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The perfect 16th Birthday

My Year 10 mountaineering expedition was brilliant. I found it such an experience to feel the freedom of the great outdoors. I have so many memories, however the best was spending my 16th birthday at 2000 metres amongst the most amazing mountain scenery I have ever seen. I never would have imagined that spending my 16th birthday was to take place in the Spanish mountains called Picos de Europa.

We walked through a deep gorge called the Cares Gorge. There were blue skies all around us. The sun was shining bright; we were walking 7km an hour (the fastest I have ever walked). We walked for 10km until we reached the end of the dramatic valley. Then we took a long turn until it opened up to even more blue skies and snowy peaks in the distance. The gorge became much deeper and more dramatic. The water was fierce as it was pounding downstream in big torrents. We were so hot at this point that we all wanted a swim in the gorgeous fresh Spanish mountain water. But it was impossible, the river was about 500 metres below us and we were walking on a very narrow path with a sheer drop down to the roaring turquoise water. We all dared ourselves to look over the edge at the river. A fall here would be the end of you.

We walked another 5km till we got to the town of Cain. Then all of a sudden, unexpectedly Sir brought out a small cake with a candle. I was gobsmacked and began to laugh as everyone was singing the birthday song. It was such a surprise to me. We were sitting as we heard nothing but just water flowing, tweeting birds, the locals talking. I began to feel that this moment would never be the same, being 16 in Spain, and spending it with all my friends while having a well-deserved lunch.

We began to pack up and walked back down the gorge. This time we were faster! In total we walked 30km that day. I would say that it was totally worth it as the views were breath-taking. However, we got our energy back by Sir treating us to a nice posh restaurant in the local town. The taste of food in your mouth was so needed as we all were longing for it all day. I found it the best experience ever.

Keep in mind this was just one day. We spent seven in Spain. So just imagine what we have been up to and how much fun we had!

William Johnson – Year 10


St David's College

- Est. 1965 -

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