Drayton Manor High School 2018

Lola Almeida, Jazline Burris, Anastasija Tomasevic, Rukia El-Busaid, Maisa Abed

Dark sky camping and hiking

Their story, in their words….

This trip was inspired by the stars which we all wanted to see but in order to get there, we had to travel to the darkest sky area in the United Kingdom. On our 5 day and 3 night trip, we travelled to Galloway Forest Park in Scotland. We worked our way around the park starting from Newton Stewart, visiting Loch Trool and Clatteringshaw Loch along the way. On our first day we stayed right on the edge of Loch Trool, metres away from the water. Unfortunately the night was cloudy so we went to sleep early to move the next day. On our second day we hiked for hours until arriving at Clatteringshaw Loch. Again, we stayed right by the water as this was essentially our source of survival. The second night was the only relatively clear sky where we managed to see the stars which we were told we would. It began to rain not long after dark which was disappointing so we had to give up for the night. For our third night we moved down the park again approaching Newton Stewart where we camped by one of many waterfalls in the park. This was probably our favourite location of the three as the surroundings seemed so surreal. It rained again on the third night which was just unlucky timing for our trip. Walking back to Newton Stewart the next morning gave us all a sense of accomplishment which was such a good feeling as we had all moved outside of our comfort zone and tested our limits of survival.
We feel like we have learnt how to be individuals but whilst working as a team. We planned and completed this trip with no guidance and it really took us out of our comfort zones. We believe that it brought us closer together as friends and that it has prepared us for challenges we may come across in the future. This was a trip we will not forget.