A Crawley soldier has been been fighting off the creepy crawlies while training in the Central American jungles of Belize.
Lance Corporal Giancarlo Savaglia, 30, from Crawley, who serves in the 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, is one of 150 soldiers from across the South East of England who have swapped their current base in Cyprus for the hot and steamy jungles of the tiny Central American country of Belize as they take part in exercise Mayan Warrior.
Deployed deep in the heart of Belize’s rainforest, Giancarlo is learning how to fight, navigate and survive in the jungle.
Giancarlo, who is second in command of a section of eight soldiers, said: “I have to admit I’m a bit anxious of the bugs and snakes, I saw a huge tarantula which looked pretty mean and I got a bite from a bullet ant right on my backside when I was changing my trousers. It felt like a bit of severe cramp for a while.”
At the end of the exercise the soldiers get the chance for three days of adventurous training. The troops have several options to look forward to such as snorkelling among the crystal clear waters off of one of the coral reef islands, visiting the ancient Mayan temples or zip lining across the jungle canopy.
Belize, formally British Honduras, nestles in between the southern border of Mexico and Guatemala, looking out towards the Gulf of Mexico. It is a mecca for environmental tourism and its jungles and coral reef are second only in size to the Great Barrier Reef.It attracts thousands of back packers and scuba divers each year.