If you haven’t read my past Roverway Posts here they are,
Briefing Weekend One
Briefing Weekend Two
All caught up now???
On 3rd August I woke up at 4.30am to catch my first plane of the day. After a flight from Glasgow to Southampton I met up with my patrol. While checking in my bag the second time I managed to break one of the straps on my backpack which I did manage to fix later on in the trip.
After a few hours of waiting in Southampton airport we were on our way to Rennes. We were welcomed by some lovely people who took us to the bus stop we needed to get on. Our opening ceremony was in a place called Le Triangle. When found this place we registered and were giving name badges on Roverway lanyards, a bag and some other goodies. I ate my squished sandwich which had managed to survive the journey from Southampton and then the ceremony began!!
There were so many people. We managed to find some fellow brits and screamed as loud as we good when the UK was shouted upon. This was when were taught the dance to the official Roverway song. Through the ceremony the song was played probably about 5 or 6 times.
After splitting into our tribes and doing some games and ice breakers we headed onto a bus to begin our road.
My patrols road was Viking Experience and it was great!!! In our tribe we had Austrians, Spanish, French, Finnish and Portuguese.
We were in the bus for about 2 hours and stopped at a place that was an activity centre (I think??). We set up our tents for the first time on very hard ground. After a light dinner we went off to bed… well sleeping bag!!
The next day we were split into two groups half of us would be doing canoeing in the morning while the other half would do cycling. In the afternoon we would switch.
I took part in the canoeing first and it was so much fun!!!!
We paired up and set off down a river. Along the river were some man made slides in some rapids so you would slide down in your canoe. At the first slide two of the French boys fell out of their canoe!!! Which resulted in a lot of splashing back as revenge!!!!
At one point we had to get out of the canoe and carry/drag the canoe across some land and then back in the river.
We canoed for about 14km which took us just over 3 hours. During these 3 hours Caitlin and I managed to sing through the majority of stereotypically British songs. Including Queen, Mcfly and lots of Scouting for Girls.
After we reached our destination we stopped for lunch. As we were in soggy clothes and there was nowhere to really get changed there were a lot of very expertly done towel changing. Here is a tip for girls who may have to towel change do not wear a swim suit, wear a bikini it is so much easier to change if you have a bikini!!!!!!!
Following lunch we set off on bikes which started off with a hill…. this was one of many hills we had to bike up. (well I pushed my bike up the majority of them…. all of the up hills I did) One of these hills was a 30% hill which we witnessed a few cars struggling to get up. After 15 minutes we managed to get to the top of the hill. The view was beautiful.
We cycled about 14 or 15 km. Thankfully the part just before our final destination for the day was down hill!!!!
After a well deserved snack we once again set up tents in another piece of hard ground. Thankfully their were some showers which were used by the majority of the tribe. This resulted in a very cold shower. It was freezing so I had the quickest shower ever by I managed to, well sort of, wash my hair.
While waiting for the shower I found out that one of Finnish, Sofia, was going to be moving to Aberdeen in the September and was going to be attending the University of Aberdeen. Well I had a very excitable conversation because I literally live 2 hours from their!!!!!!! (And a little side note I will be meeting up with her for a little catch up next week… I am SO EXCITED!!!)
Also while waiting I had an extremely interesting conversation about what I thoughts on why young people should vote.
That night we had a lovely dinner and then were giving biscuits that looked and tasted exactly like chocolate digestives which I was very happy to devour. I did try and convine the French that it was a chocolate digestive!!!!!!
In the morning the Brits (AKA us) were on breakfast duties which I slept in for but Matt and Joe had the pleasure of waking everyone up which they did by banging pots and pans together. I think they were sworn at in multiple languages for that but they were very happy running around the campsite banging away!!!!
That morning we showed some people how to make a proper cup of tea with proper British tea thanks to Matt who took 140 Tetley tea bags. (We didn’t even use half of these!!!)
After breakfast we packed up tents and then everyone was on bikes that day. But this time we were on lovely paved, flat ground. No hills NO HILLS!!!!
We cycled along on the nice flat road and stopped every now and then to have a drink of water. Then we stopped for a two hour lunch break!!!! During these two hours some of the Spanish and the Portuguese had a nap in the shape…. well a siesta.
While they were sleeping some of us went down a little path that came out beside a river. We started skimming stones and before long it was time to get back on the bikes.
As an afternoon activity we had to decide if we wanted to see some beekeeping or go to a Roman Museum. I chose to go to the Museum. We had to go up a big hill on the way their and we got a little lost but we managed to find it. This was just after 2pmish so it was hot, very hot. I had managed to finish my water very quickly but we were very happily surprised by the cold water fountain which we may have used half of the water!!!!
After the museum we cycled to Caen (which none of the brits or anyone could say properly…. sorry!) and then to Ornavik which was where we were going to be staying the rest of our Road.
Ornavik is a Viking villiage that is looked after by a lot of volunteers. They are in the process of building a church and a castle from the Viking times. If you are ever planning on going to Normandy France I would thoroughly suggest you go and visit. They are only open on a Sunday but the people who work there are lovely and they are all dressed up as Vikings.
Once at Ornavik we set up tents on once again hard ground and then we were giving a tour.
