King’s stu­dents hit Ama­zon jun­gle

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS NEWS - KAREN BRIT­TON

YOUNG ad­ven­tur­ers from King’s School en­joyed the trip of a life­time on a visit to the Ama­zon jun­gle.

The party of 20 stu­dents said it was like trav­el­ling to a land that time for­got when they vis­ited the awein­spir­ing rain­for­est.

The stu­dents set off on the trip with four ac­com­pa­ny­ing King’s School staff and flew to the Bo­li­vian cap­i­tal La Paz, which they said was it­self a breath­tak­ing sight as one of the high­est cap­i­tal cities in the world, of­fer­ing a sprawl­ing cityscape cupped into a bowl among the moun­tains.

Af­ter two days ac­cli­ma­tis­ing, shop­ping and res- tau­rant hop­ping, the King’s Global Chal­lenge team then split into two co­horts to take their grand tour of the An­des, the gi­ant salt flats, the teem­ing jun­gle and the colour­ful river basin.

It was a month that none of the stu­dents said they will ever for­get.

At the heart of their trip was a com­mu­nity pro­ject help­ing a tiny school in the Bo­li­vian out­back build a new toi­let block and get a facelift.

The King’s Sixth For­m­ers also helped to teach the lo­cal young­sters some ba­sic English.

In ex­change, they learned about the life of a child in the de­vel­op­ing world. Also mem­o­rable for the ad­ven­tur­ous crew were the treks through one of the most ge­o­graph- ically di­verse land­scapes on the planet.

They had to use ev­ery drop of energy to climb the 5,300-me­tre Pico Aus­tria in the An­dean foothills, be­fore wit­ness­ing the salt flats left white and glis­ten­ing in the bright light, the re­mains of a pre­his­toric in­land lake that ul­ti­mately evap­o­rated in the South Amer­i­can sun.

The salt flats were framed by a smok­ing vol­cano and hot springs.

Their stay even in­cluded a night in a ho­tel made from salt, again show­cas­ing why Bo­livia was such a fas­ci­nat­ing coun­try to ex­plore and of­fered such a di­verse trip.

Even given those sights, a high­light for the pupils was the great brown river and the chance to swim with pink river dol­phins, see mon­keys, go ana­conda hunt­ing and play a game of ‘spot cay­mans’ eyes’.

Co-leader of the party, Sarah Graham, said the Ama­zon lived up to ev­ery billing, ev­ery tour com­pany ad­vert and more.

She said: “We could not have picked a more ex­cit­ing, more eye open­ing, more jaw drop­ping coun­try to ex­plore and none of us will ever for­get the amaz­ing sights and the friend­ships we have forged.”

‘None of us will ever for­get it’

●● Leader Deb Laugh­arne, Zoe Suarez, Ella Ken­ner­ley, Mrs Yu­panki (wife of the Bo­li­vian agent) Zoe Rich­mond, Han­nah Quin­lan and Emma Jarvis

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