On the 12th of November, about 15 Covenant students joined up with three students from Northern Beaches Christian School and two TIGS students and Boomerang Adventures to hike the beautiful Blue Mountains for three days.
We began early in the morning with a long drive to our meeting point- Carlon’s Farm. The heat was already causing us to get lazy and sit in the boots of the cars waiting for Jimmy (our guide) to arrive. We finally set off; packs fully loaded with the necessities for three days and began trudging up a fire trail.
At the end of the first day we reached Mobbs Swamp and discovered we would get to sleep in a cave for the night! There was dust everywhere but after a long days hiking and sweating, nobody cared too much. We had a fire, cooked our delicious meals (for some this was ‘forbidden’ magi noodles!) and relaxed with some good games of Mafia. When it was time for sleep, there were sleep talkers all around, not to mention a certain year 11 boys’ REALLY LOUD SNORING! The cave caused every noise to echo which meant a restless night for some of us.
Feeling re-energized and ready to go, we knew Friday would be better than the day before because we were heading up to Splendour Rock and trust me; the views didn’t let anybody down! After the fantastic morning we had lunch and then proceeded in the direction of camp. The last couple of km’s before arriving at camp involved a really steep and continuous downhill which left everybody’s legs shaking and everybody’s toes quite squished in their shoes.
The campsite was worth it though- we put down our packs next to a beautiful river with the mountainous landscapes surrounding us. After a splash and dive around (even if it wasn’t planned) in the river the sun was disappearing so we dried off as best we could and gathered fire wood. Most campers will know that it’s a great feeling eating your dinner next to the fire with the stars above you and nothing to do but enjoy the company of those around you.
The third day was spent mostly following a river upstream. There were a few kilometres of head-high stinging nettle plants that were worth noting. I can honestly say they are not fun, but somehow we made fun out of it. Brandon was the worst off by the end as he had been whacking them away with a stick, causing them to fling back and sting him all over his arms and legs. It was a very hot day and we were all fairly tired but still in great spirits.
We arrived back where we had started after completing the big loop and I could not believe it was over- it went very fast! Boomerang Adventures had a great policy of de-briefing after every day to let each other know what we really enjoyed, what we miss about home and what we’ve learnt. I think this hike was my favourite out of all my Duke of Ed hikes so far simply because the views were amazing, there were so many laughs, it was really challenging, the people I was with are simply incredible and our guides were so fun to be with!
If you’re considering Duke of Edinburgh hikes, they aren’t for everyone. But if you love a challenge and a whole bunch of memories to last a lifetime then please- give it a go!