Early morning rise by the alarm clock on Monday morning at 6 o'clock, to head off to Carlingford Adventure Centre for two days. It was still the dead of night (or so it seemed) at 6 showing that the summer is defaintly over, and winter is here. Over the past couple years I've heard so much about Carlingford from past Transition Year students, some good and some bad responses, mostly people saying it was a brilliant experience, so I went with very high hopes. And they were certainly fulfilled! I was pleased with the fact that we were heading off on the trip the two days before our results came out. I didn't give them a second thought down there, which kept me much calmer.
We left for the centre at seven, some people still half asleep while others were wide awake jumping and screaming with delight that we were heading off on our famous Carlingford trip! We arrived at around 9 and no time was lost. We were given a room for our bags for the day (not our bedrooms, they had to wait!) and headed off to our first activity - Lasers! Everyone enjoyed themselves and really got into the spirit of things, especially with the army gear, including laser guns on. It was very similar to paintballing, without the pain and bruises! It was definatly a good start to the trip to say the least. We headed back to the centre for lunch, but it wasn't long till we were back out with more activities. We then were brought to "The Challenge Course" which was another hike to get to, as well as to the lasers. There was a mixture of team building excercises on this course, and it seems everyone gave it their best shot, loved the 'Communication Breakdown' challenge which was like a small maze in a shed, pitch black dark, and our aim was to go in and find our way back out again. Sounds easy but let me assure you it was a very difficult challenge when 7 other people were concerned & you weren't just worrying about getting yourdelf out. After hours of working as 'one'(!) and collecting our gems as prizes we went back for dinner this time to the centre.
After Spagetti we were super excited ot be going on anmother activity - Nightline, woo! This is when you're blindfolded and one had is one a rope and the other on the person's sholders in front and you have to communicate to tell eachother about whats coming like a tree for example ( I guess you've gathered by now that this was team bonding trip!). Of course when we got to the forest, it couldnt be drama free, oh no! Something had to happen, so we got a forest fire. Yep. It was across the bay so it certainly wasn;t going to reach us, ut the thought alone was scary enough! Us, at the back of the line saw the fire begin and spread, and spread.. & spread. It got kinda frightning to be honest, and the fact we were being blindfolded and been brought through and dark forest certainly didnt help.
With that big scare over we came back once again to the centre, to be greated by a visiting boys school. I guess you could say that some girls made a few friends? *Cough cough*., We had an enjoyable night in until we had to head to bed at 11, which only led to continuation of a party in the bedrooms, with sweets galore! Our goal was to do an 'all nighter' but we lasted only until 3:00, guessing thats not the earlier time to head to bed for anyway! But some how or another we got up at 7:00 the next morning and began our day with a bit or abseiling and rock climbing. I've never enjoyed something more, probablly becaue I felt like a little risk taker.. climbing up the mountain (?) face blindfolded! Very pleased with myself. Abseiling was great fun too, but can be very scary putting your trust in trees to hold you up when you're going down the mountain backwards!
Returning from lunch we finished up with orienteering and archery. The route for orienteering was so long they may as well have given us a mp of the world and told us to walk up and down the alps, some of the mountains felt just as steep! It was definatly a tough test of the fitness levels, and I can obviously say I was exausted afterwards.
It all seemed to end so quickly. We arrived back and within ten minutes we were walking and lugging my suitcase (:s) back onto the bus, where a lot of us took the chance to catch up on some much needed sleeep!
I hope I can speak for everyone in the year and say that the trip definatly fulfilled our high expectations, and that we bonded more as a group. I'm alreading jealous of next year's TYs and their trip to Carlingford, and hope they'll have just as much fun.
Thank you Mrs. L for organising the trip, and to Ms. O'C and Ms. B for all your help (and added fun!) on the trip!
talk soon xo