10 Apr 2011

karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Beer)
[livejournal.com profile] belak_krin kindly gave me a lift to Bar Hill where we met the rest of the party ([livejournal.com profile] robinbloke, [livejournal.com profile] devalmont, [livejournal.com profile] davywavy, [livejournal.com profile] twentypence and Alan) and set off in glorious sunshine in three cars to "Location X".
On the A14 we passed a Mitsubishi SUV of the "paranormal investigation team" WTFWT which caused some giggles.

Our destination was Thetford Forest, specifically the Go Ape! assault course. We signed in, signed our waivers and waited for someone to arrive (who didn't) and were then strapped into our harnesses and shown how the safety lines worked (you were always attached by at least one point every time, while you were crossing an obstacle by two). Having been apprehensive all week, I was surprisingly calm until I climbed up the first rope ladder. I (or rather, my knees) really didn't like the wobbling but I made it up to the first (training) platform from which you had to cross on a 1cm steel cable while clipped onto a wire overhead. There were ropes to hold onto and the wire was under high tension so didn't wobble and I was fine with it. That wasn't bad at all. On the other side of the target platform was the first zip line. These I thought would be the worse for me because I really don't like not seeing where I'm going to land, at least not with little control over my speed. However, this turned out not to be a problem and was a lot of fun and I actually felt really safe.
Then, the first proper obstacle, a platform quite high up, then a tarzan swing into a cargo net which you had to climb up (while still being connected to the tarzan rope) and traverse to the next platform. I realised how unfit (or at least lacking in body strength) I am when I realised how difficult that long rope ladder was. Climbing the cargo net was even worse as it was far too wobbly for my liking. It took me ages to get across (guided by [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke who told me how high I needed to go as I couldn't look around much because I was holding on for dear life) but I made it. The next two bits (crossing a wire, a rope bridge consisting of stepping planks just a step length apart and another bridge that was basically a net) were no problem for me. The zip line at the end of that bit gave me a real rush. :o)
All the others are a lot fitter for me and had little physical problems. [livejournal.com profile] davywavy was probably the bravest of us as he suffers from quite severe fear of heights but he did really well.
Looking at the next row of obstacles, I chickened out of completing the rest because there were too many wobbly bits for my liking so I followed the group on the ground and took lots of videos and photos. I wish there had been a lift up to the zip lines because they were a lot of fun but I couldn't get there. :/
The next bit consisted of a cargo net to traverse and various stepping and wire bridges, ending with another zip line.
After that was another tarzan swing with quite a drop, landing at speed in a cargo net and then across a series of swinging bits to another zip line.
The final bit was more swinging bits and the longest zip line back to the start.
Everybody had a good time, especially the groom so the first part of the day was a huge success. The beautiful weather obviously helped a lot, too.

We drove back to Bar Hill, stocked up on supplies at the super tesco's and convened at [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke's house to recover with drink, delivered curry and more booze. There were silly cartoons and YouTube videos, games (Zombie Dice) and then lots and lots of Karaoke on [livejournal.com profile] raggedyman's Lucky Voice machine. Various people dropped out or went home over the next few hours but [livejournal.com profile] devalmont, [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke, [livejournal.com profile] belak_krin and I held out until about 3am.

I slept reasonably well on the squishy couch and started shuffling about around 10, helping clear up a bit. [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke cooked us bacon and egg breakfast and we spent the rest of the time until just after midday chatting.

Go Ape! - net Go Ape! - suspension bridge
Go Ape! - We're supposed to go where? Go Ape! - swinging bits Happy stag
Karaoke time! Karaoke time!

Bigger and more photos plus a couple of videos )
Yet more photos and videos (finally all of them are up) on flickr.
karohemd: (Devil)
Quite a few of the safety signs at Go Ape! reminded me of the symbols of each level in Portal, especially this one:
Does this remind anyone else of Portal

Shame there was no cake...

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