering River Pacuare

'A little bit of paradise…'

Elinor

'When I signed up for this challenge, I was expecting a challenge, I just didn’t realise how much of a challenge it would be. The highlight for me was day 7, it was a tough trek, wet and muddy and sticky hot. But then we finally got to the river and set off downstream to our camp.  The camp was a little bit of paradise, jungle showers and a lounge area upstairs with hammocks and the tents had proper mattresses and blankets and pillows. It felt like a reward for the tough couple of days that had led up to it. 

The following day we rafted to the next night’s camp. We made it in record time and arrived by lunch, so we spent the afternoon playing games, resting and teaching the group leaders The Penguin Song!'

The leaders and my fellow trekkers were good humoured, encouraging and kept me going when I felt I couldn’t do it! I’d probably still be on the jungle floor if they hadn’t dragged me through!

Top image copyright: Trish Hartmann

Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru, in 2019

Ready for a new challenge in the new year? Then join us for our big challenge of 2019 - trekking Peru's majestic Inca trail. 

Find out more