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In the photo I took, it was the first day of my practise in my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Journey. This day was especially tough as we were not used to hiking uphill for this long period of time with heavy packs on our backs. The group was able to walk in unity and create a good pace, but had experienced medical setbacks. The morning forecast had show no sign of wild weather. The sky, which had once been blue and bright quickly morphed into heavy low hanging clouds. The late afternoon sun began to be shielded by the clouds as we walked up further, into the shadow of the approaching storm. Our water bottles were running low when the first clap of thunder rang in the air. This was followed by another shortly after. We looked to the low flying birds, hurrying to their nests and ants busy preparing for what’s to follow. Wind brushed our faces as the temperature lowered. By looking to nature, signs of a storm approaching can be identified. The campsite we had originally been aiming for was too far away with the risk of a lightning storm. As a group, we brought out our map and decided to head for a different site. An urgency could be felt as we marched up the track, putting our fatigue on hold. The sky darkened to a deep charcoal when the first flash of a lightning fork struck off into the distance. Hastily putting on rain gear in case of a sudden downpour, we trekked on. We had a plan if the lightning was to come closer but at this point in time, it was safer to keep going to camp. Fortunately, the storm shied away as we reached the campsite and set up tents. Whilst we cooked dinner, the clouds disappeared into the distance, as fast as they had come. The sun burned an orange glow as it disappeared behind the alps of Victoria, erupting the sky in warm shade of pink and yellow. As we admired the beauty of the mountains, we reflected upon the beginning of our Duke of Edinburgh trip. We had completed our first day!
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