By Craig Blond – 11th April 2014
I wake with a cramp in my stomach, but refuse to take it seriously. After our morning meeting and breakfast we leave the centre with Team Muir.
We arrive in full gear at the bottom of a gorge, ready to climb!
We are reminded of the techniques learned on the mountain the night before, as we set off to conquer this gorge. The team work is first class and truly inspiring; without which I don’t think we could make it over the mountain. The team supports and encourages one another, both physically and emotionally. We work together in unison and before we know it, we are sitting at the top of a mountain staring out over some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen.
This feels like the perfect time to refuel, so we all take time out to have a bite to eat and something to drink, we also take a group photo here.
We hike down to the other side of the mountain and then arrive back at the massive lakeside. The plan is to find some canoes that have been left for us by the other team – Arkless – and then paddle back to the centre.
Before we have time to reach the canoes we bump into Arkless going the other way. We take 10 minutes out to mingle and share stories of what we have experienced during the first day-and-a-half.
Eventually we find our canoes, and our instructors give us some helpful, practical tips on what we should and shouldn’t do when on the water. Jumping in the canoes – 2 per canoe – we paddle out, and before we know it everyone is going in different directions. It takes some getting used to, but eventually we get the hang of it. Eventually after a few false starts we are steering (finally) a course for the centre.
We arrive back at around 5:30 that afternoon, and despite the pain I have suffered all day, I still think back on the amazing and memorable experience I have just had. It is without doubt something I will always treasure and something I will never forget.
I manage to have dinner with Muir, but soon after I am taken very ill and I am rushed to the emergency room, and later to hospital, where I spend the remainder of my week.
Despite the illness I suffered, I have no regrets, other than no getting the chance to get to know the kids from Phoenix that bit better. However, as Shahab always says, so far as we are concerned, this is the beginning of our relationship with the school, and so I am looking forward to getting a chance to meet everyone again, real soon.