30 things to do before 30: go 'ape' for it

My adventurous side still hasn't had enough adrenaline for my liking so to solve that I head for another fun and thrilling day out.

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Go ape, the tree top adventure site is the activity of choice. There is a fair few about the UK including the one I went to in Peebles.

I took my friend Graham with me for company so the drive wasn't too bad, especially seeing as I was the passenger.

We arrived and got checked in, and got given the safety brief. It is a high risk activity so safety is the priority and I must say the checks and initial briefing were good if not a little scary. I'm started to question my sanity.

To start with, we get harnessed up and go through a trial run - and I learned all about carabiners, belt loops and a trolley so I know which goes where and for what.

We then get taken up to the course itself. There was five separate blocks, the bigger the number the higher off the ground you are.

We all get supervised on the nursery one. Climb up a rope ladder, attach yourself to the tree then across a single wire balance then onto a zip line and away you go. You are then set lose on the course.

Luckily my photographer for the day, Graham, allowed me to go first, lead the way as such but it actually meant I couldn't wimp out of anything and kept my speed up.

Some of the obstacles were really hard work, some were quite scary and some were fun.

I was actually surprised at how scared I was at a few. I mean, I've completed a bungee jump, walking across a log beam suspended between two trees above ground should be a doddle? Shouldn't it?

There were several 'take a breath moments' which didn't appear to get any easier as the course got on, in fact you just got higher up so they became more frequent.

Nevertheless we made it, all five completed.

The highlight of course was the zip wires at the end of each run. They allowed you to get suitably covered in bark depending on the landing. I can see how fun it may be on wet and muddy days, however I was pleased for the dry sunny day we had.

Number five zip wire was a belter. 48m at its highest point and over 325m long. It was definitely the 'piece de resistance' the showstopper if you like. It zipped you over the reservoir and tree tops. It was so exhilarating. I loved it! Would go through all the hard work and palava of the rope ladders and balance beams, suspended tubes, dangerous roller logs, scrambling up nets after Tarzan swinging just to do that again. I'm definitely becoming an adrenaline junkie!

You feel a sense of accomplishment once you finish. Even with my few tree top tumbles, I'd like to say I was checking that my harness worked, thankfully it did, but balance and tricky obstacles got the better of me.

Graham too had trouble with the twisted horizontal rope ladder so it wasn't just me, so that made me feel better.

Anyway I now have bruises to prove my day out was completed and successful. It may mean a different outfit for my aunts party on Saturday (Happy 60th Birthday Margaret) but it was worth it.

We were rewarded at the end of the two hour adventure with a lovely homemade picnic and some sunshine on the benches at the Glentress forest. We certainly had built up an appetite and thoroughly enjoyed it. All in all a fantastic day out!

Would I recommend it? Most definitely, I would do it again although I'd more likely go to the other site in Aberfoyle to give that a go too!

Go ape is an extremely well run organisation and we could have got a certificate on completion which is a nice touch for younger ape goers.

I couldn't fault the staff and although you don't see them often I feel that any trouble and they'd be there waiting to help.

Thankfully we didn't need that though and we can walk away with pride and the lingering pain of the course. Just a reminder of the great day.

Number 9, tree topping, zip wire fun - tick!

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