Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Camping with Uni | Part 2- Activities in Islay

Part two of my Camping with Uni blog, feel free to read part 1 here.

So as you already know from part 1, our class had to plan our own residential experience based on outcomes that we wanted to achieve, so while we were camping we planned activities to try and achieve this. I'll start from where we left off.

Day 1 - Morning. 

The morning was a slow one, everyone woke up in their own time and we took our tents down and had breakfast, (which was fire cooked bacon rolls!)
Our first activity was Beach Art. I love any chance to get creative, so this is an activity I could do all day any day.

This activity involved getting into pairs and  making something that fit into the criteria that was set, things like "using only natural resources," "using only man made resources." Each bit of art had a new loose criteria and a new partner to work with.  
The end activity was for us all to work together to create a "big art attack." We decided to make the hashtag #OutEdLearn (The hashtag for anything course related we put up on social media.) 


We made a decision to go to the Carraig Fhada lighthouse and singing sands for our lunch.

The lighthouse is a short walk from the road, and has a zig zaggy path above the rocks. The water is also crystal clear and you can see the forests of seaweed under it. 

Singing sands is a beach that gets it name from the fact that if you walk over the sand (that is of right conditions,) it makes a singing noise. We didn't experience of this but the location was beautiful so it didn't really matter. 
it was really warm at this point and I took the opportunity, (as I always do,) to go barefoot, because as everyone knows, I LOVE going barefoot!

Afternoon- Gorge Walking. 

Gorge walking was really good, however I was anticipating it, and was probably worrying myself about it more than i should.  As it turns out (after trying it last year,) I don't like canyoning or anything with jumps in it. I'm also not great with deep water. 
However, this gorge walk was beautiful. we have been asked not to mention the name or location of the gorge in order to keep it's mystic. (I.e to stop it getting ruined by being over populated with tourists every single day.) 

The session involved us all picking up a rock from the cave that was situated next to the gorge, (as a team) and getting it to the pool under the waterfall as a team. We then had a swim about, (I lost the soles of my shoes,) and we each picked up a single stone from the pool and took it back to the cave. We had to do this bit individually and in silence as a moment of reflection.

The beach here was beautiful too, there where a few curious seals that kept popping their heads up to say hello. There was also LOADS of bones! 

After a busy and full evening, we went to the local leisure centre and had a shower and then went to find a new camp. This took ages! We just couldn't agree on a new camp. One area had midges, another had sheep in the middle of lambing season, but when we finally found a place we set up camp and started cooking. Cooking is where the drama started, as we were all tired and hangry, tensions where high, but these tensions where fixed almost as soon as they started. 

I started to feel a bit sick at this point, and a few us felt a bit dodgy the second evening. So I went to sleep without any food, (No I had not been sent to bed without supper...) and slept for 10 hours. 

Day 2 

Day two was rubbish for myself. I fell really ill in the morning and was throwing up for a few hours and nauseous for the rest of the morning. This meant I didn't feel up for taking part in the activities, and most annoyingly , the long walk. The rest of the guys done a walk down the big strand- a beach that is 7 miles long. A walk that I would more than love to do. The girls (including me,) had planned a reflective activity, where we would pose questions to the group and discuss as we were walking. It apparently went really well, as I sat at one end of the beach twisting grass together to make some arty designs and eating a couple mouthfuls where I could.

In the afternoon we went back to the original camp and set up, and the rest of the guys went stand up paddle boarding. Again, another activity I would have loved, but by this point I was tired, and my body really needed a nap, ( as most people do after a morning of throwing up.) So I slept for 2 hours while they had fun in the sea! 

When I woke up at about 6-7pm, I woke up hungry. (What an amazing feeling after not being able to eat properly for 24 hours!) 
We done our last activity of the day- slack lining. I had never tried slack lining before, but pretty much straight after giving it a go, I went and got one for me and my other half to play around on. Its such good fun! We had played a game where two people had to sit on line and each person had to stay on the longest. I was pretty good at this, (just to toot my own horn a little...) 

The last night we cooked fajitas for our tea, and sat around the fire talking about the trip, getting ready for the ferry breakfast in the morning. (Which by the way, was incredible!) 

All in all the trip was fantastic, it bonded us as a group, despite there being a bit of tension,(If anything the tension helped!) and it was also great getting to experience the planning and carrying out of a residential experience! The benefits of an outdoor residential have become so clear to me since starting the module, and having experienced it first hand. 

If you'd like to find out more about the course, or anything I have written about,  don't hesitate to give me a message. 

Until next time, 
Jade- Your introverted adventurer!