Some of our Sixth Form students have recently enjoyed a ‘practice run’ for their eagerly anticipated expedition to Tanzania later in the summer term. The purpose of the weekend was to strengthen the bonds between the team members, gain familiarity with the cooking equipment and tents to be used in Tanzania and to assess our fitness in preparation for the mountainous trek to be endured whilst in Tanzania.

Anna Cumberland (Year 12) explains further:-

“The practice expedition was the perfect opportunity for our team to get a real taste of what the expedition to Tanzania will be like. We spent 3 days camping in the Peak District to practice budgeting and cooking, to assess our fitness levels, to get to grips with the equipment and to practice packing our rucksacks. It was also an opportunity for our team and Gareth, the expedition leader, to get to know each other properly.

We headed off to the Peak District ready to meet Gareth at the campsite. Arriving first out of all the other teams on their practice expeditions, we managed to colonise the lone bench on the camping field and began to set up camp. Once Gareth had taught us how to set up our tents, we got to work and in no time had everything set up. Whilst part of the team got on with cooking our pasta, Phoebe and George planned our route for Saturday. After dinner, we washed the dishes and then did some activities to get warm before bed. We got cosy in the tents and tried to get some much-needed sleep ready for our long day ahead.

The next day we set out ready for the key part of the weekend, the hike. It was the main focus of the expedition as it was when we could assess our fitness level. We walked 22 km throughout the whole day and overcame mental and physical obstacles including a knee deep snow drift and what seemed to be a river of mud. The hike tested us as a team but showed that we could support each other in times of need. Once we made it back to the camp, we got on with cooking our tea in the pouring rain. Saturday night’s menu consisted of vegetable curry and rice, which Gareth claimed to be the nicest meal he’d ever been cooked in a Trangia.  Absolutely exhausted, it was an early night for the team and we quickly got in to bed with around 5 layers on. It was that cold that on Sunday morning, Kate and Liz were frozen into their tents.

On Sunday, it was time to pack up our tents and return home. Covered in mud and beyond exhausted, we managed to squeeze our sleeping bags back into their covers and fold our tents away into their bags. After a fantastic weekend, all we wanted was a shower and our beds, especially because some of us had a maths mock the next day! As July nears closer and closer, we are getting more and more excited! The training weekend was a great way for us to get a taste of what to expect in Tanzania and it has only made us more excited! Roll on Tanzania 2018!”