Sally Bengtsson

At King's College Murcia we have run some excellent trips to Sierra Espuña, Moratalla, Castril and an 80km walk along the coast of Almeria, ending in Cabo de Gata. The pupils always come away from the trips exhausted but full of stories and everlasting memories. One of the moments that sticks out is when we were walking in the mountains near Castril. We set out on a sunny morning, but at midday the sky turned black in a matter of minutes. All of a sudden the heavens opened and we were all pelted by hailstones the size of golf balls, causing everyone to take cover to protect themselves. Bushes became our shelter and rucksacks transformed into coats of armour. The storm lasted about 10 minutes, by which time there was a layer of hail on the ground about 10cm deep. And this ice slowly started to melt into gushing torrents of water. Everyone dashed to the campsite. Many of the groups were without an adult, but they all made the right decisions, kept safe and made their way back to base camp in one piece, helping each other along the way and giving each other encouragement and support. We were all so relieved to see each other unharmed, and came home with a story to tell.
The four pupils who walked to Cabo de Gata were not the fittest of the bunch, and struggled with blisters and sunburn, but didn't complain once over the four days, impressing themselves with their own resilience and determination to succeed. It was interesting to see how each one took on a defined role in the group. We had a map reader, who everyone turned to before making a final decision of direction, a carer, who made sure everyone was eating enough and putting on suncream, one who kept everyone's spirits up, singing and encouraging, and a joker, who kept everyone laughing.
I would dare to say that everyone changes after doing D of E, and it is an experience I would encourage everyone to do.