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Written by Tessa O.

As the sun arose, our hiking shoes had been tied, and our feet ready for action. After an hour of driving we finally arrived at our first destination. We emptied the cars in slight fear, not knowing a clue what we were about to get ourselves into. All we knew was a vigorous hike was ahead of us, and we would be passing through a waterfall at some point. Nothing less then nerves and excitement filled our bodies. With Julian, and Marlon in the lead, we set out on our expedition.

We hiked a long way, until ending up at a swimming hole. Not just any ordinary swimming hole though, it was a cave. One by one we all jumped into the mysterious looking cave. When our bodies touched the water, the same expression landed on our faces, a mix of surprise and excitement. The water pierced our skin with its chilling feel. Though it was hot out, the feeling of frigid cold water surprised us all. Not only was it refreshing to us, it was such a thrilling experience, that no one had ever done before. While Jeff took pictures, the rest of us attempted to get past the small waterfall, and dry off. We stayed by that cave for some time, then continued on our hike.

Everyone thought the little waterfall we just saw was the big one everyone boasted about in the beginning of the trip, but boy were we wrong. As we turned the corner up the mountain, we all stopped in amazement. Before our eyes, was a large, flowing waterfall, with many different swimming holes all around. Mya and I couldn’t contain our excitement and ran to the waterfall and sat right under, receiving a small massage from the water pounding on our backs. Once everyone had their own fun, jumping into the water, taking pictures, or even just snacking we started walking once again.

An hour passed and  by then everyone was quite exhausted, so when we arrived at this cute little hotel, we ran in and sat down right away. After eating a delicious lunch, everyone settled in for some free time. A few rounds of playing cards started until everyone couldn’t keep their eyes open anymore. Sleeping was easy for all of us, not only because we were so tired, but also because we knew the early wake up of five am would be brutal.

A long, chilly sleep took place, until everyone was up and ready to go. After a nice breakfast, we were on our way. From the minute our feet hit the stone steps above us, Jack started to complain

“Oh my god, its hot, I’m done hiking for my entire life!” He whined.

Though the steps seemed forever to Jack, and to all of us, Annette made sure to keep it nice and educational, by explaining every plant she knew. We all got to taste the “blood” of a tree, and eat some leaves that weren’t so tasty.

Over hills, on sketchy paths, and under large trees, we kept on going through the mountains, under the hot sun. Eventually though everyone was becoming very worn down, we were all trying our best to get up the hills and get to the end. With so much pain in our legs, we just wanted to get to the finish line, so some of us even started to run.

After much pain, and inducing ourselves to insane amounts of heat, we finally made it safely to the river. Not even attempting to take our sneakers off, we went straight into the water, shoes, clothes, and no intent of thinking twice. Victor was sitting peacefully in the water, and Tucker was lying down without a care in the world.

Eventually though, the cars arrived, and we ran to receive our prize. A nice delicious watermelon was waiting for us. We ate and ate, and reminisced on what we had just accomplished. Through the pain in our legs, and sweat pouring down our faces, we knew that we made the right choice to go on this hike. For everyone, it will always stay in our memories, the hike that caused stress, pain, laughter, and knowledge, but mostly bringing us closer than we ever were before.