North Thirds on a Long Sunday Walk

It was early in the morning on Sunday 16th October and an energetic group of Thirds, including myself and our parents, were crowded under the tower ready to set off on their trek. A buzz of excitement filled the air as balloons and badges were handed out, the chilly air making us feel numb. The trek on which we were about to set out was an eight mile walk through Epping Forest. We were not just doing it all for fun though as we were sponsoring two charities, Nightingale Cancer Support and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), each carefully chosen by the three North tutor groups based on our previous experiences with them. Eventually, everyone left, with Three North B in the lead.

The first stretch of the trek was easy as we just walked down a straight road until we entered the forest. The mud squelched beneath our feet, making us slip; luckily, no-one fell down. The prefects led us on the correct path until we found that everyone had stopped because someone could not figure out the directions! After a few minutes of huddled in puzzlement around a map in the middle of a forest, someone figured out that we might have actually skipped a bit of the walk!

We continued walking regardless and along the way walked through some beautifully picturesque places. One such place was a tunnel formed by trees on either side of the path, the sunlight shining through gaps in the bright green leaves making it look like something out of a fairy tale. Unfortunately, there were also some unpleasant things on the way, mostly due to the horses that are ridden quite frequently in the forest so a lot of us were hopping and jumping as we tried to dodge the waste.

After about an hour and a half of walking through the mud, everyone's stomachs started to rumble. Even though it was only ten-thirty, all the walking which we did built up an appetite so everyone was delighted to see the café coming into view. In front of the little café which we were about to eat in was a hotel with a pub. As we walked passed it we made a startling discovery, which amazed anyone who heard. A woman who works in the hotel told us that none other than Justin Bieber had stayed in that very hotel a few nights before! Within minutes of arriving at the café, 20 hungry children had crowded around the counter, wanting to be the first to receive their meal. Meals and drinks were handed out and everyone enjoyed a well-earned rest before the four mile walk back to school.

Just as everyone was ready to start the walk back to school, the one thing which would definitely delay a group of eleven year old's turned up: an ice cream van had pulled up into a parking spot nearby! There was another chaotic rush as everyone scrambled to be first in line. Alas, this was no use to anyone as the ice cream was not even frozen yet. So both of us, the driver and us children waiting in the queue, were stuck waiting and wishing that the van had arrived just half an hour earlier. At last, after every one of us was satisfied with their frozen treat, we started our long walk back to school with the first half of the Thirds North children and parents.

We walked for about two and a half miles through the slippery mud before we really got exhausted. Our feet started to ache from gripping onto the slippery mud for so long. All anyone wanted to do was to curl up in a little ball on the sofa and go to sleep. But we all kept on going and going and going...

At long last, we managed to leave the forest, fulfilling most of our task. But what we did not realize was how difficult walking up the hilly Whitehall Lane would be. Every step we took just added to the pain in our feet. The thought of all the people who we would be helping by doing this walk kept us going.

We pushed ourselves until we reached school. No one has ever been happier than we were to see school. The main thing was that we made it through the whole walk without failure and we were proud of it. It was a brilliant experience and was definitely worth doing for our personal experiences, and for the two charities which we helped.