Duke of Edinburgh - Bronze Award | CharlotteBehappy

It's been a while since I did a lifestyle post but I think now's an appropriate time. Fyi, none of the pictures are mine as I forgot to buy a disposable camera. 

Day 1

We had to arrive at the youth centre for 9 o'clock which was far too early. We were quickly shoved in a minibus and had to endure a long journey from London to Wales. We then had to put up tents on a campsite near Overton, in the Gower and it was hard task as it was so windy. We then had the harder task of seperating the food which didn't actually work out too well as a bottle of squash was left sitting in the grass the entire night. We then had fish and chips bought for us which meant we didn't have to cook on the trangias which are like camping cookers. It was way too filling but probably the last decent meal I ate until the end of Day 3. I then also managed to 'cut shapes' (if you can call it that) into some dog shit. Great! We couldn't finish a cold evening by the sea so we got the trangias out to cook some hot chocolate. We were actually crouching in the middle of the road by the water tap trying to boil some water until we were told to move. We then drank them from the lovely cups we stole from the service station, topped off with stolen chocolate powder and cream. Apparently at night there were foxes outside our tents, but I didn't notice any when I had to walk across a field in the middle of night for a wee.

Day 2
We were up early, and left at about 10:40 in the minibus to Overton. We had a struggle getting the extremely heavy rucksacks on our backs, stuffed with a loaf of bread, multiple juice cartons and random crap that we didn't end up needing. The directions said to take the first exit to the right with a field on the left to us. In the first five minutes we came across a cabbage farm and a gate that was open with tractor prints in the mud. It seemed like the footpath and in the coutryside anything goes. So we walk all the way down the cabbage farm and when we get to the end we see more fields and think that this can't be right although the sea, and fields are on our left. We consult the map when suddenly we hear gunshots. We immediately run back to the other side of the field, and as the last one I see one girl lying on the floor after having her rucksack make her fall over and another lying in the dirt. The girl lying in the dirt clutches her stomach and then takes her hand away as if she was bleeding (although she wasn't) and she says 'I'm hurt...'. I immediately think she's been shot and we then hear four more gunshots and run out of the field. We then had to get the first aid kit out to mend the wounded when a nice local with a dog comes past and without asking (he could obviously tell from our roll mats and distressed faces that we were lost), tells us that the footpath we were looking for is further up. We then ask about the gunshots. He says it's too warn off the birds and it's not an actual gun. We're not convinced and believe that a crazy farmer was shooting at us to get away from the cabbages but we'll never know. So much for city girls in the country.

We then find the right root and end up eating lunch with some sheep. We climb over gates and up and down hills. We overtake one lost group that set off before us. Although it's not a race, we set off last and desperately want to get back to the campsite first. A girl getting stuck on the hill slows us down but we still remain in second place. We seeing a buoy hanging from a tree outside someone's house in some swing on it, in true wrecking ball style. We then start a climb up a massive hill, getting closer and closer to hillend campsite, our destination. When we reach the top of the group, we find the group that set off first, stuck at the top of the hill. Turns out someone's hurt their leg so we overtake them. From last place to first place, we start to feel a little too cocky. We then end up walking down the side of the hill instead of continuing over and then down it. This is when the drama happens. I lose balance and fall into some brambles but the weight of the rucksack pulls me backwards into a stream. I'm unable to get up so I'm squirming like a beetle for help. My clothes remain wet for the rest of the trip. We then realise we're lost and have to climb over walls and through ditches. Fun.

We then have to ask two strangers when we get to the bottom of the hill - muddy and damp - for directions to the campsite. We then have a mile walk in the HEAT back to the campsite. When we finally got their, there was no rest for the wicked so we had to put up tents. A ball was actually kicked at a tent I was in, so rude. The girl I was actually in a tent with had a scorching temperature and there was a panic over whether to take her to hospital. I think I had to shares a tent with someone else that night and she shared a bigger tent. It was quite dramatic. We made pasta over the trangia, it was okay but got cold too quickly. Me and some other girls went to the park in the middle of the night, a little bit scary but mostly funny as two boys (who kicked the ball at the tent) sat in silence on the dark climbing frame listening in to our conversation about piercings. They then left to go on the swings and ignored our 'Where are you from?' that was shouted through the dark. How rude. We then went back to our tents and slept and although it was well needed, it wasn't received as sleeping on the ground is very uncomfortable. On my numerous trips to the toilet I also released how sun/wind burnt my face was. Ouch.

Day 3
Another day of walking, we must have walked over 20km in the end. Straightaway we walked the wrong way up a hill, lost. We walked past some emo looking horses coming down the hill and once on the road we saw them coming closer everytime we looked back. Frightening. One girl rolled down the hill into some mud. We then had to walk through loads of fields with cows and we then got to one really muddy bit. The same girl who got 'shot' lost her balance and fell into the mud and got mud/cow poo all over her hands. A break was needed after that. We also had a break in a big area of land with some friendly cows up close. We got to the top of the hill and thought we'd finished the expedition as we saw the minibuses. With total disregard of the map, we then released we had loads to go as we still had to cross a busy road. With tears in our eyes about the fact that we weren't yet finished, we continued walking. Two girls split off without a map down the side of the hill, not learning from yesterdays' mistakes and we panicked, but they soon came back. We then climbed up and down hills for another 2/3 hours (one hour they said!). When we saw the minibuses we realised we had actually finished the expedition. It was so relieving and I felt so proud that we'd done it. Plus, we all passed.

We then had to go on a long journey to the youth hostel, although most of us slept. We then had proper food and drink (as we'd been living off cereal bars). The hostel had showers (although they were pretty gross), but I truly appreciated them as well sleeping on a mattress, even if I was still in a sleeping bag. That was probably the most amount of sleep I had the whole time. A whole 7 hours.

Day 4

By now, I had a massive headache and was really coming down with a cold. I didn't take part in the water sports but it was fun watching others rafting, doing the last man standing or jumping on it as a slide, and people kayaking. I also watched people doing a river swim which looked scary but cold. We then took the long journey back and it was safe to say that we were all absolutely exhausted. It was a real achievement although I felt like death at the end. Debating whether to do silver and gold but I'll have to see when the time comes. I'd definitely recommend it though.