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Bring on Boonville. We were up and out by 6.45. With Ben realising that the slice of pizza he ate in the middle of night had been covered in ants. Nice. We were all excited to get to Boonville. Its’ casino. And face-to-face fundraising. We even made breakfast on the go to get there.

Now, Thursday this week was a tough day for me. Firstly the team told me to paddle upstream to collect a rhinosaurus buffalo skull. Yes I know. I fell for it. It was a piece of wood. Following this came several hours of humiliation for me. Where the ginger pushed me in, again and again. Then blamed me for losing a paddle. Which was hidden. And then left me behind, soaking wet with clothes floating around. I wanted to take that “lost paddle” and shove it where the sun don’t shine. The gingers ear to ear grin made it worse!

As I caught up to the others, they broke the news that we had read the map wrong and actually had 18 miles until Boonville. But were approaching a city called Atlantis. An underwater city. Now I’m not going to ruin the next episode of Gullible Gimli (which is the series that Corn has made to share my most humiliatingly gullible moments with the world. So check out Expedition 1000 if you want to find out more?!) but I’d say my response included claiming there was a Greek story about a city underwater of the same name. And a resort in Dubai. I then got told I had been played and somehow they managed to trick me again. Wow.

Well on a positive note, Boonville was close and we just had to look out for some orange cones in between two bridges. There we were welcomed by an amazing team from the Isle of Capri casino including Andy, Heather and Barron. We managed to unload against rocks with the help of everyone. Tied the boards to trees. And they took our bags up and over a railway track. We were covered in mud. Totally covered. And we were given beautiful rooms. Double beds. Andy even brought extra shampoo for my dreaded hair. And we made ourselves at home with serious love for everyone who helped us.

After showers, laundry and general admin, we went and got some nachos and chips (They were actual crisps. But we are so american these days) and settled into the balcony above the enormous gaming floor.

Dave did a talk. Rocked it. And we chatted away to three chicks called Jody, Mel and Megan. Exactly the kind of people you want to meet. We then hit the gambling floor. Had a couple of drinks. Sat with Ben while he gambled a wee bit. Watched him win $90. And then had to be taken away as realised I have an addictive personality. Luckily I managed to stay in my room and slept like a baby.

It’s not every day you wake up on a Friday in a casino hotel in Boonville, Missouri. Well we did. And I stretched out in my massive bed. My alarm had gone off to remind me that I had to make the all you can eat breakfast. So of course I ate all I could eat. Cereal, fruit, yoghurt, apple juice, bagels, eggs, bacon, ketchup, jam, pancakes, French toast and maple syrup. Yup. I know. It was disgusting. But I was slightly proud of myself. Even if my mum wants to cry when reading this. Love you mum.

Andy helped us with everything. We did a shop, inventory of the canoe, laundry, filled up water bottles, dried out tents and felt ready to go. But unfortunately the ginger was feeling a tad under the weather. Probably had something to do with 50 days of river inside him?!

So we got everything done, reconnected with the world and even managed to fit in a radio interview with Zac from The University of Columbia for KBIA.

My day ended in a big double bed. With a chicken wrap the size of my head. Snuggled in bed with the team watching random shows on ice diving for gold and blogging. This is the life. We wait to see how the ginger feels before hitting the river and nailing the rest of this epic journey. Isle of Capri we love you. Missouri we love you. And boobies we always love you.

by Em Bell

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