Friday, 29 April 2016

Wild in Wales Part 2 - Zippy & Bungle

We are no strangers to zipwire/ high ropes adventures.  We've scared ourselves witless at Calvert Trust in Kielder on their high ropes course, we've tackled the 7 huge zipwires of Go Ape in Grizedale and we've zoomed high across the Eden Project in Cornwall - so I'll admit I was a little blase about scrambling through a few caverns and whizzing across a the zipwires that Zipworld had to offer at their Cavern Adventure in Blaenau Ffestiniog.  That'll teach me.  I can honestly say I haven't had such a brilliantly fun and, at the same time, utterly terrifying adventure for a long time.  "Do something that scares you at least once each day" they say - well I'm good for a week or more now.  (For the record, based on today's performance, Steve's Zippy and I'm most definitely Bungle...)

Criccieth Beach & Castle
We're still camped at the lovely Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Llanystumdwy - it's a small site alongside the A497 near Criccieth with excellent facilities and is the perfect base for exploring the Lleyn Peninsula and Snowdonia.

Zipworld have a number of adventures to choose from, there's the terrifying Velocity zipwire in Bethesda - the longest zipwire in Europe & the fastest in the world (suitable for adrenaline junkies) and the Treetop Nets adventure (suitable for all the family) amongst many others.  Given that the weather was somewhat changeable we opted for the Caverns Adventure - an all weather adventure deep below the ground - what could possibly go wrong?

As instructed we arrived 30 mins before our launch time to sign the obligatory disclaimer and get fitted out with the usual harness etc.  I first became concerned when they said there was a 1 hour training session before we were allowed out on the course - 1 hour?  How scary is this exactly?  I soon found out....

The photo above is of the cavern where the adventure begins.  No photos would do it justice.  Once your comprehensive training is done you're let loose on the course which involves creeping across walls 50 feet plus above the floor of the cavern, zooming along zipwires that zig zag along the length of the cavern, wobbling over rope bridges that would make Indiana Jones think twice and slithering your way over nets suspended hidden so high in the roof of the caverns that I didn't dare look down so can't actually tell you how high they really were.

Oh - and there's crawling through narrow tunnels too - did I mention that?

This is HUGE compared to the tunnels
we crawled through
We've only splashed out on one "tourist experience" during our hols and I'm so glad it was this - it was a superb adventure and I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend it.  My only criticism is that at the "rest spot" half way around the course there were no G&Ts on offer - and I could really have used a little Dutch Courage.  (Trust me - take a look at their website and give them a go!)

Once we were done with all the scary stuff we headed back to the site, the sun was out, the skies were blue and the cafe in Criccieth was serving the most amazing hot cherry pancakes.  I'm pretty sure that pure terror burns a lot of calories so I reckon the treat was calorie free, plus the cherries are being counted as one of my "five-a-day".

Tomorrow we're off up Snowdon - a walk in the park after today's adventure surely? (Famous last words!)

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