West London Free School 2018

Maria Rudnytska, Sara Velastegui, Rachel Velastegui

Camping challenge in the South Downs

Their story, in their words….

Our challenge was to hike and camp for three days and four nights in the Southdown’s way. This challenge was to strengthen our physical abilities, and our love for nature and exploring. This challenge was hard for us, however, we enjoyed every step of the way it was a lovely experience. We proved to ourselves that with perseverance, determination and the support that we gave each other we would be able to complete our challenge. With all the scenic views and the different sounds of the countryside, we travelled all the way from Eastbourne to Gumber Bothy near Chichester we met other hikers on South Downs way it was wonderful hearing their experiences in hiking and being able to share our experience, everyone was so kind it’s amazing how doing a challenge like this can bring people closer allowing us to improve our teamwork skills and strengthen the friendship that we have. Our challenge started at London Victoria Station where we came across an issue with the transport but we where not gong to let this set back prevent us from doing the challenge so we resolved this and reached the first campsite. The hikes we had to take each day were long, difficult and we exerted ourselves in order to reach our destinations, it was a relief to arrive at the campsite, where we set up camp and made dinner which was incredibly relieving after a long day of hiking. I am happy and proud to say that this challenge was unforgettable and really rewarding. This trip a great way to help us connect to nature, a great way to relieve stress and forget our everyday problems. Everyday was a challenge for us as we have never gone on a hike this intense. As we arrived to our final destination we spent the rest of the day conversing about the the great opportunity that was given to us by Mark Evison and how lovely the previous days where though it was difficult we truly enjoyed the challenge and showed us that we don’t have to be dependent on others. We are inspired to go camping and hiking again in the future. We have gained many skills and have become more independent as a result so thank you for this wonderful opportunity.