Under, Over and Off! – Mixed Core 2017
By Mathias, Somerset and Steve
We started off our mining experience with a safety talk and signing our waivers. All ready in our blue overalls we met the mine manager who then took us to do the 240 meters climb down the ladder to level 6. That’s when we got split into groups of 3 to start our 3 hour mining shift. We worked alongside men from the age of 14 to men with 16 years of experience. We all struggled with the extreme heat, humidity and lack of oxygen found 400 meters underground.
However on the second day, we did an 8-hour shift in the two different shafts both at level 10 (400 meters) without a break or food. Having only a bottle of water, a head torch and a life-threatening manager shouting at all everyone he crossed. During our mining experience we were given jobs as lashers, pushing 1 ton coco pans, filling the skipper and some people were drilling.
Last full day at the mine, we stayed on the surface to see the process of the gold extraction and the geology of the rocks. We were also shown the affect dynamite has on anthills on the airstrip.
We then moved to the Southern Matopos. We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and we hiked to our camping spot on the Mtshebezi. We had a very nice view of the dam, we swam and then did a little bit of rock climbing and abseiling.
Friday morning…. PT at 6am with Miss Randle! Went for a run to the dam wall to then hear the words “See those trees over there (trees were about 50 meters in the dam), Well you have to swim there and back”. We all jumped the 3 metres into the dam but had to encourage one member for about 25 mins. It was freezing cold! We then got back to camp to get our rations for four meals (cereal bar – 2 minute noodles – cerevita – tin of tuna – nuts & 2 oranges – not exactly a feast!). We then hiked for about 12 kilometers with our backpacks to our next point: Lumane Falls.
Saturday dawned cold and wet. PT at 6am then packed our bags to go for a 17 kilometer hike in the freezing drizzle. We reached our finish line dropped our backpacks, grabbed our bikes and did a 21 kilometer cycle to finally find the over lander waiting with a packed lunch. Once finally back at Quest, we had a very nice and filling dinner and at 7:30 we had our first drink at the Quest bar.