The DisTIL team are home and our gold DofE expedition is complete. It's been an amazing week and a great way to finish the year!
We set off in the van on Monday afternoon and set up camp in Hay-on-Wye. The following morning most of us were woken up by the worlds most eager cockerel and his faithful companion the equally annoying peacock. The six already tired campers made breakfast on stoves, packed down tents and prepared for our first day on the river.
On our first break of the morning we were joined by an overly confident swan who either just wanted to be our friend or perhaps was after our snacks, in an attempt to befriend the swan I almost lost my toes and my nose...
Later on that day the sun was blazing in the sky, we were ahead of schedule and all in need of a rest. We climbed the river bank in search of shade and some found time for a nap before we headed off on the final leg of the day to the campsite.
When we arrived at the campsite there was plenty of daylight left to set up our tents, cook a meal and play dobble and (Ben's not so favourite game) Uno. As we headed to bed, the heat of the day disappeared and the clear night sky above us was amazingly full of stars.
The morning came around too soon and following a swift pack down we were back on the river, after the morning fog cleared the weather was bright and sunny once again. When we were about a quarter of the way through the day, nothing particularly exciting had happened for a while and everyone was a bit quiet, Emily B suddenly remembered that she had packed a wind up radio. We tuned in and with a combination of music and a more promising weather report everyones spirits were lifted! By the time we arrived at the campsite, another day behind us, we had a relaxed and enjoyable evening with a really great sunset.
Despite the rain that fell that night and the fact that everyone was slightly more tired than we had been the previous day, Thursday began well. There was more laughing and joking between the team and everyone was happy knowing that we were more than half way through the expedition. The promised rain fell for most of the day and throughout the evening but we still had fun.
On the morning of the final day we were up before the sun having decided to set off two hours early so that we could finish the day early and get home to our beds. The rain clouds had cleared and the day was bright and sunny once again. Everyone was in high spirits as we laughed about what had happened throughout the week and also shared our favourite memories of the DisTIL year. The final few hundred meters of the day turned into an accidental scramble to the finish line before we all bundled into the bus and headed home!
The week in all was a great way to end an amazing year spending time with great friends and being out in God's amazing creation!
Thanks for reading the final official blog post from the 2015/16 DisTIL team, throughout the week we'll be posting blogs from each of the DisTIL team members.