After a hearty breakfast on arrival with the Ecoventure guides, the first activity was the Millennium Elephant Foundation where students bathed elephants and learnt how to make paper from elephant dung.
The group then journeyed to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth. After an overnight journey and a full day the students were exhausted and all welcomed a restful night at their hotel in Kandy.
Day 2 began with a visit to the local market where many of the student bartered and bagged some excellent souvenirs, along with several pairs of matching trousers. The market was followed by a delightful mid-morning visit to the Botanical Gardens.
The group then began the journey up into the rainforest to Kitulgala where they were to spend the final three nights staying at Borderlands adventure camp. Day 2 ended with a welcome river swim.
An early start for Day 3 and the group kitted up with helmets and buoyancy aids before the truck ride up river to the start point for white water rafting. This proved an exhilarating and fun activity where the students quickly learnt that if you don’t paddle over the rapid, you tip up. As the group neared the calmer water close to Borderlands everyone jumped into the river for a swim.
After lunch and kitting up again the group had a short hike into the forest for the Canyoneering. Students were expertly guided down-stream by the Borderlands team who instructed on safely participating in pool jumping and rock sliding. This was a very challenging activity for many but with the encouragement of their peers every student faced their fears and completed at least the first jump and rock slide.
The day closed with much needed showers and supper, followed by a camp fire and songs. When the students had gone to bed, staff were very pleased to receive compliments from several other travellers at Borderlands on the behaviour and team spirit of the whole group.
Day 4 was the highlight of the trip for many and also the most challenging for all. The morning activity was a steep hike up through rubber and tea plantations to Belilena caves followed by a picnic curry lunch on the rocks in a river. Then, a further very steep hike up to Sandun Ella waterfall and an opportunity for those courageous students (and Mr McIntosh) to abseil down the waterfall. All reported that the experience was ‘awesome’.
Another early start the following morning and back on the bus for the return journey to Colombo. The group enjoyed a stroll along the sea front at Galle Park and birthday celebrations before heading to the airport for evening flight back to Doha.
Mrs Newton would like to thank the 17 students and Mr McIntosh for their endless energy and sense of adventure.