Arpana Chunilal
Back to alumni stories

Arpana Chunilal - Aberdovey, Wales, 2014

1-63-_500x375
The best 22 days of my life which I will cherish and remember forever. Going to outward bound allowed me to discover a new part of myself. I cannot fit all the amazing things I did on my course as it will likely turn into a lengthy novel but I will certainly pick out my three favourite moments and write about that.
Going down to the town with the team and having the most delicious ice-cream was the best use of our free evenings. We would go to the beach after the ice-cream shop and play American soccer or just chase each other till we were out of breath and tired. The team became a group of little kids, tackling each other down and putting sand all over each other. We would pair up with each other, find a target on the team and tackle them down then lay on top of them so they can't get up. Sooner or later I would be person being tackled down or dragged across the sand towards the water. The day would end with laughter and every single person having at least some sand all over them.
The day I will never forget is day two of our second expedition. The team was quite miserable throughout the whole day but once we reached camp, there was a sudden change of mood; everyone was more enlightened and cheerful. Late in the evening we played cards together and joked around. The clouds in the sky had cleared up and our instructor suggested it will be a great night to view the stars at night. I had my instructor wake me up at 11pm to watch the brilliant night sky. It was the most beautiful and thrilling thing I had ever seen, the stars gleamed brightly making us forget about the darkness and there were shooting stars that night, I stayed outside for a bit longer after everyone has gone in their tents. I stood still staring at the night sky for a good amount of time and it was breath-taking. This night made up for all the other cold, rainy, windy nights we spend camping out. This day was priceless.
Day one of our last expedition was a roller-coaster ride. The day started off with calm weather but once we reached the mountains, we were faced with extreme high winds and bad weather, being without the instructor, the team was quite worried and scared but we stayed with each other and took care of each other, the bad situation brought out the best in us. Once we made it on to low land, the weather became least of our problems; the land we were walking on was not made for walking. Small streams and holes were hidden under the long grass everywhere and whilst trying to make our way through the land, everyone fell at least 3 times. Having an injured team mate, we had to split and whilst three team members carried on to get help, I stayed with the rest and we made the best out of the bad situation by telling each other amusing and embarrassing stories. Our team mates managed to find a family who were in the area for their summer holidays. They welcomed us very kindly and treated us and were very generous, this kind act of theirs helped to cheer up the entire team and boost everyone's mood. Whilst the injured member of our team along with two others were dropped off kindly to the camp-site for the day , the rest of us decided to continue our journey by walking to camp. We walked through the dark forest staying close to each other whilst singing the French and English national anthem loudly. Reaching camp finally after 10pm and seeing the rest of the team was just amazing. We all just ran towards each other as if we hadn't seen each other for weeks.
I left outward bound as a new person. Outward bound classic adventure is an unbeatable course. The experience I had can never be recreated again.