Each group had a designated leader whose job it was to lead and direct the group from the beginning. These students learnt the basics around how to use a GPS navigation successfully and accurately look at basic satellite maps to decipher their whereabouts. It was then time for all students to begin their DofE practice expedition. The trek is a lovely one, though difficult, walking through rice paddy fields and forests. We were also blessed with splendid weather which made the whole experience much more enjoyable.
After 6 hours of walking through the Sapa countryside, the groups started to arrive at the campsite and began to put up their tents. Some students were also brave enough to go for a little dip in the river to cool down from the day’s trek. What was great to see at the campsite was the support and teamwork the students showed to each other in erecting their tents and cooking together. This was especially the case after one group became significantly lost and arrived at the campsite a full four hours after the first group. The students rallied around these students and assisted them in putting up their tents and offered them food so to save them from cooking and adding to their already tiring and exhausting day. That night, the students enjoyed toasting their marshmallows and keeping warm around the fire whilst enjoying the view of hundreds of stars which lit up the night sky.
Sunday began early with a 6.30am wake up. Students ate their breakfasts and packed away all their equipment for their final day’s hike. Sunday’s route was a lot trickier and tougher on the calf’s with a few more hills to be walked by the students. Nevertheless, all students were able to successfully navigate the second day and again enjoy the stunning views that the Sapa terrain has to offer.