Monday, 31 May 2010

Look at the udders on that one

Duke of Edinburgh is wonderful.

You get prepared, forget a few things, pack them, some how those small things make your bag so much heavier. Put on your walking boots after having waxed them to make them waterproof and leave the house. Hop on the mini-bus, don't appreciate a proper seat enough, get off the mini-bus. Then start walking. It starts to rain a bit. Ascend the very steep almost mountain-like hill, it rains a bit more. Stop for a quick snack and go again. Realise its raining quite a bit and put up your hood tightening the elastic so it doesn't blow off with the gale force winds which are more apparent on an exposed hill top. Forget to put on waterproof trousers. 12 passes, so does 1 and 2, don't stop for lunch. Boots start to squelch. Get confused and talk to other members of the group about how we're defying gravity. Fog settles, cannot see where you are going and head in general compass bearing direction. Team members begin to comment on cow's udders. Reach the end. Mini-bus is locked as the other groups aren't back yet, so cold you set up your tent on a roadside and squeeze seven people inside it. You can see the steam rising, drop your sandwich because your hands cannot physically grip things and wring out your socks from your apparently not waterproofed boots...
Back at camp site we set up our tents and cooked dinner which consisted of pasta and meatballs with a tomato sauce. Pretty good. Apart from you drop half the pasta on the ground. Never mind, place them in boiling water and wait. Now, eat more than a normal human man and make waterproof socks from bin liners to go inside your swampy boots.
10pm night walking, no torches, compass bearings. Walking into trees and other team members is a regular occurrence. Return after finding the pond and wait for one final group to arrive. It's past 1am. Lots of cars are entering the car park in the middle of nowhere, have a mass freak out about what all the people are doing. Laugh about it. Find Orion's belt in the sky and return to camp site when others are back. Collapse in sleeping bag and sleep.

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