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By Roxie Daims

The sun hadn’t yet risen when I woke up and pulled the blankets off of my drowsy body. It was a bright, crisp morning and the sun shone through my window and poured onto the floor like honey. I quickly dressed and grabbed my backpack, it was time for our first expedition and I was up and ready to go!

205747_150953565059103_1482418625_nWe drove for an hour through green hillsides and pastures filled with cows and horses before arriving at the Karen Mogenson reserve. Even before starting the hike I knew it was going to be a wonderful adventure. Our guides were kind and forgiving of of slow pace as we steadily and surely made our way upwards. After hiking for about an hour I had become exasperated, hot and rather sweaty but I knew that we must go on and I was aware eventually each step would pay off. We hadn’t been going for long but the heat was rapidly getting to me.

734421_150953968392396_167437886_nAt last we came we came to a crystal clear river and within that moment I thought it was the most perfect and incredible thing.That was until I walked about 50 feet further and there towering above me was a giant, powerful and gorgeous waterfall. My breath was instantly ripped from my body and my mouth dropped, it was so incredibly amazing I was practically stunned. I stood in utter awe of this natural miracle for a minute… or maybe five before proceeding to the waterfall. I dropped my bag and plunged myself into the fresh, crystal clear water. The feeling was magical as the cold but perfect water embraced me and the trees above created a green, glowing and welcoming environment. I have found there are not many perfect moments but that was surely one and it will stay in my heart and mind forever.

540686_150953681725758_299669565_nOn the second day of our hike we rose at 5 o’ clock, ate a delicious breakfast of plantains, pancakes,fruit and hot chocolate then started on the long journey we had ahead of us. After a few hours the sun was high in the sky and its warmth was pouring down upon us as we reached the top of a tall peak. The sea was to my left and the mountains to my right and I was simply on top of the world. Everyone was taking pictures, talking and laughing but In that moment Everything disappeared and I was captured and fascinated by the perfect beauty of the natural world around me and the feeling was incredible.

76097_150953458392447_438944298_nThe hills that we were climbing seemed to me to stretch forever into the sky but despite my tiredness I put one foot in front of the other and continued on my way. As we proceeded I found myself thinking about how much of this natural world has been cultivated, renovated and civilized. Being in a place so untouched my people makes me think about what we have lost throughout civilization. The conservation I must take when living in nature makes me appreciate the seemingly simple things I may take for granted everyday. After hiking all day a sip of water is delicious, a plate of food is heavenly and a cool shower almost breath taking.

423100_150953598392433_1682046387_nWe hiked for 8 long hours and when we finally reached the end I was sweaty, tired and disgusting but at the point of blissful, carefree happiness. The feeling of accomplishment was in the air and I felt pretty wonderful. Our adventure had been wonderful, it was amazing to be in a place where humans are not in control, where we are the guests and the visitors. We completed the long journey and it was surely a success. The memories from such an adventure will never fade.