Where have I been over the past weekend? Well, let me tell you: I’ve been in Exmoor doing my Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition. This was the final expedition (so now (okay, aside from carrying on with my volunteering and physical activity)) I am DONE with DofE!
Despite hurting my wrist (it’s currently in a TubeGrip, which is a type of stretchy bandage you pull over whatever part of you is sore) and gaining about 40 midge bites (and also bursting some blood vessels in my sleep when I scratched said midge bites) I’m doing pretty well and I am so happy/proud that I managed to finish it!
Overall, we didn’t walk very far – about 42km (but after going wrong, let’s round it up to 50!) – but if you’ve ever been to Exmoor you’ll know how ridiculously hilly it is. The first day was literally hill after hill and on the third day we had an epic hill which was almost vertical (I’m not even joking). We also had some wicked thunderstorms and I and another in my team stripped half-nude whilst sheltering in a load of pine trees so we could change into our waterproof trousers.
But, I passed (yay!) and I’m going to answer two things here which my assessor asked us at the end:
- What is a happy moment from your expedition?
Mine this time was after aforementioned wicked thunderstorm – we carried on walking through this field (went slightly wrong so it took a lot longer than it had needed to be!) and the clouds parted to reveal a beautiful blue sky and a warm breeze, which caused us all to cheer up and start singing (y’know, perhaps that’s why we didn’t see many ponies: we scared them all off with our warbling!).
- What is something you’ve learnt from your expedition?
I learnt, in a rather cliché manner, that if I put my mind to it I can do pretty much anything I want. (My mum later commented that I could therefore go to university. Thanks, mum.)
If you ever get a chance to do DofE, I would say do it: it’s hard, it’s horrible at times, but I found, personally and looking back at it, it’s pretty worth it. Besides, it got me on my trampoline again, and who knows what accidents are waiting in store for me on there!