Garrett Celestin, 15, USA
Hector Prats L Castro, 16, Spain
Soledad Escribano, 19, Argentina
The first day of the raid!
We began at 12:00, after interviews and a big lunch. Everybody was very excited, yet nervous. We packed our bags with the minimal amount of stuff, so it wouldn't be too heavy. We were split into 3 groups and began the raid with a list of coordinates. We had to find the coordinates on the map. The first task was to go cycling and to find our guide. Once we found him, we began cycling up a steep incline. It was a hard way to start the day. We then left our bikes and continued hiking up the mountain. It was a difficult climb, but the views were amazing and we were all proud that we were doing so well. After about 1,000 meters, we reached the top and did the Via Ferrata. This was a highlight of the raid, but it was very difficult because we were completely surrounded by fog.
After the Via Ferrata, we walked back down the mountain. At the bottom of the mountain, we grabbed our bikes and rode mostly down hill. Then we got to the first exercise. There were two wooden walls, each standing about 3 meters tall. The whole team had to go to the top of the first wall. We then pulled up a long plank of wood and walked to the next wall. At this wall, we climbed down and brought the plank down with us. It was a fun, yet difficult task – especially because the planks were so slippery.
Once again, we got on our bikes for a very short ride. At the end, the team was waiting for us with snacks – which we were all glad to have. We left our bikes and walked and went to the next activity. We had to climb to a plank of wood. It was unbalanced so our team members had to pull the ropes below to balance us. This was another hard activity, but it was a lot of fun for the team.
We then continued our walk and went to a flying fox station. It was about 250 meters long and we went really fast. This was another highlight. After we finished this, we walked down a hill and through the woods with only our headlamps to guide us. We grabbed our bikes. The sun completely gone down. This made for an interesting ride! It was a lot of up hill. We went through a few villages. We were on the highway and it was impossible to see more than 2 meters in front of us. This made the hill seem endless, as we just kept climbing! We were all really tired, but knew that food and rest were coming soon. This was our main motivation to continue.
We finally reached the lake and the team gave us food, sleeping bags, and tents. We prepared our own dinner and the hot soup was a great way to warm up. We were all ready to go to bed, knowing that the next day would bring a lot more.
On day one of the raid, many of us got injured. We were shocked by electric fences, fell from our bikes, twisted our ankles, got stung by poisonous plants, and tripped while we were walking. But what would the raid be without a few injuries!!