Going Ape!

Trip Start Jun 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Casa de Katie and Alan

Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Sunday, July 12, 2009

So Katie had suggested a day of activity that her and Alan had been wanting to try but hadn't yet done. Having a tourist in their midst, they decided to take advantage of the opportunity and booked us in to do the "high wire forest adventure" in Aberfoyle called Go Ape!

It involved us getting strapped into harnesses and doing an obstacle course of sorts through the treetops. We began by flying across the top of the forest on a zip wire then climbed up a rope ladder into the treetops (some up to 40 feet high) and completing various activities to get through the 2 hour course. The obstacles included ladders, bridges, zip wires, trapezes, stirrup crossings and Tarzan swings. It concluded with a flight back to the starting station on the longest zip wire in Britain at 426 metres.

At first I was pretty apprehensive as we were given a half hour training session on how to attach and then unattach our harnesses. As my nerves peaked I started to forget what we were told. Then our group began the course. At that point, I couldn't wait to get started. The first zip wire was exhilarating as I flew high above the forest looking down at the rivers and waterfalls below. The surrounding mountains were covered in mist and with the drizzling rain pattering against my face, my adrenalin levels were starting to soar.

As we moved our way throughout the course, the obstacles got more difficult and dangerous. At times I was so scared I couldn't move but for the majority of the time, was like a kid in a candy shop - excited about moving on to the next stage. Every now and then, I would take a moment to enjoy what I was doing and look out at the scenery around me. It was generally during those moments that my fear peaked, when I was looking down 30 or so feet below me and realising I was being held, suspended, by a few ropes, wires and hooks.

The highlight, but also the most terrifying part for me was the final Tarzan swing. It seemed so ridiculously high up and all the logic and reason in my head was screaming out and telling me there was no way the harness and wires was going to support my weight. With much trepidation, I stepped off the ledge and sailed through the air towards the big net at the opposite group of trees. It grabbed me like a fly in a web. I let go and let myself slowly fly backwards, lying back while letting my frayed nerves and body which was overcome with adrenalin, get back a somewhat feeling of normality.

Two more obstacles and we were at the finale - the huge zip wire. I was so excited to do it, but so sad the whole experience was over. The feeling of rushing above the trees, too quickly picking up speed, was incredible. All of a sudden I was rushing towards the bark chips at the end and it was all over. What an incredible highlight of my trip. I can highly, highly recommend forking out the money for this action packed day out.

We popped in to a local pub for a late lunch then headed back to Glasgow. Alan had a comedy gig on that night so Katie and I had a quiet night relaxing and "coming down" from the days high, waiting for the pain, from hyper-extending just about every single one of our body's muscles, to kick in.
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