It was 7 o’clock in the morning and I would have slept all day if it wasn’t for that loud and annoying alarm clock. I threw my arms at it to make it stop but I just knocked it off the bedside table. Eventually, I managed to haul myself out of bed and pick it up. I walked over to my filthy wardrobe and changed into my cadet uniform as today I was going to set off on the final test on my journey; if I passed this test, I would be allowed to join the army. Just at that moment my mother called me.
“Danny, breakfast is ready!”
“Coming Mom,” I replied and then dashed down the steep, carpeted stairs into the tiny dining room. On a large plate on the table was some scrambled eggs and bacon with orange juice in a tall glass it. I sat down at the table and devoured my meal. I then gulped down all the orange juice in one go. The sour orange juice made my mouth tingle.
“Ready to go?” my mom asked.
“Yes,” I responded and grabbed my heavy bags and opened the door. We then got into the congested car and my mom drove off. On the way to the school where I had trained for five years, I watched the rain drops trickle down the car window. I was feeling nervous and excited at the same time. I was thinking, what if something happened to me while I was on my expedition and I never came back here again.
My mom manoeuvred the Ford into the school car park and I got out. I was surprised to see that there were so many cars parked this early in the morning.
“Take care, Danny,” my mum said as left of the car.
“Mom, I’m eighteen years old, I think I can do that pretty well,” I told her.
“O.K then, bye,” my mom said with sadness.
“Bye,” I replied and she drove off. I wasn’t actually that sure whether I could take care of myself on this long expedition but one thing was for sure, I didn’t want her to worry about it.
I walked over to the grey equipment building on the west side of the school to get the kit that I needed for the journey. There was already a long queue there of the people who were going on my trip, including my best friend Matt who was going to be my partner once we got there.
“Hey Danny,” Matt said excitedly.
“Hey Matt,” I answered back.
“You look worried, what’s the matter?”
“Oh, it’s nothing; I’m just a bit nervous.”
“What’s there to be nervous about?”
“We have to walk fifty miles over mountains and through forests in five days and there is a big chance that we are going to get lost.”
“Oh! That we can worry about after we get there so just leave it aside for now.”
“O.K,” I said wondering how Matt could be so calm.
We were now at the front of the queue and Mr Leopard; our instructor gave us our kit which included a sleeping bag, a parachute for when we sky dived out of the helicopter, a walkie-talkie, a tent, a torch, some rope, a rifle, some cutlery and some food and drinks. I put all the equipment into one big rucksack. I took the rucksack and put it into the luggage compartment. It was already packed with stuff that other people had put in. It surprised me how much equipment other people had brought with them from home when I had hardly brought anything else apart from my clothes. Everyone then boarded the small, blue coach including Mr Leopard. I sat down next to Matt at the back. When we were all ready, we departed on what was going to be the biggest adventure of my young life.
It took twenty hours to reach Western Scotland. We all got off the coach and stretched our legs and arms as they had been cramped in the coach. I was exhausted and I couldn’t bear the thought that Matt and I would have to set up camp in the mountains on our own. Everyone unloaded their equipment from the luggage compartment. I took a quick view of my surroundings but all I could see were enormous mountains that were covered with tall, thin trees. I could even hear the rain drops pounding on the tarmac road over the loud noise of the helicopter’s rotors. The helicopter would take each pair to a specific location somewhere in the mountains where we would have to parachute down. I was eager to get started but as the time approached my apprehension grew. We boarded the helicopter and realised that the windows were all blacked out so we couldn’t see through them and easily make our way through the mountains. Mr Leopard gave us quick briefing.
“O.K cadets, this is your final test. What you have to do is find four checkpoints which will give clues on how to get to the finish and then if you get to the finish before the end of fifth day, you will pass the test. Everyone got it?”
“Yes sir!” we all shouted back.