Silver DofE Team Practice Expedition

We arrived at Scout Park. 6:00pm. Sun.

Abandoned by mini bus. Naked people from window looking smug. Giving false directions.

A 10-minute walk to campsite turns into a 2 hour trek. In the dark.

We got to the campsite. Dark.

We woke up in the morning.

Aneesa has a wet bed. Gruel.

We started walking. Rain.

We see a mountain. Cry.

Eventually reach the top of mountain after eons of climbing. More rain. More wind. More crying.

Pot noodles at the top of mountain. Out comes trangia.

Forty minutes later. Water still hasn’t boiled. 

We meet wise, old, and mountain-goat looking man at the top of the enormous mountain. [Leader comment: Mam Tor, not even a massive mountain]

He declares sunny skies and sun-bathers two minutes away along the ridge of the mountain.

Gullible girls believe goat-man and set off (without pot noodles).

Reach bottom of mountain. No sun. More rain. Literally drenched.

Find nice road. Maps on floor. Car coming. Frantic running to sides with flailing maps in the air.

Moment of truth. Push on to booked campsite on the other site or find sanctuary closer by?

Dearbhla the decider; “I’m really not too fussed guys”. Half an hour of frustration and argument.

We see a campsite. Not booked campsite.

We enter said campsite. Scary man. Scary phone call. Scary Marlon on phone to scary man.

Tent pitching. Bed making. Wet sleeping bag. Wet and soggy maps and route cards. Wet everything. More crying.

Attempt at warm and blissful shower. 20p for two minutes of icy cold water. Failed attempt.

Marlon arrives. Notices river. Ignores us momentarily. Very scared.

Extensive debrief. Mention of more exercise required. More crying.

Sarcastic man mentions surprise at 7:00pm from Marlon. Wet pants.

Dinnertime. Crispy pasta. Yum…?

Sat on wet bench. Waiting.

7:00pm. More waiting. Food.

8:00pm. More waiting. More food.

8:30pm. Carrot throwing. Dodgy looks from dodgy boys.

9:00pm. Given up. Back to tents. Wet tents.

9:10pm. Hiding. Anticipating navigational walk. More crying.

9:20pm. Annie and Ruairi arrive. Klara, Amie and Izzy fake sleeping.

9:30pm. Frisbee in tent. Angry girls.

Annie mentions navigational walk. Annie declares navigational walk to be imperative. Cry. More cry. More more cry.

9:40pm. Attempt to set off for navigational walk. Girls need toilet.

Halfway out of campsite. Aneesa: “Dearbhla, is my shoelace undone?”   Dearbhla: “No, definitely not.”

Five seconds later. Aneesa flies three meters into the air after tripping over loose shoelace.

Navigational walk. Dark. Blisters. Images of boogey men behind us. Most probably tears in the darkness.

Annie teaches girls about the GPS (green pointing stick). Aneesa names GPS Gilbert.

10:30pm. Is it an owl? Is it a plane? Is it a dying bird? No, its Dearbhla’s £5 wind up and detachable head torch.

Am I going in the right direction? BEEP, BEEP, BEEP.

11:30pm. Arrive back at campsite. Some girls escape for the “toilet”. They are never seen again that night until Aneesa and Dearbhla find them sprawled across the wet floor of the tent.

12:00am. Aneesa and Dearbhla re-writing route cards. Possibility of somewhat bearable day ahead. Party rings.

2:00am. The spooning begins.

4:00am. Klara starfishes. Unhappy sleeping girls.

5:00am. What’s on Aneesa’s bum? LOOSE RACOON??? Dearbhla.

5:30am. Pushing and shoving from the five girls in the three man tent.

6:00am. Dearbhla: “GUYS TIME TO GET UP!”

Response? NO

7:30am. Breakfast. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Nutritious.

8:30am. Set off. Sunshine. Good start.

8:35am. Tired. Sweat. Planning imminent death.

8:50am. How many bones need to be broken for an early pick up?

9:00am. Dearbhla feels something sludgy under bottom. Discovers her behind to be perched on sheep poo… stays sat down.

9:30am. Cyclists on Jagger’s Clough (exceptionally steep monstrosity).

9:35am. More psychopathic cyclists.

9:45am. More cyclists. Group question the sanity of Peak District residents.

9:50am. Naming ceremony of Dearbhla’s water bag. Welcome, Willis.

10:30am. Leaf racing after struggle down 25o mountain. Aneesa wins. Klara 2nd. Dearbhla’s leaf not to be seen.

11:00am. Walk up steepest hill of the day. Group of OAPs take us over with their walking sticks.

11:20am. Picnic at the top of steep hill. Wraps and peanut butter bagels. Beaut.

12:00pm. Sheep everywhere. Group declare that sheep without legs are clouds and are at risk of floating away.

Expedition delirium beginning to kick in?

1:20pm. Doing great. Almost at final checkpoint. Last footpath non existent. Arrived late to mini van.

1:50pm. Collapsed on floor by reservoir.

2:00pm. Aneesa and Dearbhla stand in rocky water with excruciatingly painful blisters. Rest of group still collapsed along reservoir.

3:00pm. Aneesa squishes fly on window. Annie cries.

3:15pm. Mini bus carries the stench of teenage body odour and trench-foot.

4:30pm. Stop off at Annie’s hometown. Ella and Andrew Bowers own very exquisite bathroom.

4:30pm. What goes up a chimney up, down a chimney down but doesn’t go down a chimney up or up a chimney down? Confusion.

4:45pm. An umbrella.

6:00pm. KFC stop off. Most amazing moment of entire weekend. Izzy and Klara purchase enough chicken and chips to feed an army. Izzy: “ Can I have 2 large fries with a side of fries please?”

7:00pm. Aneesa gags. Rescue mission. LEMON SCENTED WIPES.

7:35pm. Dearbhla and Klara play infamous (nfms) game where vowels are removed from long words.

7:37pm. Writing blog. Rest of bus is most likely wanting to throw us onto the side of the motorway. Izzy and Amie dancing to Waka Waka in seat behind. May possibly take someone’s eye out. Trip to A&E in the near future? Most probably.


There is so much potential for our real expedition – the quest goes on!


Aneesa, Dearbhla, Klara, Izzy and Amie.


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