Adventure Weekend in Wales
For Adventure Weekend, we journeyed five and a half hours by bus to Northern Wales. We stayed in a small town named Llanberis and explored the local area, as well as a coastal town, Llandudno. On the Friday, driving up was long, but flew by rather fast with one pit stop, and a couple of movies for entertainment. My bus buddy’s name was Catherine, and I did not know her before, but we had a lot in common and therefore, a lot to talk about. Once we left London, the ride was filled with beautiful countryside, and was quite enjoyable! After we arrived at the hotel, we had about an hour until supper, and so I found my room and roommate. We took a little time to catch up and reunite, and then we went out on the town for some good exploring time. On our walk, we found the word Padarn in many places, and that seemed to be our good joke of the weekend —until someone looked it up and we were all wrong. The word was used on the sign entering the dining hall at the hotel, and on a park sign, and hardware store sign, and a menu. The word was much more fascinating while we were unaware of its meaning. That night, at supper my roommate, Rebecca and I met this guy Matt, from Cardiff University. After supper, we headed down to the pub quiz, and our team of Matt, Rebecca, some other UCL students (Thao and Mary), and a Bristol student, Jeanine enjoyed the candy provided, which also made our team name: the Quiz Wizz Flumps. Fizz Wizz is a purely sugar type of candy – like American pop rocks, or fun dip (without the stick). Flumps is somewhat like a stick of cotton candy – but I’m not positive, as I did not eat that. Our original name was the Fizz Wizz Flumps, but when registering our name, Oran (one of the many amazing people on the IFSA-Butler staff), misunderstood, and so we became the Quiz Wizz Flumps. There were six rounds in this quiz, and our team did rather well, ending with 37 points making 3rd place! 2nd place had 38 points, so we were very close to getting medals and Cadbury creme eggs, but we were all happy with just sweets. The first place team won 57 points out of 60, and the got medals and candy – psh, know it alls! Did you know the longest metro line in London is the District Line? We didn’t – we did not excel with those London questions. We did know that Vatican City is the smallest country, but that may be less impressive.
Saturday morning – I woke up excited for the day ahead! My daytime activities were canoeing and hiking. After breakfast, we took a big group photo where we spelt out IFSA on a big hill in front of the hotel. Next, I collected my lunch and met the canoeing morning team outside. Then, went back inside to grab an extra set of clothes and all things essential. The bus ride to the lake and canoe/adventure centre was about twenty minutes. The staff at the centre were all very nice and welcoming. We were then suited up – waterproof gear, another jacket and then a life jacket. Off to the lake we went! The canoeing was in pairs, and I partnered with my bus buddy from the previous day. First, we played a few games and practiced our canoeing skills. At the end of our session, we each prepared for the FLUME OF DOOM. In the guides discussion of the area, it sounded exciting and so we all wanted to do it. I’ve been whitewater rafting before, so I could tell that the flume of doom was only a grade 2, maybe in terms of rapids. I’m sure that guides know, but they certainly enjoyed exaggerating its greatness. Of course they did not tell us before doing so, that at the end of all of this, we had to carry the canoes back – which was very painful for our arms. The canoeing was a lot of fun overall, and it was really nice to be out on water. After changing back to our regular clothes, we headed back to the bus and ate our lunches. The second half of the day, I signed up for the half day hike. We walked to Dolbardarn castle, behind the hotel and received a history lesson from our guides. Then we headed up Slate Mountain and back down and around. The hike was really lovely, and definitely makes me want to do some more trips outside of London in April. After all activities ended and everyone had a chance to shower and clean up, we had supper, and then an awards ceremony – which was slightly strange, and then the dance. The awards ceremony was peculiar, only four or five people got awards for certain activities, and not every activity was presented an award, and it just seemed somewhat out of place, but the idea was sweet. The dance was interesting, and quite a lot of fun to watch people dance– particularly the IFSA Butler staff, and a few songs were good for dancing, and then the others were good for watching and drinking. That day was a super wonderful day and I had a great time!! The IFSA Butler staff did a spectacular job!
On Sunday, with an early rise and breakfast, we boarded the buses and headed to Llandudno, the coastal town. On the beach, the water was so pure and clear blue, and you could see for miles and miles. I really enjoyed the town exploration. There were also some windmills in the water, a few meters away from the coast. We explored the centre of town, the beach and the pier. Of course, it is very different from London, but I really loved the beautiful scenery, and it was such a lovely day too!
If you are reading my blog and looking to go abroad with IFSA Butler – definitely go on their adventure weekend!!