My experience of Go Ape, Peebles
It's just after 9am on Saturday morning and while most sane people are still easing their way into the day, I'm teetering precariously on the edge of a small platform deceivingly high up a tree trunk in Glentress Forest. The longer I stand and contemplate the rationale behind what I'm about to do, the more the forest floor seems to recede below me.
After checking and rechecking (and triple checking) that my lifesaving harness is correctly attached to the safety wire I take a leap of faith into fresh air and begin to swing Tarzan like towards a cargo net at considerable speed, remembering at the last minute my instructor's advice to relax my body and resist the temptation to grab on for dear life. A couple of bounces later and my momentum carries me back towards the dangling rope climbing frame that I somehow manage to haul myself up towards the next tiny platform. My ungainly effort may not qualify me as a GI Jane but I survived and at that moment I feel an adrenalin fuelled invincibility and ready to take on the world, well the next challenging obstacle at least!
Each of the 5 course sections grow increasingly difficult and every journey down a zip wire culminates with me being dragged backside first up a pile of wood chippings which seem to accumulate inside my trousers in the most uncomfortable of places. By the final section some sort of delirium has taken over and I begin to laugh uncontrollably to the point I am struggling to see for my watering eyes and stupidly opt to attempt the extreme crossing when given the choice of a less painful route. I decide I must be some sort of sadist because I'm having the time of my life!
A couple of hours of limb twisting challenges later and soggy with sweat and tears (of laughter/joy) I triumphantly reach the final zip wire and with well earned bounding boldness I clip myself to the safety line one last time. As I now fearlessly step off the last platform and soar 325 metres across the expansive valley and reservoir below, I embrace the liberating feeling that comes with flying through the skies without a barrier between me and the rushing air. All too quickly my moment of airborne glory comes to an end and I find myself landing like an upturned turtle in the most ungraceful way possible and collecting a final gathering of wood-chips in my trousers. I can't remember the last time I have laughed as much and although I may have lost all dignity, I have gained a renewed confidence and a generous pile of bark for my garden!
I had a brilliant time monkeying through the trees and highly recommend Go Ape as a fun day out and a fantastic confidence builder as you can't help but come away with a real sense of achievement.
My visit to Go Ape in Glentress Forest, Peebles was organised as part of the latest Scotlanders campaign in collaboration with Visit Scotland to promote the route of the new Borders Railway and activities available in the area. Dubbed a tree top adventure, rope bridges, Tarzan swings, tunnels and zip wires are just some of the challenges that await on the 5 different sections of the course that winds its way through the forest canopy and some spectacular scenery.
Course stats for Go Ape Glentress Forest
Go Ape has a number of centres throughout the UK with 2 more in Scotland at Crathes and Aberfoyle. To find out more check out their website here.
The new Borders Railway route between Edinburgh and Tweedbank opens in September, watch out for more blogs about my weekend exploring the area and you can also follow all of the Scotlanders blogs and social media updates on Twitter @Scotlanders or on our website http://www.thescotlanders.com/
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