Freya (13HAD) reports:
Aside from the grogginess of waking up at 4.30am, we embarked on our journey to the Lake District, filled with excitement. From laughing through the hardest mountains to the tiredness of walking up to 18 km each day, the Duke of Edinburgh Expedition was,by no means least, an emotional rollercoaster.
About half an hour in, we took our first injury of the week as a foreshadowing of what was to come. However, we were pleasantly surprised; we were extremely blessed with great weather, which provided a beautiful backdrop for the numerous creatures we met throughout the journey, including voles and many caterpillars. As many of the group would tell you, the second day was the hardest; we ascended up a 618 m mountain just to have a local advise us that we should have, ‘left our bags at the bottom and gone back for them.’ Conversely, we made our way to the top with a feeling of accomplishment and awe in what we had just done. Next came the bog. We finally made it through, with all of us being stuck at one time or another, deciding unanimously that the Lake district should in fact be called the ‘bog district’. However, with our legs covered in mud, we grew closer as a group and started the next day ready for whatever was to come.
We experienced many firsts throughout the week including Wild Camping, which was a very atypical yet rewarding experience, surviving off the land for a night. As well as bruises and blisters, we came out of the week with memories that we will cherish forever: from the pride of making it to the top of mountains we never thought we would, to the excitement at the end of each day knowing we were close to the campsite, the experience is definitely one we will always remember.
We are thankful to many people for this opportunity: Stuart, our assessor, who made sure we were never too lost; Helen, our Supervisor, for always being there at the right time and finally to Mrs Wilson and Mrs Brocklehurst for all their planning and dedication, as well as their constant love and support. We could not have done it without them.