Days 0-1: The Journey, UK, America and Costa Rica

by - July 20, 2009

Day 0 - Monday 20th July 2009

Getting ready at HBS
After getting back from Wolstencroft’s birthday trip to see Russell Howard in London at about 1.00am, I still got up to start packing at half 8.  Most of the day was spent trying to get the assortment of bits of kit from my bedroom floor into my rucksack and trying to get my makeshift mp3 player to work.  At 4pm I headed into school to meet the rest of the team for our last inspection and checks.  The team leader, Chris, had been forced to go back and get some new satellite phone gear, or something like that, so we didn’t get to meet him straight away.  In the meantime we had a rather large game of cricket on the school fields.  Chris eventually arrived and we were all introduced to him and had our first proper team meeting, discussing general plans and ideas.  I was made team leader for the first day.  At 8 o'clock we went for a meal at Zizzi’s and at about 11 we went back to school and tried to get some sleep.

Day 1 - Tuesday 21st July 2009

Got up at 4.45, packed up and met the bus at 5.30.  We arrived at Heathrow at about 7.15 and got moving through the various desks.  We had a bit of a hold up as we went through customs - the satellite phone and beacon looked a bit suspicious, but we were soon at the gate and ready to board the plane.  Unfortunately there was another delay as the postiion of several bits in Ben’s bag had fallen together and made it appear as though he was carrying a gun.  Luckily, after a chat with airport police, he got on the plane.  The flight was an 8-hour slog from London Heathrow to Newark, New Jersey.  The flight was pleasant and we all had our own TV sets on which we could play games/watch films.  I chose to watch the last two Matrix films as I had never seen them.  We had a few bits of food on the flight.  The transfer at Newark was a bit of an effort due to the stringent American custom laws.  We sat around at Newark, eating and discussing until our next flight was called.

Landing in Costa Rica
The flight from Newark to San Jose, Costa Rica bagan at 17.30 local time (23.30GMT) and was also not too bad, despite the fact that it was late and the plane wasn’t as good.  We had even more paperwork to do at San Jose airport, including a sheet on swine flu.  The flight had shown just how remote some areas of  America and the Caribbean are.  On the descent we flew above and through a thunderstorm, which was very impressive.  At the airport we were met by representatives from our first Hostel, where we would stay for two nights.  The first impressions of San Jose were that it was hot, humid, loud and busy.  Once at the hostel we paid and then settled down to bed at about half 11 (5.30GMT - over 24 hours since we had left Hitchin).

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