Sunday, 16 June 2013

Camp: Day 2

After an "easy" first day of camp (well, for me it was "easy" - emphasis on the inverted commas - but once again, understand that I am a teenage girl whose favourite thing to do on the weekend is blog about going outside) we were not so worried about the rest of the trip. Boy were we wrong...

The second day was our first "real" hike - whereas the 2km walk down a dirt road to a river the previous day was - apparently - not. With great difficulty, we awoke at a decent time of six a.m. and proceeded to make our own breakfast on our little portable gas ovens. This proved to be a little difficult, as some people had never before in their lives cooked their own breakfast before. This is where I felt superior. Understand that I am an extremely organised and punctual person. There's a schedule to my morning, and if someone else has to cook my breakfast for me - i.e. my mom, who also has to make my sister's breakfast and lunch - the whole schedule is screwed up and we're late for school. But even then, I don't do the whole gourmet thing, usually just cereal or porridge or toast. But - and I am not even joking here - I had to teach some girls how to make Jungle Oats So Easy. You literally just add boiling water. 

So after breakfast and changing into our hiking boots etc. we all assembled outside to put on our backpacks and start hiking. The backpack hoisting was a workout on its own. Mine already weighed about sixteen kilograms - but it was by far the lightest one there. Once we had all fastened and re-fastened them onto us, then adjusted and re-adjusted the straps (multiple times), we set off on another dirt road. 

We had not even gone three kilometres when a girl fainted. No joke. So we waited on the side of the road while one of the camp instructors ran - RAN - back to the campsite to fetch a truck, and then she got to go home. SHE GOT TO GO HOME. And while we were waiting on the side of the road, a few girls even tried hitching a ride with the two cars that happened to drive past us. They didn't even care where they would take them; they just wanted to be anywhere but there. So we started off again - eventually, although the hour break was nowhere near long enough - and about fifteen minutes later we were all wishing we would faint so we could go home.

We eventually left the dirt road to hike through a farm and up "Just one mountain today, girls!" which turned out to be several mountains. When we got on top of the one-mountain-which-was-actually-mountain-number-five, the head instructor decided that one of the girls from the other school going with us was too slow, so we had to split all the stuff in her backpack, even though we were already carrying more than could actually fit in our own backpacks. Well, no wonder the poor girl was exhausted: she had a proper cooking pot - let me repeat that - COOKING POT, i.e. heavy stainless steel with a diameter of about thirty centimetres. Yup. And we had to carry that, plus all the food that her obviously very worried mother had packed her - enough to feed all of us for about ten days.

Just as the sun was setting, we finally reached a campsite, not even the one we were originally supposed to go to, which could've been ten to twenty kilometres further - we didn't know, we never got told how far we were, or how much longer until we had a break. We were told that we could use the bathrooms, but not the showers (?) because we weren't technically authorised to be staying there. Hot and sweaty and dirty, I stared at the counsellors in amazement, but uttered a barely audible, "Fine," my like third spoken word of the trip so far. My friends and I then proceeded to strip to our underwear and wash ourselves in the basins, wasting a whole lot more water and making a much larger mess than if we'd have been able to shower.

We slept in tents on a slope. Funnnnn...

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