Thursday, 3 November 2016

Treetop Adventure at Go Ape*

 
I love taking part in adventures and activities that get the adrenaline pumping. It's why I love scary movies and rollercoaster, they get the adrenaline pumping and you always get a good time from it. Recently I got to have an action packed day at the Treetop Adventure at Go Ape in Aberfoyle with my best friend and fellow blogger Robyn. The experience was by far one of the best of my life to date.


The day started off with myself and Robyn making the car journey up to Aberfoyle. I had never visited this part of Scotland before and boy oh boy, was it something. If you live in Scotland you know we have some stunning countrysides and views, and this was no exception. There were rolling hills for miles, stinning lochs and lakes. beautiful farms and fields full of farmyard animals, horses and massive trees and it was so picturesque, I loved it.


Once we arrived at Go Ape, I was impressed with how compact and simple the main entry area was. There was a cafe and wildlife lodge off to the side for visitors to enjoy the view and some lunch, then the Go Ape headquarter bedside that. The main headquarters of Go Ape consisted of a small sign in hut with an area to lock away your bags, some bathrooms, and then a small training area with your first zip line into the forest. Since the course was very hands on and high up in their air, Indecised not to take my phone on the course with me, in case it broke or fell so I wasn't able to get photos of the course after the first zipline but it was stunning. I loved this, because it was a good way to get hyped up for the adventure to come, you didn't know what awaited you on the actual course until your taken that first zip line down into the trees. Although the area was small and compact, it was beautifully laid out working the area.


Once we signed in and hands over our bags, we were fitted for our harnesses. Part of what made this adventure so fun and hands one was that we were responsible for attaching ourself to the course as we moved along, so with each new obstacle we tackled up in the trees, each individual was responsible for their own safety. Of course there were guides throughout the course on hand on the ground to keep an eye on us all. After we were fitted for our harnesses we were taken to a little mini training area, and given an safety briefing. In this little 10 minutes briefing a guide talked us through how to properly and safely attached and unattached from the course as we moved along, and the proper safety procedures for each of the activities.

What I loved about this safety briefing was that it wasn't just a group of us standing listening to an instructor, we were actual hands on following her instruction and making sure we could do each step before we were allowed to continue on. This was something really amazing I think, as I love to learn things by doing them so it's really helped me fully understand the safety measures and remember them.


Once we had finished the safety briefing it wa time to begin the treetop adventure. The Treetop Adventure at Go Ape has 5 zones of activities. Zone 1 is the first zip line that takes you into the forest. The first zip line which takes you into the firest, and the last zip line which takes you back out of the forest are the courses two highest, longest, and fastest zip lines, which means these are the two parts I was looking to the most as I absolutely loved the look of the zip lines. Robyn and I were one of the first few pairs in our group to head into the forest. Once she had safely reached the other end of the zip line and got unattached it was my turn. The view from the top of the  first zip line was breathtaking. The height was a little scary, and of course I was a little scared, what if I hadn't attached right, what if I fell off? After a few seconds of fear I thought "screw it" and jumped off, at least if something went wrong I was going out in style, eh? Of course nothing went wrong, and I went flying down the zip line, which was the beginning of one of the most fun and exhilarating 3 hours of my entire life.


After we got unattached from the zip line we started to make our way up through the course to zone 2. The scenery was stunning, so many beautiful big trees and flowers. Zone 1 was one of the smaller zones, which was good because it wasted you into the course. Starting with a rope later climb, I headed up into the trees, there were a series of fun crossings to balance your way across, before coming to the first big obstacle of the course: the tarzan swing. This obstacle looked so much fun, but it was by far the most difficult on the course. The swing part was fun, as you would hood into a rope and swing through the air into the rope netting. But once you hit the netting you would be fire back into the air because of how fast you were going and swing back, climbing up the second time. This was by far one of the most challenging and my least favourite obstacles on the entire course. Luckily there were only two through all the zones! After the tarazan swing it was plain sailing, another few rope before before a second zipline.

Moving onto zone three, this was definitely my favourite of the zones writhing the forest, as my overall favourite was the zip lines going into and returning from the forest. There was a log tunnel to crawl through, a bridge to cross and a log crossing. The obstacles in zone three were a little more daunting and easier to lose your balance on, but that's what made them so fun! The second zone ended in another zipline (yay!).

