Another exciting and energetic day has passed and it is hard to believe that we have just completed our last full day. This Outward Bound adventure has been truly memorable and it has been a genuine delight to hear such positive feedback from the children on a daily basis.
Today’s weather was perfect for the activities planned and provided ideal conditions for the water activities, climbing and hiking.
After missing the train yesterday, Simpson group made up for it and arrived in good time and good spirits to catch the train to Barmouth. Bonninton group also headed to Barmouth but this they were kindly chauffeured in an Outward Bound minibus. Barmouth is a beautiful location for climbing but to reach the cliffs, an energy sapping uphill hike is required. The reward though is most definitely worth the exertion as the coastal views are stunning. The effort and willingness of each child at the very least try to face a fear of heights and moreoften than not to conquer them in style by completing tricky climbs and nerve wracking abseils was equally stunning to see.
Macarthur set off for their day hike up Snowdon’s South Snowdonian twin, Cader Idris. At the risk of consistently repeating myself, the views were stunning and the children marched purposefully a good distance up the mountain. They were treated to an amazing site and apparently one of the best things they’d tasted, water. At this height there are a number of waterfalls which provided crisp, clean drinking water along with an opportunity for a quick hair wash. With time running out, the group descended the mountain for two key reasons:Reason one was the legend had it that anyone spending the night on the mountain would either awake a poet or a madman and as big a fan as we are of poetry, it may get too much on a long coach journey back. The second and most important reason was that they had not yet visited the ice cream parlour and time was ticking away. Suitably motivated, the party reached Aberdovey and were rewarded with 2 scoops or, in Mr Sydes’ case 4 scoops (there was some peer pressure from their group leader to accept the challenge and for once, hiswill proved understandably weak).
The final group, Tenzing, spent the day on the water with a range of activities designed to challenge one and all. To kick things off 4 canoes were bound expertly together creating a diamond formation which gave great stability and an emphasis on working as a team. Both teams paddled well and stopped along the estuary for their picnic lunch before a more challenging paddle back against the wind. Songs involving jellyfish were made up to pass the time and before they knew it, they were back to the wharf and the much anticipated jetty jump. This is a daunting challenge for anyone with a fear of heights, water or jellyfish (the non-stinging variety just to make it clear that we are not trying to come up with the most terrifying experience that we can think of). The children had to stand at the edge of the jetty and step off (often the hardest part) and to their credit, they gave it a good go with some of the most reluctant ending up having 2 goes! We were then whisked off in a power boat before leaping off and swimming to shore – amazingly every child (and staff member completed this challenge).
All are settling down for the night following hot chocolates and a shower for anyone who’s avoided taking one today. Tomorrow we will be packing (prepare for the delights of the contents of the black bin liner) and emptying our rooms. There should be time for an activity before our wonderful adventure ends. Our time of departure is 11 am and you will be updated on our progress.