20 April 2019
L/Cpl Hamish Fraser
I knew right off the
bat that I would enjoy the exchange trip up here in Orkney right up until the
end. However, I would say that most of the other Buckinghamshire lot were
somewhat doubtful that they would even remotely have a good time. But since
then they have proven themselves wrong. Now, at this moment, at the end of the
trip, I can say with full confidence that all 13 of us have had an absolutely
amazing time up here.
On Monday and Tuesday, we were looking at historical sites with the Orkney and Shetland cadets. We saw such places as skara brae, a neolithic village dating back 4000 years, and block ships sunk back in WW1 to prevent German U boats from entering scapa flow.
On the Wednesday we started off our Adventure Training with mountain biking, some enjoyed it more than other's but I still loved it. The following day we started our expedition. It was a 2 day walk up and down the west coastline of Orkney and we set up camp on the beach right next-door to skara brae.
By the time we got back to the TA centre where we were staying, we were all tired and wanting a shower, although we all appreciated the barbecue dinner we had that night, which is a stark contrast from eating out of ration packs during the exped.
I'm on the ferry coming back to UK mainland now, looking forward to coming back to my home in Milton Keynes, but for me this has been a 10/10 experience with great people and a beautiful orcadian countryside, and I'll hope to come back here someday.
Cdt Naomi Carr
Orkney 2019 was my favourite trip with the ACF yet! I made so many friends from both Orkney and Bucks, given the chance I'd definitely go again. The first day and a half was spent traveling - the accommodation on the first night was brilliant. When we arrived on the second day we went straight into visiting a Neolithic monument - an ancient ring of stones. After spending an hour there we went back to the TA Centre, the girls billet was comfy, but very different from Read House. The girls from Orkney and Shetland were lovely - Bombadier Jamieson was very nice and welcoming to all of us.
On the second day we went around in uniform as we were visiting the Royal Oak and laid a wreath. On the same day we also visited the Italian Chapel and saw the old block ships and my favourite: Ness Battery. Day 3 was great we saw the tomb of the eagles - an eye opening experience. Afterwards we went to Skara Brae and the Lord lieutenant's ancestral home. This day was one of my favourites as I learnt so much.
Wednesday was mountain biking and I fell off - a lot!, but so did Major Meads. We also did archery, laser shooting and STEM kits, I think everyone loved Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday we went on expedition. It was a lovely walk along the cliffs and I got my 2 star Nav and Exped. The walk itself was lovely, with beautiful views and relatively easy. We had to be self sufficient so taking all our rubbish with us.
On Saturday we had a really long journey home, but it didn't spoil the trip. Overall I loved it and hope I go again.