Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wales Adventure :London, UK

London, UK
October 18-25, 2012

 Friday afternoon, four of my flatmmates and I went to Wales for the weekend on a retreat set up by the Student Life Center of FIE. The weekend get away was open to the whole study abroad student body, and 50 kids signed up to go on the trip. I was so excited to go to Wales, leave England and to see some country. I was later, even more excited slowly realizing how many of my good friends also signed up for the trip and how we'd grown closer over the past weeks abroad. We all met up at King's Cross Station to catch our first leg of the journey which was a four hour train ride to Swanwick Station. We had to transfer to another train line going further into Wales along the coast. The second train ride was two hours long, and we arrived during a hailstorm! We all stored our bags in a trailer behind a group of buses which belonged to the hosts that the program had sent for us. We arrived at our place we would call home for the weekend, were assigned rooms, and ate dinner. This is the first view I had in the morning.  

Wales - Preseli Ventures

We started our morning at 7:45 with a traditional Welsh breakfast of meat, eggs, beans, bread, and jam. Different pre-sorted groups were assembled at different locations on the property to get ready for the activities for the day. The group I was put into was set to go on a hike along the Welsh Coastline back to the lodge. One of our hosts drove a group of us guys out to the start of our seven mile hike.

 We were filled with energy at the start of the day and were excited to explore Wales. These are two of my good friends Evan and Chris on our hike.

 The views along the coast were beautiful, and the weather was so refreshing in contrast to the cramped London atmosphere.

 Through out our hike we were along side residential homes that were set into the hillside with a 270 degree coastal view.

This is Chris and Evan along a bridge during the hike.

 Roaming hills met with the crashing coastline.

 The trail of the hike weaved through cow fields and sheep fields for miles.

 The Welsh coastline is beautiful yet so treacherous for boats, or wandering cattle.

 These are local Welsh Cattle.

This is a scenic landscape of the Welsh country side. The ruins of a structure are slowly being overtaken by the hillside.  

This hike was surreal, and was the perfect weather for an adventure through the Coastal hillside of Wales.

The sun came out and lit up the rolling hills.

The other native livestock besides cattle, were sheep, and plenty of them!

Every where I looked, I swear it could have been on a postcard, like here where natural erosion has created the tunnel through the coastline in the ocean.

This is the remains of a Welsh fortess being overtaken by vines and undergrowth in the hillside.

This is a group from our trip coasteering. Coasteering was gearing up in a wetsuit, gloves, and a helmet, and then strategically scaling rocks in the ocean, and successfully jumping off them back into the ocean.   

Coasteering was my second activity for the day that was going to take place after hike. After I got back from the scenic hike, lunch was waiting for us, and we then quickly got ready to go coasteering ourselves in the ocean. It was the first time I wore a full wet suit with boots, a vest, shorts, a hood, gloves, and a helmet. It was an exhilarating experience in the water to be at the tides mercy and scaling rocks. We moved up the rocks to jump from cliffs that were 25-30 feet into the ocean below. Coasteering was such a rush and one of the best experiences of the trip. The adventure guides are a bunch of fun and are really fun guys. 

After coasteering, we headed back to the lodge for dinner and relaxation before our last day in Wales with our third activity. Tomorrow was going to be a blast because I was pumped for surfing!
I don't have any pictures because I was in the water but it was so fun. I never realized how strenuous the ocean, and the repetitious actions were to actually catch a wave were. Surfing would definitely be a fun hobby to pick up in the future.

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