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Killary Adventure Trip

Our trip began on August 27th; it was a day most of us had been looking forward to all the month before. Each student got up painfully early with a great sense of anticipation for what was to come. We gathered outside the eerily empty school and engaged in anxious chatter until the buses arrived. Many were giddy with excitement, while I, along with some others, were barely awake enough to communicate.

At 8am the buses came. We loaded our bags and filed into the bus where we would spend the next five hours of our lives. Many were dreading the journey, but it proved more interesting than expected. A speaker played music not quite loud enough to be heard over those singing heartily along and – as always – the back of the bus was considerably louder and livelier than the front.

We stopped halfway through for a greatly appreciated McDonald’s and a few hours later, finally reached our destination. When we got to the adventure centre, we were told the basics of how we would spend our next few days. The announcement of phones being taken away inspired a series of groans that echoed through the hallways, but we soon got used to it.

Upon arriving, we were split into groups of ten and assigned our activities of the day. My group did high ropes first. I have always been scared of heights so the fear rose gradually within me as we went to pack our bags. The phrase “You get out what you put in,” was a phrase relating to transition year that had been drilled into my head from the moment it began being mentioned in third year. There was constant talk of comfort zones and facing fears so before we left for the high ropes, I promised myself I would get involved.

The first challenge we did at the high ropes involved four people relying on each other to stay up. I could feel my heart beating as the instructor attached my harness to the structure I would have to climb. There was a point where I considered coming down but a desire to face my fear (and not embarrass myself) kept me going. Four people had to climb up a wooden pole with a tiny platform at the top. We each had to squash ourselves onto the platform and only had each other to hold onto. When we all got to the top, it became clear that I wasn’t the only person afraid. We helped each other and worked as a team to complete the challenge. When I came down, I was filled with a sense of achievement and was glad I had taken part.

The next day my group did ‘The Killary Challenge’-a set of team building tasks-and later on, we did bog walking. The bog was one of my favourite activities. They used old, torn wetsuits for it and (unfortunately for us) my group weren’t the first to go that day, so the wetsuits were cold and wet. Attempting to get into the slimy-feeling wetsuits certainly wasn’t the most pleasant experience and the manky old swimming trunks that were put on over them didn’t exactly add to the already far from fashionable outfit (although it did give us quite a laugh).

On the last day we did kayaking, cliff-jumping and gorge-walking. The best part was the cliff-jumping which involved jumping off a high pier into the water below.

Everyone seemed to really enjoy the activities but the food had some people complaining. The multi-coloured nature of the pasta sparked great confusion with terrifying whispers that the green ones were made of spinach.

The trip was jam-packed with things to do so when it came to an end, everyone was wrecked and couldn’t wait to go home and sleep. Some actually couldn’t wait and partook in the risky business of sleeping on a bus full of bored teenagers. The bus was much more relaxed on the way back, but not for Mr Giblin who spent a large portion of it being interrogated about how near we were to McDonald’s.

By the end of the trip, all the TY classes and the whole year group became closer together. I found myself connecting with people I had never even spoken to before. It was a great experience and a promising start to Transition Year 2018-2019.

By Aoibhe McAllister