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David Jinks reviews the recent AS Geography Fieldtrip:

A whale of a time

The AS Geographers drove down to Wales in two minibuses on the Wednesday; a reality away from the coaches normally used for long distance school journeys. After a couple of hours in cramped sitting conditions we disembarked onto Talacre beach. It would be an area of high beauty except for the bleak and grey weather, sucking the colour out of everything.

We spent about 2 hours taking various measurements along the beach of the Psammoseres while is groups of about five. Genuinely had a decent time. However then it was back to the minibuses and then (taking the long route as well) crawled towards Pen y pass.

I think the idea of staying somewhere without wifi was to allow the students to focus on the coursework and data collection but in reality it caused widespread panic and trauma, making work impossible. Therefore we were forced to continue writing up way past my bedtime. On the plus side however the food was surprisingly good and we had an en-suite bathroom.

We spent most of the second day writing my will and testimony. Storm Doris attacked the Llanberis valley hard and we spent most of the morning trapped in the dining room since the power cut off and the shutters therefore locked us in. Meanwhile the 70mph wind outside was in the process of removing half the roof. Smashed tiles littered the mountain road and thrown at cars by the wind. It didn’t have much effect on the cars though; the gale already removing half the rear windscreens of vehicles in the car park. Unfortunately our minibus was unscathed. While awaiting our death we were kept peacefully distracted by plotting yesterdays’ data into graphical form.

In the afternoon the wind died down enough that the youth hostel stopped shaking so off we commenced on our rivers booklet. Doing fieldwork is never a breeze but when that breeze is enough to throw a tree into the road it’s nigh impossible. We had to remove the tree from the road as well! Well, I didn’t. I sort of gave it to Josh to carry but I claimed the credit anyway. Doris had one last trick however as it sent Jade’s clipboard spinning down the cliff face below where we were based, although funny I didn’t laugh as at the precise moment my face was being ripped off by the hail.

We were meant to have 3 hours in Hulme on the last day to collect urban place data. However a traffic accident on the M56 cut that time limit down to only 1.5 hours. Somehow we didn’t quite manage to finish our urban work but that concluded our trip, at school, at 4pm.