Cordon Rouge Club - COLONEL JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL’S EXPEDITION TO THE OSA PENINSULA

COLONEL JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL’S EXPEDITION TO THE OSA PENINSULA

20 AUGUST 2015

Cordon Rouge Club member, John Blashford-Snell, recently returned from a challenging yet successful expedition with the Scientific Exploration Society visiting the Guyami Indians on the North side of the Corcovado National Parks, Costa Rica.

After a year of planning the trip, the team all contributed to helping the tribe of 300 who have a daily struggle to make a living mining gold in the humid rainforest. The group aided the Guaymi in both medical and dental treatment. They provided reading glasses to those who were in need of them and lectures were also held for the locals on conservation. The expedition team assisted with the refurbishment of the Sea Turtle Hatchery and even discovered a baby Hawksbill turtle which was the first sighting of the species in this area!

Violent thunderstorms struck throughout the duration on the trip. There was almost a serious accident when a tree that was weakened by termites crashed down across the area where some of the team had tents! The group moved base to the Carate Coast and built shelter by the community church. In spite of the presence of a number of snakes, scorpions and troops of monkeys in the tree tops, the campsite did the team proud and the church was used as a clinic and for shelter during the worst tropical storms.

The main objective of the expedition was to construct a new footbridge for the tribe to enable them to have main access to the Corcovado Park. The original plan was to build a 23m suspension bridge however this could not be afforded by the park so they agreed on a 10m site instead. After failed negotiations over cutting up a fallen tree, two 12m alloy girders were obtained and cut to size. They were then hauled across a 2 mile trek and the team worked flat out in 30 degrees heat to successfully complete the job before their scheduled departure.

The team celebrated in true Mumm style by popping open a bottle of champagne and were accompanied by a treacherous downpour for good measure!

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