Imbued with a taste for adventure, our Year 11 International Award Silver participants embarked on a grueling expedition on the historically significant Trilha do Ouro through the wilds of Serra da Bocaina National Park.
Serra da Bocaina National Park is a sight of wonders; from the great scales of the mountains to the dense forests and breathtakingly exotic wildlife, it provides a wonderful backdrop to what is undoubtedly a challenging hike.
Following an early departure from school, our young adventurers arrived at the gates of the park in São Jose do Barreiro and set out on their expedition. After an early blip in their navigation, that took them into the wrong end of a shortcut and resulted in covering the long route twice, our students were on their way. A steady but significant ascent which crossed the source of Rio Mambucaba (our traveling companion for the rest of the hike) brought the students to their first camp, the beautiful Fazenda Barreiro. After adding a further five kilometers to the planned eighteen, our adventurers were quick to build their camp and sleep.
A rather leisurely rise on day two, due to the shorter twelve-kilometer trail, meant our adventurers decided to quickly hike to the top of Pico do Gaviaõa to take in the panoramic views which reach right to Paraty. Back on the trail, the landscape quickly moved between lush green hills to a rather more strenuous downhill mud trail. However, by late afternoon, our participants arrived at the idyllic Cachoeira do Veado for their second camp. Having the chance to recuperate and rest, the participants were introduced to some survival techniques by Mr. Mclean.
An early departure and quickly back onto the trail. Although some of the more spectacular scenery is reserved for the final day, it is coupled with the most challenging hike. Descending the mountain, crossing rivers and finally battling fatigue to reach the town of Mambucaba our adventurers had once again shown enormous courage in the face of adversity. After a monumental hike and a trip with memories that will last a lifetime, they arrived home to a well-earned sleep.