We then had chicken in a creamy sauce with rice for dinner and then were told a bit more about what we were going to be doing at Ornavik.
As part of everyone’s road you would be doing some kind of service. We had a choice from a few different things that needed to be done. On the first day there was stone sorting, which was where there was a huge pile of stones that needed to be sorted by width as these were what the church was going to be built with. There was making charcoal, which was where they had to move a massive pile of hay from one part of Ornavik to the other and pile it on top of a pile of wood which would be later set alight and then eventually turn into charcoal. Also there was a pile of sand that they were going to flatten over the stones that was at the entrance to make a wheel chair friendly access.
Me, Eleanor and Hannah helped taking out all of the old hay in the Viking tents and put new hay back in. We also moved the old hay into the animals hut which recycles it.
We then had some free time. The brits all sun bathed beside the tents and we were all amazed that there was literally not a cloud in the sky.
During our time at Ornavik each night two countries would prepare dinner. The first night was the Spanish and Austrians who made Spanish omelette and Kasespatzle. Both were delicious.
The evening activities were also in charge of two countries each night. The first night was the Brits (us!) and the Portuguese. We decided to do a campfire and sing some songs.
The next day was when Ornavik was open to the public so we helped to tidy up the place and then we got to dress up as Vikings.
While Ornavik was open to the public we got to choose if we wanted to learn how to make flatbread or learn how to do some of the games they had.
Eleanor and I learnt how to do a kind of knitting…. Well Eleanor learnt how to do, I tried my best to do it but failed quite badly. Some of the boys were very happy when they got their hands on helmets and swords.
In the afternoon we changed back to our normal clothes and I learnt how to do some of the games. It turned out that the Finnish used to play these games when they were younger so they were all experts.
For dinner it was the turn of the Finnish and the Brits!!!!!
We made bangers and mash. Well, beef sausages (some people were kosher so makes life easier), gravy, cauliflower and carrots and mash tatties (*cough* sorry potatoes). Everyone was very happy with the food and so were we. However by the time we got our food we could not see our plates it was so dark!!!!
The next day was BEACH DAAYYYYYYY!
As a treat we went to a beach somewhere in Normandy. It was beautiful.
The flags that lined the walkway were actually the flags of the different countries that had landed there on D-Day. (Which I thought was pretty cool)
At the start of the walkway was a little shop that sold ice cream, crepes, chips and filled baguettes. I got a Nutella filled crepes which was delicious. We had lunch together and then were instructed to be back at that point at a certain time. Before heading onto the beach Eleanor and I bought ice cream. I got two scoops, one caramel and one cookies and cream.
We set out our blankets on the sand and had a quite dip in the sea, which was freezing!!! The wind was quite strong and cold. I was quite happy lying on my towel with my sun glasses on.
I did end up falling asleep. But no one had realised!!!!! I woke up and it was time to go. While waiting for the bus back Eleanor had noticed that the back of my legs were bright red. So I lathered on the aloe vera cream. When we arrived back at Ornavik I found out, in the most painful way that my back was also burnt. I didn’t realise how sore it was until later on that night when I had to lie down. It didn’t help that I was slouching the whole of dinner which made the task of straighting up and then lying down so sore.
That night all of the Brits were basically falling apart. The majority of us were sun burnt, Caitlin had sun stroke and we were all feeling completely rubbish. We apologised to the patrols who were organising the evening activities as we were going to sleep because sleep helps everything!!!
In the morning I inspected my back burn and found out that I had three circles on my back. One in the centre of my back and one on each shoulder. Loose clothing was worn that day and trousers were worn to cover the burn!!!!
This was also the day that the Brits and the Austrians were getting a half day in Caen. (Again I don’t know how to say it… apologise.)
In the morning I did stone sorting and at lunch time I found out my first ever exam results!!!
4 As (Maths, English, German and History), 1 B (Hospitality) and 1 C (Computing Science)
I then proceeded to tell everyone I PASSED ALL MY EXAMS!!!!!! WWOOOOOOOOOOWWW!!!
We had our visit in the afternoon which started off with a visit to the pharmacy. Then we visited a MacDonald’s (I know very French) for some food or a drink and to use their free wifi. I found out my brother had gotten the results he needed to get into College and that a lot of my friends had gotten straight As.
We then visited the castle which was so cool!!!
After walking up to the castle we went back to the pick up point and then went back to Ornavik.
This was our last day in Ornavik and as a farewell from the volunteers of Ornavik they did a kind of barbeque. They had roasted legs of pork and had some pasta and some other bits and bobs.
We were also given a taste of some Normandy cider (ooohhhhhh all 2.0%), it was very tasty!!!! After dinner, we went into a circle and were given a Roverway 2016 pin badge from Jean Yves and Anne Claire who were the leaders of the Viking Experience Road. Sadly they weren’t joining us in Jambville and we had the sad task of saying goodbye the next day.
I got a lovely hug from Anne Claire and she said to me that she was very impressed by how supportive and close the UK patrol was and she was felt quite happy that she had met us. This made me on the slight verge of tears.
After packing up all of our things and helping put back Ornavik the way we found it we said our final goodbyes and went onto the bus.
Off we went to Jambville for the next part of our Roverway 2016 adventure!!!!!!