Expect the Unexpected
By Pat Gerrie, Adam Griffiths, Kieran Van Oldenborgh and Chris Van Wyk
Of Nansen Tent
We arrived at Quest a bit late due to losing Somerset’s luggage somewhere in Jo’burg airport. Not a good start, but we had some extra time to bond on the bus as we had wait at the airport for about 2 hours!
We went to the Bushtick bar for drinks and dinner for our first night to introduce ourselves to the Falcon College staff. On the second day we endured the Quest Fitness Test, which included an array of physical activities and a 2.5km run. After the fitness test we did some basic GPS work, which, little did we know, would help in the near future. We were shown around the campus including the games fields as well as the san, library etc.
The next morning we were taken out of our tents at what seemed like the middle of the night, which everyone expected a little bit due to the information, spread from previous year Questors. We hiked from 3am to around 10am carrying people who had “injured” themselves. We had to invent ways to carry Kieran & Ross over rough and grassy terrains, which caused for a problem for most of the group. We camped and learnt different environmental information with flora and fauna, which would later come useful for our future hikes. We moved from campsite to campsite not knowing what was coming next, everyday expecting to go back to our beds in the tent….. it was hell! We were put into groups of three to design and build our own shelter for one night with only two sleeping bags and one sleeping mat between three of us, this was a very interesting experience for some more than others. Finally we hiked around 7km back to Falcon campus after a very brief swim in the freezing dam, and with hope in our hearts we hiked up the last hill to the semi-civilization of Pumula camp to find out yet again, we were going back into sleeping in the wild. It was like the facilitators were dangling the soft beds in front of our faces just to tempt us. Without anything but a sleeping bag and water we all went to different spots in the campus and slept under the stars. Patrick and Kieran volunteered to sleep in a cave that is often used by the Falcon College students.
Before that we all watched the sunset with a brew in our hand. At nightfall then we all departed to our sleeping locations, which a few people were not happy about! In the morning we woke up the watch the sunrise and walked back to Pumula camp where we were given our maintenance booklets for our bicycles and went for a little ride around Quiet Waters.
Finally after 1 week of sleeping in unexpected conditions and living off the land we were given some free time. All of us tired and worn out after the first week. We had time to finally relax and chill, which we spent playing touch rugby, swimming in the dam and catching up on well-earned sleep.
All in all we are relieved that the first week is over and are not sure what is exactly to be expected in the near future.