Day 1: After leaving Pinewood, on time, with many parents waving us goodbye, the travel to Bristol was very smooth. In passport groups, we went through all the checks, boarded the plane, and set off into the cloudy sky. A small child entertained many of the children – she’s called Eva – before arrival in a warm and humid Toulouse.
After cramming our bags into the bus we started the two hour drive to Seix. Passing through beautiful countryside, we eagerly anticipated our arrival, glimpsing mountain tops and snowy peaks between the rain clouds. We had finally arrived – and the heavens opened with a mighty crack of thunder – but we still managed to get out and explore the town before a delicious dinner. Chicken and chips for the children, something more refined for the adults! The children then enjoyed a movie in the hostel’s theatre after a full kit check ready for the following day’s activities.
Day 2: An early start – for most – was followed by a delicious breakfast comprising cereal, bread, fruit and nutella. Lots of energy for the busy day ahead! 8AG and some of 8J went to the high ropes, while the rest of 8J and 8S went rock climbing. After a picnic lunch we swapped over. The children then sat down to write their journals before taking the chance to explore Seix a bit.
There was a lot of anticipation built up by Mr A-G by the way he was egging everyone on. We kitted up and had a 10 minute walk down a very steep hill to a river where James W decided to go for an impromptu swim! Then we had a safety briefing. As we made our way through the bridges we soon found that we had to climb, which, when we got to the top, opened up to an unbelievably beautiful canyon, overlooking the French countryside. The favourite bit was the the long zip wire at the end which was scenic and fast, while the shuffle across the cliff face to get to the final zip wire was exciting. When you told people to not look down, they looked down and turned to us and said “why did you do that?!”
I really enjoyed seeing people overcome their fears – that was definitely the best bit.
Paddy and Cameron
We arrived at a cliff face by the side of the road. It was very very big and looked scary. It also looked quite slippery and it was raining, but we knew we were going to give our best shot to climb to the top. We partnered up or, in some cases, were in groups of 3, and had a safety briefing and kitted up with harnesses and helmets. We chose our difficulty spot best suited for us, based on what we thought we could handle. We got taught how to belay, which is basically relying on another person to hold you while you climb up the cliff face. You have to find the right footholds and handholds, pull and push yourself up, don’t look down. You always felt higher than you actually were. Most people only managed to get half way up the rope, but Ned, Archie, Harriet and Rosie managed to get all the way to top. I felt satisfied to get as high as I did, and then we had to abseil down. It was really exciting when you got to the top, and then you were hit with the sudden realisation that you had to walk backwards to get back down!
We did this many times and helped each other to push our boundaries. It was really really amazing and we had a great sense of achievement!
Jemima N and Molly