If I Were King of the Forest – Tree Climbing Adventures   4 comments

One of our favourite adventures last year was one of those adventure parks in the forest that are becoming extremely popular in the UK as well as France.

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Take it to the bridge

We were lucky this year as there was one of these places just up the road from the town of Prats de Mollo that we visited earlier in the holiday. This one was called Mont Oz Arbres and the kids were very keen to do this as soon as we arrived in the area.

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The adventurers await

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Intense concentration

Our first attempt ended in failure when shortly after starting the course, the skies darkened, the clouds rumbled and the heavens opened. Hanging about in tree-tops attached to wires is not the place to be in a thunderstorm so after trying to wait it out we reluctantly called it off. The very friendly proprietors said we could come back the next day so we headed home and planned to come back in the morning when we figured these was less chance of storms. Unsurprisingly when we got home no more than 15 miles away the skies were clear and the sun was shining!

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L in her element

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D practices for his Niagara skywalk

The next morning brought clear skies and hot weather. After the usual safety instructions (in french but we’re experienced tree adventurers these days) we were away. In case you’ve never seen or done this before it’s a course through the trees with a variety of ladders, obstacles, balances and zip wires to test your nerve and skill. It really is the most tremendous fun, easy enough that anyone with a head for heights and a modicum of agility can do, but tough enough in places to make you work and think.

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Could have been worse, could have been me in the photo

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Pull up to the bumper

There were four courses increasing in difficulty as you go. L is totally in her element. She has no sense of fear and tackled every obstacle with ease and grace, making me and TBF look rather cumbersome in comparison. Last year L was really disappointed that she wasn’t allowed on all the courses as she wasn’t old – or tall – enough. This year although the last course was strictly speaking not for her, the organisers didn’t seem too fussed so she tackled it – with ease I should add.

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The suspension is killing me….

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“whhheeeeeeeee!”

There was also a mini via-ferrata course out on the rocks but neither the instructors or L herself felt she was ready for that so we gave it a miss

Downside of all this frenetic activity in the height of summer is the heat and we were forced to take a break for lunch before the big finale. The whole course has several long zip wires but at the top of the hill is the daddy of them all. A zip wire from an 80m rock perch back down over the valley, a truly exhilarating finish to the days fun.

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Trois, deux, un……..

In an effort to appear rather cool and nonchalant I lightly hopped out of the harness, stood on the straps and fell on my ar5e, spraining my ankle in the process and bringing a wry smile to the face of the instructor. Only a clumsy oaf like me could spend half a day climbing trees, wobbling across wooden platforms and sliding down zip wires only to injure himself taking the safety gear off. I’m still feeling the pain in the ankle 7 weeks on. What a numpty

I think a day out at these places will be a fixture of our summer holidays for many years to come. The photos give a bit of the feel but there are some video shots in the clip below that do the whole place better justice. You’ll believe a familly can fly!

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Posted October 17, 2012 by surfnslide in Family Trips, France, Rousillon

Tagged with , ,

4 responses to “If I Were King of the Forest – Tree Climbing Adventures

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  1. Now I just love Tom Petty – and I’m sure he’d be just as much fun too as the tree climbing adventures looked……

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    • Do I detect a little rock star crush there 🙂

      That album was actually the very first CD (as opposed to Vinyl or tape) that I ever bought and still a classic. I thought the tune and the title fitted quite nicely. Looking forward to taking the kids to our local Go-Ape in the Forest of Dean next year now L is old enough to be on their course. Great fun and ideal to give the kids a real sense of adventure in such a totally safe and controlled environment.

      Again! Again!

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  2. Yeah – A has has a trip to Go Ape at Grizedale planned for her birthday treat, since she’ll be old enough next time around.
    Personally, much as I like Tom Petty, I can’t help thinking that a better choice of track would have been the magisterial ‘Bedward the Flying Preacher’ by Prince Far I.

    “‘Im don’t have no wings, but ‘im going to fly”.
    (Doesn’t have a happy ending).

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    beatingthebounds
    • Hmmm, not really my cup of tea that, I’ll stick with Tom if that’s alright with you. L is also keen to do Go Ape next year. They don’t do courses of varying ages and standards like the one’s in France.

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