I haven’t posted for a week. I apologise. HOWEVER, this time I have a valid excuse.
I have spent the past week climbing mountains, walking gorges and rock climbing (all which I will explain in a moment) in North Wales. That’s right. I’ve been away from civilisation living out my life in the valleys. There has literally been NO internet. I was considering bringing something to write with, but in the end I settled on a notebook (story about this coming up too!) and I am so glad I did as well; because I was dead most of the other days.
Now, there is a stereotype that Wales is just valleys and sheep. Let me tell you:
THIS IS NOT A STEREOTYPE; there are literally valleys and sheep EVERYWHERE. Every single bit of land, there is at least one sheep on. More often than not, there is a whole flock (herd?) of them. And the ones we all drove past were all shorn (I now understand why the cartoon caricature is called SHAUN the Sheep! At least… I hope that is an intentional pun!) and had huge coloured marks on their disgusting wrinkly skin. Not that I have anything against naked sheep, but COME ON. Like, get some decency please and cover up. Nobody wants to see you naked.
Anyways, the coach journey started at about 11:00 on Monday 20th and we got to the small hostel in North Wales by about 5:00, which wasn’t too bad, seeing as we were all talking loads and absolutely captivated by the beautiful views. At least, we were all captivated until we quickly realised our phone signals were steadily dropping.
So there we were, sitting at the front, just chatting away about Spanish and Poland, and mating animals and stuff, and then someone goes, “Wait, guys. I think I’ve lost signal.” At which point we all frantically check our phones like, ahhh! Maybe mine has lost it too! And sure enough we have. Then five seconds later, “No wait… It’s back.”
And that was what it was like for a long time. On and off, on and off. The signal kept dropping and then picking up again. It was mental. Anyway, I met some fantastic people on the coach (unfortunately they were NOT my group, but I loved them all the same) and we had lots of banter.
When we arrived there we were all horrified to find that there was no WiFi… and we were yet to discover (for about… a day and a half) that there was a slight signal if you stood in a particular part of the foresty bit at the edge of the hostel grounds. (We later took advantage of this; I spent about an hour during free time every day out there trying to call my family and my baes and stuff).
The next couple of days kinda just sped by like a blur. The first day our team (Reiss! Brap brap!) went rock climbing with RICKY. (I have to scream the name of our instructor – his name wasn’t actually Ricky – because of the ‘Eastenders’ Bianca’s Ricky… we all yelled Ricky whenever we wanted to get his attention) We first had to climb up some super steep hill to actually get to the rock face. Now, the rock face was nothing like what you get in indoor climbing walls; it had no footholds or handholds. It was literally a rock. Face. RICKY ran up to set up the ropes while Team Reiss sat at the bottom like lemmings, just played a few games and then started climbing. After a small tiff with our harnesses (I put mine on incorrectly about 8 times) we finally started climbing.
I say climbing, but it meant that one of us tried to scramble up the rockface desperately while the others stood at the bottom cheering them on and eating our lunches while getting spat on by the rain. Our Senior Mentor and I decided that the weather was super sucky so we made up a sundance (we didn’t even know what it was???) and OH MY GOODNESS it was terrifying. We kind of jumped around in a circle singing (more like screeching), “RAIN RAIN GO AWAY, COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY.” And then stopped occasionally and waved our arms in a circle and squealed, “SUNSHINE. SUNSHINE. SUNSHINE. SUNSHINE.”
I kid you not, everytime we did that dance, the rain stopped and the sun popped out.
Anyways, after I tried (unsuccessfully) to climb the rock, I slammed into the rock face about 6 times, before I gave up completely, turned around on the rope and just started talking down to my group. Banter.
We left from the rock climbing straight to the overnight camp which was – needless to say – so entertaining. Once we had set up all our tents in the rain (hahaha! One of the girls tents got rainwater through into the porch!) we cooked dinner. When I say we, I mean the girls. (The boys were all faffing about) When I say dinner, I mean pre-made pasta sauce and pasta. There wasn’t much cooking to do really. The cooking just entailed me chopping a bunch of onions and peppers to add to the sauce to make it taste like… something other than tomato puree. We stirred, we stirred and stirred. We emptied packets of salt and pepper into the sauce AHA it was hilarious.
It tasted alright. Was hardly gourmet food, but it was camping so HEY-HO. It was fun anyway.
