The start of Adventure in the Journey of a Lifetime

The games and review of the night worked on the theme of the whole trip, communication. There were chances to explore what it was and how we use lots of aspects of ourselves in giving out information and trying to receive it too.

In June on a sunny day in Glasgow the 2017B team finished their Challenge phase of their Journey and moved into Adventure. We kicked it off with a four-day trip to the Kinlochetive Bothy and we wanted to share some of their experiences from the trip with everyone.

On the Friday Paul, Ashley , Shaun, Chris K, Dean were joined by volunteers Lucy and Sam, and staff Tristan and Chris M. We travelled up past Loch Lomond and stopped just past Tyndrum to join the West Highland Way. We walked from there to Bridge of Orchy. We hope to complete the whole long-distance path by doing little sections of it at a time, so we made the best of their time and walked a beautiful part that broke up the bus travel. From Bridge of Orchy the travelled the rest of the way to the bothy, which involved carrying all our equipment across a river to access it. On Friday night another of our great volunteers, Tom, joined us for the trip, just in time for our delicious meal of fajitas. There was lots to go round.

Saturday was a day of mixed weather but it wasn’t going to stop this team. We were up early with a cooked breakfast to fuel us up. We started with a tour of the area and then off we all went to collect wood for future fires and cooking pizzas in the outdoor oven later tonight. Dean managed to carry a tree all the way back, the rest of us chose to chop up the trees and carry armfuls and bagsful back. We found the area down by the beach a relaxing time out from our normal busy stressed lives in Glasgow. After a hard shift of manual labour many of us chose to use the local stream for a chance to bathe. Only one or two yelps from the cold were heard down the glen, but it helped refresh our spirits. The evening meal was a roaring success with pizza and a pasta bake cooked up in the outdoor oven, there may even have been cake for afters. The games and review of the night worked on the theme of the whole trip, communication. There were chances to explore what it was and how we use lots of aspects of ourselves in giving out information and trying to receive it too. However, the frustration of ‘How many polar bears were sitting around the fire?’ was too much for some! So, we reverted to some Telepathy Snatchy Grabby, quintessential bothy fun!

On Sunday we had to say goodbye to Tom, Lucy and Chris K. The volunteers had given up as much time as they had available and so with heartfelt goodbyes they walked out to find the train station and make the journey back home. The rest of us had a think of what we can do when there is lots of rain……find awesome waterfalls was the answer, and so the exploration began. We headed off in search of the Robber’s Falls. The Haribo helped energize us and we ended up seeing some waterfalls thundering down the valley! With a speedy walk back, the sun made its way out and we started the Mini Highland Games of Glen Etive. Competition was fierce and some outstanding achievements made. Trying to surpass Shaun was inevitably too much as he won nearly every round. Well we think it was Shaun, he hadn’t had his midge net off since he arrived, the group had nearly forgotten what he looked like!

Ashley cooked up the tastiest pot of macaroni cheese anybody had ever seen, just in time for Chris M to come in with our replacement staff and volunteer member, Donna! A great time to come in with everyone in high spirits and good energy about the place. She settled in like she had been there since the beginning. We played some amazing games with a lot of laughter, but most important of all was everyone needed a sleep, midge free if possible.

Monday had lots going for it, it was going home day, which meant showers were going to be at hand, but it meant leaving our home of four days which we were all very comfortable in now. No one was alone in wanting to stay for longer. We used the morning to review the trip and how we can transfer it to our lives in Glasgow. We cleaned up the bothy and ate everything we didn’t want to carry. We walked back out across the river to the bus to start the journey back.

We really enjoyed the company of the volunteers. They had a good energy, were funny, and were really easy to get along with. We enjoyed the great opportunity, and it gave us a chance to get away from the stresses of Glasgow and get our heads in a better place. The time to think and reflect was appreciated. We thoroughly enjoyed it and it couldn’t have happened without the help from Venture Scotland’s volunteers and funders, so from the whole of 2017B we say THANK YOU, and if you want to join us on another adventure back to the bothy we would love to see you.

Chris K, Ashley, Paul, Dean, Shaun.

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