Monday, 5 March 2012

My Tree Top 'Adventure'

So the blog has been quite calm lately, no activities have been too strenuous – just how I like it. However this weekend an opportunity to enjoy a ‘Tree Top adventure’ came along and put a spanner in the works.

The ’Tree Top adventure centre’ is located near Betws y Coed and I have passed it many times. From the side of the road you can catch a glimpse of the rope course, and I have always been happy to stay on that side of the road.

Tree Top adventure Snowdonia offer a wide range of thrilling activities, from kayaking to gorge walking this really is a one stop shop for adventurers of all abilities and ages, possibly even me! I was booked to try out a rope course- that didn’t sound too it turns out I severely underestimated the challenge ahead.

I’ll be honest, I have a slight problem with heights, however I usually manage quite well as I never involve myself in any activities which challenge this fear. I had bought along a partner in order to photograph my experience, it turns out that I took more pictures of him as he didn’t chicken out like I did.....

We walked to the introductory course with our instructor Tim, a really friendly young man who managed to tolerate me as I was whining.  This introductory course is made to test people’s confidence and abilities and see if they are well enough to participate on the ‘real rope course’.  As I approached it I did not feel scared at all, in fact the apprehension that I had felt that morning had begun to ease. Unfortunately, I had led myself into a false sense of security and when I walked up the stairs to the platform from where the course began my nerves, no in fact, the dread kicked in.

Please do not be put off by my account; the introductory course is NOT very high. We were given a safety talk and shown how during the whole course we would be attached to a safety rope. My rational mind knew I would be safe but I just couldn’t get over my fears. I was lucky that there were only two of us taking part (usually one instructor can take a group of up to 25) as I would have died of embarrassment if a seven year old had whizzed around the course ahead of me. I was told that plenty of children have completed the course with out making as much fuss as me.

I was just awful, I have never been such a wimp before. I ‘froze’ at least 3 times during this shorter course, I honestly didn’t think that I could go ahead. The course is divided into short sections each of which are divided by a small platform. Each section is different and involves balancing beams, ‘tight rope scenarios’, bridges and boulders, and each provide their own mental or physical challenge. Tim even had to hold my hand during some parts because I was convinced that I couldn’t do it on my own.

Me attempting the course
My ‘challenge partner’ sped ahead and completed the ‘real’ course. He really enjoyed it and you could tell what an adrenaline rush it was. I just watched from the safety of the solid ground below- I was much happier there. I looked at the course that I had just completed, it looked like nothing in comparison and I was slightly sorry that I had not had the ‘guts’ to complete the next one, I knew however that this would have taken around seven hours, time we just didn’t have.
A slightly force smile!

 I was also offered the chance to enjoy the ‘powerfan plummet’ which is the worlds’ highest powerfan parachute simulator. The tower top platform where you jump from is over 100ft high which is around 99ft higher than I am willing to jump from, so unfortunately I had to sit that one out too. Groups of keen adventurous types however were happy to let me watch and I was slightly jealous when they were telling me just how amazing it was.

Tree top adventures is a fantastic place to visit if you are the sort to love an adrenaline rush, they offer so many activities that I have only given you a taster today. I want to go back and try something different. They are even introducing a 5 person g force swing soon which sounds intriguing. I promise that I did enjoy the rope course, and I feel a little regret at my wimpy behavior now…..actually, I might even go back (tail between my trembling legs).

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