Day 8 of the trip was split into two different parts. The first half of the day took us away from UVa and instead saw us hiking through the Blueridge mountains, following a trail called “The Plunge” (not as scary as it sounds!) We were told all about the mountains; they history of them, how to survive in the wild, and given a warning to avoid snakes and the black bears, which have occasionally been spotted wandering through the mountains (and no, that wasn’t a joke!). It was a great day out; something different from our previous days in Virginia and it gave us a chance to really appreciate the beauty of the landscape.
Once everyone made it back to the top of the mountain, we headed over to the Wintergreen ski resort to enjoy lunch. Despite the fact that the sun was shining and the temperature had reached heights of 22 degrees Celsius, there was still snow covering the slope in the resort. There was only one thing to do – snow ball fight! It was a great way to end the morning.
The second part of the day revolved around the Bluegrass picnic, held at the International centre. We were all welcomed with a delicious variety of food and drink, before being encouraged to join in a series of dances with other students and local residents.
To finish off such a chilled out day, we made our way to The Lawn and played Frisbee with a few UVa students who we’d gotten to know over the past week.
Fully settled in to life in Charlottesville after only a week, Sunday was our day to kick back and relax after our hectic week, and an opportunity to prepare for the hectic week still to come. Overall, it was the perfect way to mark the half way point of our trip.