No, I didn't go completely bananas (rimshot). Go Ape is an adventure park for people over the age of 11. You basically go through all these obstacles between 40 - 49 feet off the ground. You are attached to a wire at all times with carabinas and go through a 30 minute training session at the start of your journey. It's actually very safe.
This is the one I went to
Yes, that's right, THE Forest of Dean. It's utterly gorgeous and full of amazing little lanes and villages and a lot of Sumps! Sun Sump, Solomon's Sump... I am determined to go back there and investigate.
I went with a group of people from work. More were supposed to turn up, but as usual, 'something came up' at the last moment. This wouldn't have been a problem except that we were having a barbecue afterwards and they'd promised to bring food. (I brought butcher's bacon, salad and onions.)
I really enjoyed Go Ape. It was like one of those adventure playgrounds that you did when you were a kid, except it was over 50 feet up in the air and you were an adult. I managed to get up all the rope ladders and did both Tarzan swings (where you just jump off a platform and swing down a zip wire into a net but on the last one, I couldn't pull myself up onto the next platform and had to have someone come and help me. :( I thanked the lady profusely and felt ashamed of myself. My arm muscles have always been my weakest point. I need to get back into going to the gym again. Still managed to get up the final ladder, though. This was called a 'parrot' ladder, which in this case meant that the rungs were uneven. Oh dear God, my arms. After that, it was a final zipwire (49 feet) to the end. I wiped out so hard that one of my shoes came off. XD
It started raining about 3/4 of the way around the course so we decided to have the barbecue at Liz's house. She lives in a ridiculously cute village called St. Briavel's. This happens to have a Norman 12th century moated castle, which is now a YOUTH HOSTEL. Seriously, I want to live in this place. It's like the next best thing to living at Hogwarts.
For more on the Forest of Dean, see this.
The Cheltenham Science Festival is the most recent of Cheltenham's four festivals. I've never been to it before but this year I managed to go to Gaia: The Cabaret, a musical show about the Gaia Theory.; Mould and Arrowsmith in 3D, a male/female comedic duo (don't think I've ever bumped into one of those before, unless you count Tate & Tennant), which was a show stuffed with geek jokes and science jokes. I believe they regularly perform at the Fringe (Edinburgh Festival), so if you're ever around, do go and see them. Finally, on Sunday, I went to see a talk about whales & dolphins by the Marine Conservation Society and the Whales & Dolphins Society, which was so interesting that I wish I could have made notes. The gist of the talk was that we now know enough about the intelligence of cetaceans to demonstrate that not only do they understand a great deal more than we thought, the animals in this order are so intelligent that they should be classified as people and have similar rights. I'm not sure how they will achieve this but I think it's a laudable idea. Finally, Grace and I went to see Paranomality: Live Seance, which turned out to be a demonstration of how Victorian psychics fooled their audiences. Really, the most important part of the day was that Grace actually went and spoke to the people who organised the whales and dolphins talk and got their contact details so she could do volunteer projects in her spare time.
Part I of my June Adventures
That was my June! Hope you enjoyed this update from the West Country! :)