ELT Wales: January group

Day 1 ‘The unexpected journey’

It all began as most big journeys do, up and early in cold old England. Made my way to London Euston and had a nice hour wait in the cold station as very early morning turned to early morning. Made my way to Chester where I met up with a few more people on the course and then we all made our way to Ben Bunk House where we would stay for most the course. We all settled in and had quick look around the area.

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Day 2, 3 and 4 ‘Paperwork and Doctor Doctor’

After two days in Wales I am having a fantastic time, although it is a little bit cold. We have had first aid lectures (sat in our sleeping bags to stay warm) then lying outside on the cold ground to practice, we seem to have some dramatic casualty actors in the group. Became quite eventful with role plays and scenes with fake injuries, acted out by ourselves. Turned into quite an interesting few hours; some of the acting was somewhat amusing, others well played. Starting with bandaging, some how we had lots if spoon related injuries and stabbings. Then lots of big incidents in the afternoon with casualty support and incident management.

We have also done a bit of navigation training which sometimes was literally walking in circles around a field.

Everyone is really nice and we are all getting along well . The scenery is fantastic and we seem to have luckily missed out on the snow that has apparently hit the rest of the country let’s hope it stays away for the camping part.

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Day 5 ‘Where am I?’

An intro into orienteering; practicing reading a map to find posts using compass and map. A good day except for flooding my boots and freezing my feet!

We got the bus to Betws y coed and spent the day orienteering around the area, it was nice to finally get out of the building and out into the countryside. Everyone had fun and it was interesting doing the straight lines between points, via sheer drop offs. An eventful trip back as Dave (Manbag) attempted a four bourbon challenge and ended it by throwing up! Congrats!

I have just had a much needed shower and now off to the pub for bangers and mash 🙂

Day 6 ‘Up we go’

Took our first mountain day! The weather had turned a bit nasty so things didn’t look too promising but we carried on anyway! Everyone got paired up and took turns to lead the group, it did get to a point where we had to turn around and head back down due to the weather becoming too risky to continue. We took a new route and carried on with the day!

After a forecast of 10 inches overnight I was a little disappointed to wake up to the usual bleak Welsh landscape, an early start looking at the tents and stoves that we are going to use next week. It had started to snow by the time we moved on to nutrition, but due to the wind it was going sideways. We then sat our first test and had the rest of the day off. After lunch there was enough snow to go play in 🙂  so we got kitted up and ran off into the snowy fields where it had gathered knee deep. I had great fun playing hide and seek, snowball fight and burying Terry in the snow. Then an evening of games featuring the bourbon challenge. I’m holding the joint lead with 4. Then puzzles in front of the nice warm fire and a random break dancing battle.

Day 7 & 8 ‘Only one thing to say… SNOOOWWW’

Quite a bit of snow came down! Spent the morning checking kit for the rest of the week and a test which I’m sure all enjoyed! The afternoon was spent enjoying the snow as original plans had to be altered. Danish John also managed to break an axe so firewood was now limited!

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Our first day of Mountain Leader (ML) training, spent the day learning rope work, how to lower ourselves and others. Tried out how to lead a person up and down a hill or mountain with them tied onto a rope! Once again we acted as a person in need of help, closed our eyes which made the journey up and down quite worrying! Putting a lot of faith in our newly met ELT’s.

Day 9 ‘All good things, come to an end!’

Went over some more rope work and tried out a river crossing! Absolutely freezing, to the point of pain, I regret the bare feet! Turned me into a little girl but before you laugh give it a go! After lunch we were told some very bad but slightly expected news. The rest of the ML and course in Wales was cancelled; the weather was stopping us from completing it! It was decided that we all went home and re-joined Friday or Saturday for Belize!

And so this Wales blog ends ahead of time! We all have a few days to rest and then it’s off to Belize!

Goodbye Wales!

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