DofE silver expedition

At the end of the last school year, from the 20th to the 23rd of June if we want to be precise, our group collected all the strength and courage and started out our DofE silver expedition. The group consisted of me, Bára Stejskalová, Honza Krajník, Andrea Kulaviaková and our immigrant friend Karin Paštiková; by the composition you could presume that nothing could have gone wrong. Well, we found out otherwise right on Saturday morning – but let’s not jump ahead. 

We were leaving school on Friday after school and planned that within an hour we would be in our camp in Žďár nad Sázavou. Not quite the case, as you would guess. Our dear D1 prepared a lovely traffic for us in which we were stuck for about an hour. Fortunately, with Mr Sommers as our supervisor we had enough fun to not get annoyed on the first day. 

Saturday morning was really hopeful; we managed not to oversleep, pack our things and get on a way to our four-​seat raft. Oh yes, we were a five-​member group, if you are wondering. We did not see a problem in this small detail… until we packed the entire raft with our backpacks and food. It almost seemed impossible for us all to fit in – but we did it! Encouraged by our first victory, we were ready to take off. Sadly, the raft did not share our enthusiasm. While we were desperately trying to push our raft and make it sail, Mr Sommers was having the time of his life, laughing at us and photographing us. Despite the first difficulties we were eventually able to take off and apart from two or three times, our first day was successful. 

We spent our second night in Kácov, in camp U Kouzelníka, we all will remember for a long time because of their good manners and affability. Sunday was the critical day; by noon, we replaced the rafting with hiking and of course, it wouldn’t be us if we did not get lost. The instructions were simple, just follow the nature trail – well, it is not as easy as you would think it is. Moreover, we realized that we were starting to run out of food. Buying food was forbidden, berries weren’t enough, and, well, what would you do? Knock on the houses of the villages you are passing and ask for food, right. At least, that’s what we did… and it worked. 

Our last day passed somehow quickly. We woke up early because we wanted to return to school as soon as possible. After our modest breakfast, we got on our last, 12km long journey. Everything went well until the last part when we were forced to walk 2 - it seemed like more - kilometres alongside the roadway. 

Either way, we managed to get to our final destination in one piece, just a little hungry and tired. As you can imagine, we slept the entire ride back to Open Gate before being brought back to reality by Mr Sommers’ singing… You couldn’t think of a more gentle way to wake someone up. 

Michaela Zemachová