At the end of October, on what could have been a leisurely early summer weekend, our intrepid International Award group set out on expedition over the Mantiqueira Mountains from Horto Florestal National Park over the mountains to Monteverde.
As with all expeditions, the students were met with and overcame adversity; arrival at the campsite was met with a downpour of rain that would have scared even the most rugged of outdoors folk. However, our students met the challenge with aplomb. Constructing a secure and watertight campsite that easily stood against the difficult conditions (see picture). The students even managed to cook themselves nutritious and rewarding evening meals. Especially our year 11 girls who came equipped with professional cooking equipment and dried oregano to give their food a certain je ne sais quoi.
On the first day of the expedition, the students explored the extensive grounds of Horto Florestal National Park. The students hiked over the many trails at the park, enjoying the many waterfalls and spectacular scenery of the park. After hiking back to our camp, the students again prepared an evening meal and celebrated one of our group’s birthday with some well-deserved treats!
The final day saw our group tackle the final stage of their expedition; conquering part of the Caminho de Fei between Horto Florestal and Monteverde. The hike is challenging and the student had to scale a mountain that reaches heights of up to four and a half thousand feet and covered up to 30km. We had some blisters early on but even with often excruciating pain our students persevered. All staff who supported the trip were in awe of our student’s resilience, dedication and leadership.