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Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

13 October 2017

Silver Adventurous Journey - Mala Fatra National Park

  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra
  • DofE Mala Fatra

On the 1-4th October, thirteen brave and adventurous students have undertaken an adventurous journey in Mala Fatra National Park. Even though the preparatory and team work wasn't smooth prior to departure, we all managed to put all the pieces of puzzle together and were ready.

This adventurous journey was, however, different to any journeys we have undertaken before. The first unplanned stop we had to make was a small detour to Aupark in Zilina, where a few participants had to purchase suitable footwear in order to participate. The choices of hiking boots proved to be perfect, since they did not cause any blisters and kept their new owners feet dry and safe on slippy rocks.

Day one of the journey was magical. Perfect weather, walking in altitudes above the clouds that were stuck in the valley, crystal clear blue sky and warm autumn sun made our first leg very much enjoyable. This day taught our explorers valuable lessons about teamwork and how personal ambitions and comfort can jeopardise the overall success of the team. 

On day two, we had to face the power of nature and the elements. We realised that on the scale of mountains and weather, we as human beings are very fragile and weak. In the sheltered areas of the path, the journey was manageable despite the drizzle and fog. However, the moment we reached the ridge, we understood the need to respect the strength of the mountains and the speed of the wind and turn around, rerouting the day's walk. 

Some students learnt a valuable lesson anyway; the path of life can be compared to the trail of an adventurous journey. Sometimes you work hard and achieve the summit (in our case it was Suchy, 1468m above the sea level) with stunning views, but sometimes you must walk in fog, where you don't see where you are going and eventually have to realise that you cannot achieve your goal, that the path was a dead end and have to turn around. 

Students tackled many difficulties and were faced with discomfort that forced them out of their comfort zone, pushing them to work and help each other as a team.

Overall, despite the hardship and the sore feet, shoulders and hips, both teams have managed to complete the journey successfully. Congratulations to the teams on their achievement and hopefully we can see them on their Award Ceremony receiving their Silver Level Award after they complete their other three sections too.

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