Africa Selection Camp – Day 9
Blog written by Nora and Montana
THE RAID! Today we found out that all the stories of about the PANGAEA raid are actually true. It started at 10 o'clock in the morning, when we got the coordinates of our checkpoints. The two competing teams — Bamba and Panterra — had high energy. Everyone wanted to get a head start on the mountain bikes. Competition spread out as the hills kicked in. After mountain biking stage, the two teams had to climb the mountain via ferrata. Unfortunately, the hike was cut short due to an avalanche risk. However, it was an unforgettable experience because it was for many of the young explorers their first experience hiking with snow, so it was lots of fun filled with many slips and slides on our bum.
Following the via ferrata, we came back to our checkpoint where we left the bikes. Our next challenge was to hike a narrow trail covered with fallen trees while carrying our bikes. The check point that followed was crucial for Team Panterra. The group was able to reel in Team Bamba who had a two hours lead on them. The checkpoint consisted of a team building challenge that required teammates to climb from one big wall (about 10 feet or 3.5 meters) to another, to another, without touching the ground, while using only a plank of wood. After a small break with cake and juice we had new energy to head for the next checkpoint, also a teambuilding activity.
After numerous hours of hiking both teams had the motto of "just keep moving.” One foot at a time gets the job done. One of the best breaks from hiking was the flying fox — 250 meters downhill harnessed to a zip line. There is nothing more invigorating in the universe than feeling on top of the world and flying to a nearby mountain ledge.
Nature was on our side; we had perfect weather, sunshine, and a refreshing temperature.
The race slowed down once we had to return to biking. We were faced with a challenge of mountain biking uphill for several hours. This caused many of the weaker bikers to be pushed to their limit. Eventually, both teams arrived at the camp site within 20 minutes of each other. It was delightful to eat warm soup and rest in the tents. It was an extremely special day, and we really appreciate all the staff that made it possible. Also a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Michael Scholl who spent the whole day supporting us.