Over the weekend, Elliott Degazon and Asia Koter from year 12 visited Durham School to meet with their DofE groups in order to perform a practice expedition in Kielder Forest.
Elliott “The walk on the first day was extremely tough both mentally and physically. When I was climbing up through a deforested area, which is also covered with disgusting bog, I said to myself “I can do this!” I never gave up. After this difficult part of the weekend, my group were met with spectacular views of Kielder Water. I was extremely blessed to go on this expedition and I hope to do just as well in the real expedition in Scotland.”
Asia “We spent the last weekend on a practice DofE expedition in Kielder Forest. We left the school early in the morning and drove all the way to Durham School. It was sunny and warm and looked like a great day for a hike.
After a brief kit check in our groups we drove to Kielder campsite, which is very close to the Scottish border. Each group got a map with a different route and we were ready to go.
We set off about 1 pm. After some time we found out that the quarry we were supposed to walk along didn’t exist so we had to go through a dense forest. No one avoided being stabbed by the pine trees. Then we walked the whole way up the Deadwater Trail and had lunch at the top of the hill.
Initially we planned to cross the Scottish border but we had to take a shorter route along Coacher Cleugh River and through the forest. Climbing down the steep slopes of the river valley was difficult, especially with the heavy rucksacks on our backs, but it was actually great fun. The most difficult bit was going along the Scaup Burn River where the terrain was very tricky – it was easy to fall into some unexpected hole. Fortunately, no one in our group was seriously injured.”