Emily (that’s our daughter, the 21 year old) and her friend Sophie have been to stay. After all that cold, rain and gloom, they brought the sunshine with them, and a holiday mood. They quite rightly wanted sightseeing, markets to mooch round, and sunbathing opportunities. Most afternoons, we finished off with a swim at either Montbel or Puivert.
Yesterday was their last day, and they wanted Action, with a capital A. We’d seen the publicity for something new: CRAPAHUT PARC AVENTURE – a sort of mile-high adventure playground in the forest at Fontestorbes, near Belesta.
It’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder why on earth you’d pay to be scared witless. It involved serious safety harnesses, and a training session on clipping karabiners onto safety wires so you were secured at all times.
Malcolm and I watched from below. Often, the two were so high up in the tree canopy we could barely see what they were up to. Whizzing through the forest on zip wires seemed to be the pay-off for challenges such as rope bridges, swaying wooden fences with equally swaying footholds. High up on the wooden security platform between each section, they had time to contemplate the scariness of the next challenge whilst unclipping and reclipping their karabiners. Sadly, my camera battery gave out after they’d gone round the first of three sections – the ‘easiest’ one, so I can’t show you the scariest bits of all: such as swinging on a rope, Tarzan-like, to a large vertically strung net, which you have to climb along, crab-like, to reach the next point of safety.
Or the longest zip wire of all, so much higher than the others, which sent them screaming through the trees, across a river, through more quite dense forest, before they disappeared from view. They came back into view as they returned across the river via precarious rope bridges and swinging platforms
It was fun and a challenge for them. But it was fun for us too, the two wimps left below. We wandered through the forest following their progress and astonished at their courage: being safe isn’t the same as feeling safe.
Watch out. If you come to stay, we may send you there. Malcolm and I will be watching from below again