There are no words to describe the journey that we took. This journey was not just the hiking in the Peak District but all other factors such as planning, travelling and camping which made the experience one to remember. But if there was one thing that had been the hardest, it had to be the planning. Knowing where we wanted to go, how we can get there, if it’s possible to hike and camp there, the parental consent and the constant changes. We had to learn to adapt when problems occurred and we had to be especially good at budgeting. We can’t say that any of it was easy, however, it was one journey that we’d all repeat if we had a chance to do again.
Number 1. Commitment. Before we can go anywhere, we needed to decide who was going. Everyone at first was up for the challenge of doing something. What we hadn’t anticipated was actually being free on a certain date or actually being allowed to camp. Parental consent. Tricky obstacle, but accomplished with flying colours after days of negotiations.
Number 2. Where? When? How? Lucky for us, we had decided to go to Peak District very early in the stages of planning which had made it easier to narrow down the campsite we wanted to stay at and what trail was best.
Number 3. Everything else. The budgeting, buying tickets, renting equipment and actually getting there was one obstacle you can only prepare for by being organised. Everything had gone to plan until our date clashed a train strike on the day that we wanted to go. Panic set in and we were in a conundrum. However, we managed to overcome the problem after calling up the campsite we planned to stay at and booking coach/train tickets one day later.
Day 1. Up and ready by 7 am, we had set off to reach Victoria Coach Station on Sunday with our camping gear strapped up to our backs. The training that we had begun months ago had come to use when we began dragging our backpacks from one train to another. By 9 am we made it to the coach station with time to spare to catch our breath before getting on the coach to Sheffield. Eventually we made it to our campsite and relief set in as we began to build our tent and start our first hike, Mam Tor.
Day 2. We had thought that the Mam Tor had been too easy but we had yet to face Jacobs Ladder on the Kinder Scout Trail. The trail started off with us all going at a steady pace and passing other hikers coming from the opposite direction. By the time we reached to Jacobs Ladder our energy had depleted, but with the encouragement of the hikers coming down Jacobs ladder we were motivated to carry on. The view was incredible and by the time we reached the top we realised that we had completed one of the most key features that made us come to Peak District instead of somewhere else.
Day 3. Once again we set forth to the Kinder Scout trail, however, we had gone a different route, this time going up a hill. By the time we made it to the top of the hill we had little to no energy, but we kept on going until we once again made it back to the campsite.
Day 4. Our last day started with some rain and a struggle to pack the tent back. We said bye to all the animals that kept us company through the day and woke us up in the morning. We made it to our train and coach on time, which had been a relief.
We’d like to give a huge thank you to the Mark Evison Foundation and we will cherish this experience for the rest our lives! This experience has brought us together as friends and allowed us to challenge ourselves to great lengths.