Zone four was another very fun but daunting zone. I loved the obstacles on this zone, except for the wall of ropes. This obstacle was the same as the Tarzan swing with no swing, and I was terrible at climbing the ropes, I kept slipping off and eventuall I gave up and pulled myself on the harness because I kept losing footing. Once we got the the second last obstacle in zone four there were two routes, the black route which was the high difficult route or the traditional route. I opted for the traditional route as the difficult route involved crossing in mid air on stirrups, and I just haven't got the balance for that. After taking on the zipline out of zone four it was onto zone five.

 

Zone five was the last of the obstacle filled zones, and for me it was by far the hardest. The zone started off easy, however the last few obstacles were very difficult. This zone had the largest Tarzan swing on the course, with the largest drop and climb. This was the black route, the difficult options. By this point I knew I hated the Tarzan swing, however I wanted to give a go, determined to take the difficult route and give it a go. This was a bad choice. The swing was fine as is it was before, however the huge climb was so difficult. With the rope pulling my back and my footing constantly slipping, I ended up just getting a worker to help pull me up as I didn't want to hold up eveyone else. The obstacle after this was fine, and I move on. However the last climb to the the zipline was where it got really tough. The wooden ladder was extremely narrow and halfway up my footing and arms gave way and I can crashing down the ladder, smacking every inch of ladder and tree on the way.

This was pretty terrifying at such a heigh up in the air. I took a step back and let other climber go ahead of me so I could stop shaking and get my nerves under control. I found out from a worker that the only way down was to conquer that obstacle and zipline down. I took a while to let me nerves settle, and there were so many lovely climbers who took the the time to calm my nerves and give me a hand. By this point my arms were severely bruised and my legs were pretty swollen from the impact of the tree. I decided to get a worker's help and they were more than happy to help. One of the staff made his way up into the trees and over to calm me and help me. With his amazing patience and help, I was able to climb up and had someone there to help so my poor bashed and shaking arms didn't give way, and I made it up.

Although I was pretty terrified and in a lot of pain, I wouldn't give up and I made myself keep trying until I got up. Looking back on it after I got off the zip line I was incredibly proud of myself for doing it, and I was actually kind of thankful in a way, as it made me conquer my fear and take charge to keep going and not panic and give up. If you could have seen the really breathless laughing cry I done afterwards, it would have given you a good giggle, it gave me one! I can't express enough how grateful I was to the staff there that day, they were incredible helpful with me and so kind and patient.

When I got down to the last zip line home, Robyn was sat there waiting for me, despite me having been at least forty minutes. I was so grateful to her for this and it meant a lot because when I got off the zip line I was so relieved to be down, but I shaking like crazy, a little embarrassed and in a lot of pain so having her there waiting for me was nice because I wasn't sitting alone, and I had someone to sit with for a few minutes while my heart found its way back to my chest from my throat.

Once I got my nerves under control it was time for the final obstacle, the zip line back to the entrance. This zip line was the one I had been looking forward to most. It was the courses highest, longest and faster. The zipline stood at 120ft high and 426 meters long, and I was so excited for it all day. With the nerves I had and the pain I was feeling after the last zone, I was a little wary of the climb that would take me up to 120ft the air on a rope ladder followed by a small wooden ladder. I wasn't sure if my arms could take the climb and was debating walking back to the entrance instead, but I had been looking forward to this all day and I wasn't letting it be ruined for me by that. Robyn went first and climbed up, and away she went down the zip line. I was determined to experience this zip line, so I powered through and made the climb. I let the worker on the ground know about me injuries and he assured me he's give me a hand if I needed it, and that someone would check on me at the cabin to make sure I as okay when I finished which was amazing. I made the climb and was so proud of myself for doing it, that the smile on zipline back was probably the biggest it's ever been. I had the time of my life, taking in the view, letting go of the harness and letting my arms and legs dangle, it was the most amazing feeling ever.

When we got back and out of harnesses, we handed them back and even got a little certificate for completing the course. They been gave me a little stickee to cheer me up since I hurt myself, which makes me giggle.


I was so buzzing or so long after this experience. The adrenaline was pumping and I couldn't stop smiling. We sat for a little while at the visitor centre admiring the view and reflecting on what we had just taken part in. It was something incredible and something we would never forget, that's for sure! On the way back from Aberforyle we got to see the beautiful scenery in later afternoon light, with the sun splitting the tres and it wa share perfect way to end the perfect day.


It was was 100% one of the best experiences of my entire life. It's something I recommend to anyone who loves adventures and fellow  adrenaline junkies. I was aching for days from all the working out and intense ogrisxl activity I had done, but it was so worth it. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking, the course is incredible fun and the staff are so nice and friendly, it's a perfect day out.

Have you ever been on a similar adventure course?
Are you a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie?

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