Go Ape (Living Arrows)
Welcome back to my photo adventure, Living Arrows, which is about celebrating childhood. The project originally took it’s name from a poem by Kahlil Gibran. “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”.
I’ll share photos of both Shalini and Shivam from our week. These will be simple photos that capture a moment of childhood.This week we were invited to Go Ape. We’ve spent a lot of time this summer outdoors and tried to do more adventurous things. The kids were really excited about this.Cannock Chase was the closest option for us and it took around 40 minutes to get there. We opted for Sukh and the kids to do the Tree Top Junior course. It’s suitable for younger children over a metre tall.
It’s not as big as the Tree Top Adventure course but it’s still five metres off the ground. So it’s quite an achievement if you manage to do it. You get an hour up there and there are wobbly bridges, some fairly difficult crossings and a zip wire.After the safety briefing, off they went to the first part. This is the shortest course before you reach the zipwire finale.I was worried Shivam would refuse to even walk up the stairs to give any of it a go because he has a fear of heights. He walked quite confidently across the net and the planks which moved quite shakily as they were tied to ropes. We were all pretty surprised. He bravely took each step at a time though and got to the zip wire.It was here that he had a freak out. I must admit the platform from which you launch yourself looks pretty scary and I’m OK with heights. The instructor at the top was really friendly and tried so hard to get him to do it, building him up to it and asking him to walk further forward at each attempt.
At one point, we thought he was ready to let go and I knew he would love it if he did. It would be something he would want to do again and again. But it didn’t happen. I think he just made it worse in his own head.
So unfortunately on this occasion he didn’t experience the zip wire experience. It meant he couldn’t complete the longer part of the course as there are no steps down from that bit. Once you’ve completed the really difficult planks, nets and boards, the only way down is to zip it down. He spent the hour doing the shorter course over and over again but he seemed to love it.
Shalini on the other hand did the short course once and then went straight to the larger part of the adventure. She loved the zip wire and it was so funny watching her launch herself off the platform, zip straight down.
As soon as she got towards the end, her legs would start flailing about and she would land on her back. It’s perfectly safe and most people land that way. Some start running as soon as their feet touch the ground so they never fall into the piles of bark below.It was a cloudy day and it started chucking buckets in the last ten minutes. Sukh and the kids continued the course even in the rain but the course had to be closed down because of thunder and lightning. There are a lot of metal ropes and wires up there so pretty dangerous.The staff were excellent and even when asking people to get under shelter and informing them they would beed to wait half an hour, the smiles never left their faces. It was the friendly staff that made the experience even more enjoyable. People were offered gift vouchers to come back another day, if they didn’t want to wait out the adverse conditions, All in all, the kids had a great time and we will come back again – next time hopefully I can join in too. And fingers crossed, Shivam decides to have a go at the zip wire too. Shalini has already told me she doesn’t want to do the junior course next time and is excited about the Tree Top Adventure.If you love being outdoors and enjoy a family adventure, this high ropes course is perfect. Even after the hour spent on the course itself, there is plenty to do in the forest, like walking or cycling. There is a cafe onsite so you could just chill with a cup of coffee if you wanted to.
Read more Living Arrows here.
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