Today pupils enjoyed making Mexican street food at the Central Street Cookery School. All of their profits are reinvested back into the local community, for whom they run subsidised and sometimes even free classes to help people acquire cookery skills. A lovely, relaxed end to a great week.
Friday, 1 July 2016
We woke up next to a glacier on the French-Italian border to a beautiful sunrise illuminating the valley. Trekking a final 15km (mostly, thankfully, downhill) we reached Courmayeur in Italy, the end point of the tour. We've just eaten a celebratory - and much-needed pizza and are enjoying some long overdue showers before heading to Geneva airport. All being well, we will arrive in the UK (our fourth country of the day!) before 11pm. It's been a super, snowy trip.
Leo and Theo attempt a jump shot
Iman and Ashleigh enjoy some well-earned rest underneath the south side of the Mont Blanc massif
To mark the occasion of a 5.5km swim (or so we thought - it was actually 6km!), I attempted to boost the SwimTrekkers with Al Pacino's 'Inches' speech from 'Any Given Sunday'. This worked to an extent (at least they humoured me), but it was clear and understandable that nerves were very much present across the group.
After a short bus ride, we jumped into lake Asainai and off we went! The group has naturally fallen into three groups based on ability, rhythm, and, in light of Mr Willingham and I spending time with all three, very different levels of 'banter', humour and entertainment!
Both Mr Willingham and I have been blown away by the level of swimming across the group, but today was really an exceptional show of all the hard work that they've put in this week. The 'orange' group deserve a special mention; they've gone from strength to strength and swam in a perfectly tight formation for the full 6km. I was definitely kept in my place when leading the group and receiving frequent feedback on whether my speed was too fast or just right!
All three groups met up on a jetty for a quick cup of hot chocolate, biscuits and gummy bears at around 2.5km before we set off for the final stretch (endless stretch that is!). The water was like glass today and some of the best conditions the SwimTrek guides have seen. We were also told the lake had good energy; a point met with slight disdain, which was promptly rebuked by all upon completion of the swim. We all fell into a sort of trance and lost in our own thoughts as we powered through the final 3km.
To celebrate the end of the swim, and the end of our swims for the week, we all ate a tremendous amount of quesadillas and drank a lot of water! A relaxing evening of beach volleyball, packing and sleep is now on the agenda!
Pupils cleaned up the centre this morning and then headed out to enjoy some final climbing on the high ropes and even got a bit of sunshine. The coach will be picking us up around midday, so with good traffic we should be back at school between 5 and 6pm.
Today was our last full day at the campsite. The pupils cooked breakfast on the fire again and some were using their foraging skills to make nettle tea amongst other things. After breakfast the children could choose to either learn how to make a spoon in knife craft or learn how to use weapons to hunt.
After lunch we had Bushcraft Olympics - it was a fantastic chance for the students to show us the skills they had learnt over the week.