Saturday, 17 September 2016


writing rude messages to each other on a blackboardI was first to wake up. The view from my bedroom window was entirely obscured by trees, so unlike the view from my bedroom window at home. Gradually Bothy #917 came to life and Jof got her birthday tea in bed and a birthday bacon sandwich and then I saw the blackboard.
steep path through woodland pushing bikes uphillThis covers the door into the cleaners cupboard and from it we know that our Cabin cleaner is Tamsin. We like Tamsin. But because they supply you with a bowl of bits of chalk and a board rubber, somebody had written Mungleton you fart too much and you are fat, so I rubbed it out and put Bud you suck and your bum is massive.
Then we went out on our bikes. Mountains abound in this rural retreat and the wiggly Maple Way bike and footpath is totally unreasonable and 2 of us had to get off and push the bikes up the very nasty hill.
outdoor adventure playground centre parcs longleatThis is where we learned that the Latin name for the Thrush is ‘Turdus turdus’.
Then we turned left at the summit of Mount Maple and almost straight away descended another wiggly bike path to the forest by the lake where we locked our bikes in totally the wrong place and found the beginning to the tree-climbing aerial adventure tree trek.
The people that issue the harnesses and insurance forms said that tree-trekking was cancelled because thunder had been heard so we re-booked for an hour later knowing full well that it wasn’t thunder but somebody moving the recycling bins around at the Pancake House up the hill. But that gave us time to investigate the wooden adventure playground with tubular slides that give you a wedgie and a maze with walls only 2 feet high.
tree climbing centre parcs longleat
I was a Minotaur in the labyrinth of extreme visibility, even though I crouched down I couldn’t hide so we went back to the trees where I was put in a wedgie-enforcing harness with extra clasps and straps and links. We had purchased the additional voluntary tree course as well as the big one so that helped ease us in gently.
Jof knows perfectly well that she doesn’t want to do it so she stayed below on Terra Infirma as ground crew while Bud took the little camera aloft for aerial action shots.
extreme treetop walking harnessed
It was epic and we went last so we had more time and I did the zipline and climbing wall and all the time attached to the safety harness 10 feet off the ground. We completed the circuit and got to the second, larger circuit. This is when a bloke ahead of us declared he couldn’t take it and reversed off the angled tree log and ran away to lick his wounded pride and his wedgie welts.
The second section was much bigger. You do go up, but not much. It’s the ground that drops away from you as the hill plummets down to the lake that gives you the extra height. There were 2 ziplines with catching net and you’re 60 feet off the ground and halfway through people from the next group caught up but we didn’t care.
It’s only 2 people per platform and one person on each walkway or spider-net or zipline so you’re quite spread out. At the very end you go up to 22 metres above the ground and slide down a huge zipline across the lake which is fast but takes ages and for the rest of the day my mind smelt of speed and wind and the zzzzzzzz noise like an air raid siren and every time someone zizzed over us you could hear them screaming and going backwards even though you’re told not to.
aerial adventure centre parcs longleat
You hit the other side and it puts the brakes on sharpish and it was so funny it was worth the £78. That was when my sulky mood cleared up totally. You get a special badge when you give your harness back. The lake had carp fish and they all congregate by the kayak pontoon because you can buy a tub of fish food for £1 and the ducks fight the fish for the little green food pellets that look like peas but aren’t.
Lunch was at the sports bar with its badminton and snooker and giant TVs and I had extra brownies for dessert and then I fed the fish and circumnavigated the lake and we played 9 holes of Medieval Golf with lame hole names and Jof won because age begets experience and then we had to walk the bikes up the hill again.
centre parcs longleat tree climbing
During one of the rest stops Jof saw a baby deer in the bushes, which outranks my robins and pigeons. Mostly all I can think about is waterslides so we puffed up some more hills to the plaza and squashed 3 pennies in the machine and did all the flumes again. Bud got told off for going down the butt-buster backwards and we all joined hands on the Multi-Niagara and tried to block the water flow and had races down it and I did the cold plunger again which made me do the Pasa Trible (better than the pasa doble) and we met wave alert in the big pool. They aren’t very big waves.
We saw some sturgeon-like fish in the Koi pond that must have been 3 feet long.
Jof said she was dead after all the bruising exercise which was pretty talkative for a corpse so we came home to Hut #917 again, only to shower and go right back out again. The Jardin Des Sports was our lunchtime venue and doubled up as supper too, as I don’t like curries so the Indian was out. We walked through the dark trying to find the most level hill-free route.
The giant TVs were showing the Grand Prix and the Arsenal match so I sat at the table helping people choose by reading out the menu loudly. 4 times I was told to read it in my head only and after about 7 seconds of indignant silence I said yes but you could have the steak with eggs and hash browns that sounds nice and there’s the mixed grill which contains some steak and locally grown sausage and gammon steak and … etc.
longleat centre parcs lake fishcentre parcs longleat arcade games sports barBecause to me, the rhetorical question ‘Hmm, what shall I have…?’ is begging for advice.
Us chaps had sensible food but Jof randomly chose 5 sides/light bites/starters/withs and the chef made the point of coming out to serve us himself and say what a strange combination. Afterwards we had a couple of games of pool and shot Skynet’s finest in a Terminator 3 arcade game and got the land train back to the Shack in absolute pitch blackness. We were the only customers. Bed midnight.

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