No matter where I travel, I always seem to end up doing something up in the air – literally. In Ecuador I jumped off a bridge and while in Busselton this month I did a ropes course. It seemed like a great idea when I booked it and then I arrived and I looked up… and up to where the platforms were high above me in the trees and I remembered I don’t like heights!
The pictures in this blog aren’t from the course I did, because I forgot to take any photos in my excitement/fear. But you can check out Forest Adventures for yourself.
Luckily they start you off small, only a couple of metres off the ground.
They have a fantastic harness system which means you can’t ever accidentally forget to lock yourself on to the wires. It’s a dual system so one carabiner is always locked and the other is unlocked which allows you to move from platform to obstacle. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly simple.
We started on the two easiest/lowest levels and I forgot about the height because I was so focused on locking and unlocking the carabiners. The cargo net was hard work, but riding the skateboard a few metres above the ground was fun.
I then asked one of the safety guys what his favourite course was (there were six to choose from) and he told me the ziplining one. It sounded like my cup of tea, but the start of the course was at the highest point in the park – over 18 metres straight up.
The first ladder was a solid wooden thing which wasn’t too hard to climb.
The next was a rope ladder, with wooden rungs so it swayed as you climbed. I hadn’t really ever thought of climbing a ladder as difficult until then. I had to stop to get my breath a couple of times (which also revealed to me just how unfit I am!)
The final ladder was a wooden post suspended in the air with small wooden sticks poking out – but they were uneven so there wasn’t a lot of foot space on them. That one had me hanging on for dear life a few times as it swayed.
Finally though I reached the top and was able to look around. I can’t say I remember all that much about the view. I’m not sure that I actually looked down. The platforms were wrapped around the tree and weren’t very wide, so I was focused on my carabiners and making sure they were properly connected.
But then I hooked on to the zipline and it was a lot of fun whizzing through the course above the trees.
We called it a day when we finished the zipline, even though there were more courses. The thing that surprised me the most was how tired I was. I hadn’t expected to be as hard as it was (hadn’t thought I was that unfit!), but there was no way I was going to climb up a tree trunk with nothing but those wall climbing grips to hang on to!
All in all it was a great way to spend a couple of hours and I’m glad I did it.