If you read this post you will know that Mr Thinly Spread, myself and our two eldest offspring were offered the chance to Go Ape on Sunday. I accepted at speed and regretted at leisure…I was terrified! I’m not keen on heights. I went because I thought it would be good to do something with just the big boys. I went because they would love it. I was being a ‘good Mum’!
The highest point on the Go Ape course in the Forest of Dean is 15 metres, the longest zip wire is 180 metres, there are 39 crossings…this was taking being a good Mum to extremes!
We arrived too early and had a leisurely walk around the beautiful forest, sat by the lake and ate our picnic and I tried to pretend I was looking forward to climbing a rope ladder into the sky, leaping into the scramble nets and throwing myself down the zip wires we caught glimpses of through the trees.
A very lovely girl called Nom strapped us into safety gear and explained how to use it and I tried really hard to listen over the sound of my pounding heart. I was paired up with The Tall One and Mr TS was with our Sensitive Soul. We had one practice run 5 feet off the ground and then we were off!
My boy clearly loved feeling the wind in his hair! (That’s me in the background, up a tree)
Mr TS and The Tall One talked me over this one. I didn’t answer because, at this point, if I had opened my mouth I would’ve been sick!
I found that I really rather enjoyed the zip wires once I had made the leap of faith and I all but kissed the earth each time I landed! I did, however, land backwards each time and scooped large quantities of bark chips into my knickers which the boys found very amusing!
After a while I began to relax and even managed to enjoy the scenery! Each time I successfully made a crossing (and some of them were VERY hairy scary) my boy greeted me with a proud grin. He was SO encouraging, calm and thoughtful I was a bit blown away!
Mr TS and our Sensitive Soul were ahead of us. Sensitive Soul was in his element. This is the boy who walked at 5 months and hasn’t stopped climbing since. He was walking across the crossings without holding on; hopping from board to board as if he had indeed been born in the trees. He waited impatiently for his Dad to catch up and stop taking photos of me!
When we finally reached the last (and incredibly long) zip wire after two and a half hours up in the canopy, I was getting quite blasé! The Tall One was having a whale of a time! (He’s the dot on the zip wire and I am the smaller dot in the tree a long way behind him!)
I’m not sure if this is triumph or hysterical relief but there was yet more forest floor in my knickers!
Go Ape is BRILLIANT. We got so much out of our day.We loved that we were not nannied around the course but were responsible for our own safety. Help was at hand if needed but it was not intrusive in any way and that was an absolute delight and made a very refreshing change. I think it may well be the perfect day out with teenagers.
I conquered a fairly significant demon and am now officially invincible. I can do anything and am crafting myself a super hero costume out of softest silk and toughest steel.
My Sensitive Soul and his Dad bonded happily with some healthy competition as they whizzed on ahead.
The Tall One looked after me and I suddenly saw what a good man he is becoming and how lucky the partner he eventually finds will be. He is kind. Job done!
We’d go again!
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets for Go Ape in return for a written review. This piece is entirely my own opinion and is written in my own words.