The next morning everyone just complained about their sleep other than me and two other girls. We left from there back to the hostel where we got more stuff to go and climb some mountains WHOO!
Not whoo. Although the view was beautiful, I came back with scratches on my arms and hands, aching legs (#ThunderThighs), and a sore, wet butt. However, I literally sang the ENTIRE 4-hour hike. Every song I could think of. I did HSM, I did Disney, I did requests, I did The Sound of Music (since it was very apt, singing and spinning around on hills) and I felt so energised. When that got boring, I started talk-singing; which is basically where you talk through songs. It quickly became hilarious, especially seeing as myself and the Senior Mentor were doing requests and had to talk-sing while censoring the lyrics.
Then it quickly became irritating. Anyway, we survived that vicious ordeal and got back to the hostel where we got pizza for dinner (no offense but it was nasty… (there’s the no offense thing LOOL) No but seriously, why do people assume that all vegetarians eat are vegetables?! I HATE OLIVES AND I HATE PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA WHAT THE HELL) and had a rave in our room at night, which was great. (There are 16 girls in our dorm, imagine that)
That evening, my mind started working (in the way that it does, just randomly) and came up with a writing idea. So, when we all got into bed that night, (there also was a bat in the other girl’s dorm, but not ours because the first thing I did when we all came into that dorm on the first day was CLOSE THE WINDOW) I whipped our my notebook and wrote.
And wrote and wrote and wrote. For about 2 and a half hours straight. I filled 11 sides of A5 paper and had a little bit of overspill, but since my writing is quite small anyway, I wrote A LOT. Not that I remembered most of what I had wrote in the morning and had a good laugh at how entertaining it was.
The next day we were smashed. (Not as in alcohol – I keep using that word to describe extreme tiredness, but it always comes across as inappropriate to be honest – just completely TIRED smashed). We then learnt that we were going to go gorging. Zak and Kim kindly informed me with glowing, excited faces that it was amazing, fantastic, so much fun, and every other exciting synonym you could possibly think of.
It was NONE of the above. We were in cold wetsuits, in cold water, in cold weather, on slippery rocks. The higher we climbed, the further we had to drop to our deaths. (It really was that scary). Not to mention that our team decided to have a water fight in the rock pool (which, btw, apparently the Herbal Essence advert was filmed in!) and then RICKY pushed me into the pool. And we all jumped in and then climbed out and it was FREEZING AH. We also had to fit through these rocks called ‘”The Elephant’s Butt” which was as difficult as it sounds.
Somehow, I survived that. It could only have been God, I swear, I was genuinely convinced I was either going to fall to my death or die of hypothermia/pneumonia/an intense flu. (Right now anyway I have a sore throat – I have lost my voice – and a bit of a chesty cough, which I am CONVINCED is purely because of the gorging).
The next day, we all just packed our stuff up and left pretty much. The journey back was 7 hours and 55 minutes long (yes, I kept count) and after we stopped at a service station, I just didn’t think we were even going to make it back to London. However, myself and Tor struck up conversation and just chatted all the way back really, which was great, because I found an English person! (Long story short, most people at this age are either English people or Maths/Science people. Nearly everyone else I spoke to was a Maths/Science person, but Tor was the FIRST English person I had met on this entire trip!)
When we arrived, all I wanted to do was sleep. I couldn’t though. I partially unpacked, by which I mean threw all my dirty laundry into the wash and the laundry basket, but I still have to repack tomorrow for the next week, which should be fun.
But yes. I feel like that is a concise summary of the week without baiting anyone out or firing shots. And now my mission is to learn the rest of a rap to prove to Zak and Kim that I am the ultimate Queen.
Oh yeah. I got everyone to call me Queen. I am saved in people’s contacts as ‘Queen’. It is fantastic. Life of luxury. Now I am in more group chats from all these socialising things and it’s stressing me out. My Whatsapp pings enough from the Group at Royal Holloway; now I’m in a Team Reiss Group and a generic NCS group. I won’t be able to keep up.
Like I said before, I’m tired. So, here you go Team Sabesan. Love you all.
Also shout out to Frazza who is in Canada and may come back extremely polite. (Because we all know how lovely Canadians are) And Kazza who is in Spain (oh no, my apologise, she is NOT in Spain, she is in Sardinia), and Sazza who is in Hong Kong. Whilst Dezza and the rest of the Astellian’s are all sitting pretty in England.
Peace out people and goodnight. No promises for posts this week as I will be away again, but I will try my best.