The day we had all been looking forward to but also dreading had finally arrived, Monday 26 of February, the day of the Year 9 hike. Every Year 9 boy packed their heavy bags and jumped on the bus and began the long journey of sitting in a bus, hiking (with breaks), stunning views, endless sunsets, getting lost, sore shoulders, and running out of food and water.
We arrived at the Great Ocean Road trail in late afternoon, all eager to eat our first meal. Each group of the three would set out on different hikes along the GOR trail, starting and finishing at different points along the great trail. As everyone cracked open their lavish first day dinner, the same lines were murmured through the campsite, “Oh this is disgusting!” or “Not bad, actually.”
The next morning we all woke to sore backs and headaches from the uneven surface of the campsite, but we persevered. We packed our gear and set off on our hike. As we hauled our bags onto our backs it felt like the earth was pulling us down just that little bit more every passing hour. Each day was long and tedious, large hills, long flat plains. “How far is the campsite, Ms Kaine?” “Oh it’s just around the corner! You can see it from here!” she would reply with enthusiasm. Everyone let out a big sigh of relief, only to find out that the “corner” was five kilometres long.
On we trudged, through the bush and sand, through the rubble and mud, through the peaks and valleys. As each day flew by, you could sense the spirit and comradery of the group gaining with every stride, every step and the excitement of the packs getting lighter each day with the disappearance of food. Everyone helped each other push forward to the end, with teamwork and encouragement, through each injury, each hungry stomach and each sunburn. “How much longer Ms Kaine?” “Just around this corner!”
On the last day we finally reached the end. As everyone was relieved of all their camp stresses, we all got back on the bus for our final journey, anticipated by many, to Maccas.
By Jeremy Yuen-Love, Year 9D