One pupils account of a day’s walk from 80m to an altitude of just over 1000m……
“As Sunday drew closer my worry and anxiety worsened, my brain kept telling me ‘don’t go you won’t cop.’ But I knew it was only a voice, a voice I didn’t have to listen to, so I pushed it aside and at six o’clock on Sunday 4th of May I found myself getting up, dressed and eating a big bowlful of porridge drizzled with raspberry jam. After I had finished my porridge, I packed my bag with two bottles of water, which added up to over 1litre, then we set off.
The picture above is us just about to set off up the mountain. As we approached the bottom the mountain, sweat started to form on the palms of my hands and my forehead, and I really wasn’t looking forward to the long trek up. I think by the look on my face, Sandie one of the two teachers we been thrown in Spain with, knew that I was very scared. She kindly said ‘Mollie if you don’t want to go with the fast group you can tortoise at the back with Carol and Tali and me.’ So that’s exactly what I did. I stayed at the back with Sandie, Carol and Tali.
About half way up the mountain I really thought I couldn’t go any further, but Sandie stepped in and helped me. She distracted me by asking different questions about what was I going to do when I first get home and what mum and dad were doing while I was away. Then we started telling different stories about horses and farms. It was a very clever distraction and I went a long way up the mountain without even realising how far up we were. Soon we where nearly at the top, but it suddenly hit me how far up we were, and I panicked and didn’t want to carry on. This time, both Sandie and Carol stepped in to help me get through the last trek by telling me to count up to 50 steps, then stop and have a break, but that was too small for me so Sandie upped the amount to 100 steps. This made me take long striding steps.
When we arrived at a resting point near the top we met up with Ella, Jess, Jamie, Connor and Niko. Exhausted, we all flopped down and rummaged in our massive rucksacks for our hunks of bread smothered in jam and honey. During this time we heard that Barnaby, George, Mortimer and Bjork had gone on ahead, and Martin had gone to find them. A couple of minutes later Martin returned and he informed us that the others who had gone off had made it to the top of the mountain. Soon after that we cleared up and followed Martin to where the others had gone.
As we made our last massive clamber to the top, I started to hum the song ‘up on the mountain’, a very old song from my childhood. Finally we arrived and the others started making comments like “you took your time”, “we’ve been here for ages”. Barnaby chipped in with “can we go now?” All of us who had just arrived groaned and flopped down. After an hour we all gathered for a group photo. Just as we were packing up Sandie turned to me with her camera and snapped a photo of Barnaby and me as proof that I had made it the whole way. That’s the picture featured at the start of this part of the blog.
Then we started the trek back. It was just as hard going down as going up, and when we first stopped, about an hour down from the top, Sandie announced that Ella, Jess , Tali, Carol and me were going to be picked up in the Landrover by Martin’s wife Diana. We were all so relieved, but the catch was we had to keep walking down to meet her. Everybody else set off to walk to whole way back, that is George, Mortimer, Leon, Bjork, Jamie, Connor, Barnaby, Niko , Sandie and Martin. We followed slowly, but sooner or later we had to stop and have a rest because our legs hurt, but also because the heat of the sun was exhausting. We carried on, but hadn’t gone too far when Diana arrived. We were so happy to see a vehicle and we jumped in, with Carol up front, Tali and Jess in the back and Ella and I in the boot. The ride back was nice, but we were thrown around a lot because the Spanish don’t have straight roads, they are always curvy. Not too long after we got back, the other group arrived. We set out lunch and ate relaxed and swam for the rest of the day. We then ate dinner and headed off to bed to lay down our tired little heads.”