Tag: Gorge

Wheels on the Bus

On this fine day or not so fine in the morning we woke up at the breakfast bell. Today we were probably the most tired we’d been so far when waking up, but the idea of getting soaked in the gorge changed that.

After breakfast we were told that we were going to go gorge walking. It was about a forty-five minute drive to the gorge, we were so tired we (Charley and Róisín) fell asleep. After a bit of lunch we got off the bus and had to get on our harnesses which like yesterday made Charley feel like Spiderman…

We went through the forest and found the bottom of the gorge, which was full of rocks and lots of small waterfalls with a huge one at the end. It didn’t take long before we started slipping off Elliot, being the first man down. It was pretty challenging to get up at parts but the worst bit was definitely the first time you fell in one of the pools and the cold water got into your boots! When we were about 1/3 of the way up Louise set up another zip wire thing between two of the rocks which was really fun.

Next we went up a few more waterfalls which were hard because we couldn’t see where the next rock was and sometimes we had to pull ourselves up. Next Louise said we could go the easy way or the hard way and we ended up going through the elephant butt. It was basically just two huge rocks leaning against each other half in water with a pretty small hole in the middle. We had to sit down up to your waist in FREEZING water and slide through the hole which was quite scary because we were worried we couldn’t get through half way. It was optional but most of us did it anyway. We then climbed up another small waterfall slipping another few hundred times. When we were pretty close to the top, we took off our harnesses and left them on a patch of grass, it was great not needing to carry them anymore. Going up the last few waterfalls was hard as there was so many deep parts which we didn’t know were there so we fell into pools almost up to our chest. D:

Once we got to the top we climbed along some of the rocks and slid into the water. We walked underneath the waterfall on stepping stones and there was a gap which was the shape of a chair which was really cool because we could sit in it and stay dry for a few precious seconds before getting into the really deep pool. We thought there was more stepping stones but there wasn’t so we were both on the last one screaming at each other not to let go because we didn’t want to get cold. Eventually we manned up and pushed each other in. We were standing neck deep in the freezing water as Kaan floated past us on his buoyancy aid and couldn’t get back up. We wish we could say that we helped him.

Then we swam and walked awkwardly full of water to the water fall we had recently climbed and slid don it like woooossshhhhhhhhhhh and then we climbed back up for another go! We then climbed down more of the smaller waterfalls that we had climbed up to start with. Once we had finished and Kaan had finished floating we got back to the grass patch where we had put our harnesses previously. Then we walked down the slope where we met the other group and we walked back down to the car park. We got dressed in the woods, the girls on one side and the boys on the other.

Back in the coach we had more lunch before driving back to the centre. Today charley decided to sing the wheels on the bus again in attempt to get them to put the radio on of course every one joined except an odd few (Kaan bashing his head against a window).  After the tenth verse we admitted defeat and gave up. Kaan was hitting Róisín with his hat so she stole it and he went metal but he EVENTUALLY got it back.

– Charley and Róisín

Our GORGEus day

Today we went to the gorge. It took about a 45 minute drive in the minibus. What we had to do was walk and climb up a gorge without falling in, unlike Robert who spent most of the day in the water up to his waist…

What we had to wear while we were there was; wellington boots and waterproof trousers and jacket which Robert didn’t have so he had to wear a black bin bag (Which didn’t keep him dry at all).

The whole day was really fun although about a third of the way up Mike our instructor got kind of angry with us so we had to go and sit in a circle and think about what we had done! After that we apologized and promised to listen to what h had to say. Afterwards we climbed further and did some really fun activities. Like Falling backwards into the water, sliding down the rocks like a water slide and the press up challenge – which is where you hang over the water and move along trying not to fall in.
But the one thing they all had in common was that the water was cold.
Very cold.

After that we climbed further until we reached a waterfall. It was really funny as Mike tricked all the boys into believing that they had to either throw the smallest person over the top so they could throw tie a rope and we could climb up or that somebody had to swim through an underwater passage and climb up to tie a rope so everybody could follow them up. And yes they believed him.
We also had to sit underneath the waterfall and talk to the Goddess of the Gorge and say “Hello Goddess of the Gorge, my name is (Charlotte), Thank you for keeping me safe”.  But don’t worry there was a path that lead up around the waterfall to the top.
At the top there was a small pool of water that we could jump into which was really fun!

Overall the whole day was probably the best out of all of them, which we all agreed on. When we were walking back Mike made us all stand in a circle – shoulder to shoulder then rate the day out of ten. In teamwork, overall fun and how good we felt and all of them had an overall high rating.

Today was probably the best activity as it involved a lot more different and challenging things also they were a bit more dangerous that made it more fun to do!  It was more challenging as the was really strong in some parts so you had to hold on tighter or would end up falling in, which a lot of people did! So we all had a really good day and wish we could do it again, although we can’t  🙁

By Charlotte May and Robert Dew

How many mug shots?!!!

Hi this is Jess and Suzannah typing the first blog for Jez’s group 2011! Bring it on!

Today we went gorge walking (when we say walking, we really mean wading through water, knee deep and climbing up waterfalls). The gorge was called Affon Ddu… IT WAS EPIC!!!!!!!!

We started at the bottom, at something that seemed rather small, but as we got further up it was going to be a greater challenge then we thought it would be.

The first challenge we came across was squeezing through the elephants bottom! Two rocks close together and as you got through the gap you had Mr White taking mug shots of you! Yeah it was embarrassing! (Wasn’t the best pictures ever but funny to look at!)

Next Jez made us walk along this small ledge, that went down at one part and on to a rope swing (Tarzan would have laughed at most of our efforts) Even before we reached the rope swing people were falling in (Hmm, hmm Jess) Mr White went first then took even more mug shots of us all failing (I (Suzannah) did not fall in at this point)

Then we had two clips on one rope, we got with partners and then heaved both of us up; me (jess) and Suzannah went together 😀 I really failed and had to have Suzannah pull me up… with as you guessed saw Mr White taking more mug shots of us all for the blog!!!

We then had a chance at another challenge; this one was one of a kind! We got to slide along a naturally made water slide! IT WAS AMAZING! (Really wet) Mr White was at the end not to help us out but yet again taking more mug shots of us all!

After that we challenged ourselves to a scary but fantastic walk along a waterfall!!!! It was so cold, but it was so amazing! The force of the water was so powerful, one wrong step and you would fall!!! But luckily no one did… yep and Mr White was taking more mug shots of us…

Then Jez set us another challenge, we had two choices going the wet way or the dry way! Everyone obviously chose the wet way where we had to get on to this rock and slide down. (Jess couldn’t get up so, Jez and I had to help her by pushing her it was well funny)  Then we had slide in to this gap and squeeze through this gap! Then we had to climb the waterfall part as usual Mr White was taking mug shots! Jess won creepiest hand of the day (see pictures)

Next we had to make our way to this massive fall while we were ahead Mr White supposedly saved Jez’s life, when he was attacked by a pixie! We all took it in turns to slowly but carefully step on to a rock and step under the waterfall and say ‘hello goddess

of the gorge my name is (insert name) and thank you for keeping me safe today, then we had to carefully climb out but knowing me (jess) I lost my balance coming out and stupidly lost my balance and fell into the deepest part of the river type part and got drenched (even though was soaking wet anyway). Then we got into the pool while Jez took the mug shots this time because Mr White was with us! After the good photos, Mr White pushed me back into Dan and Scarlett (Will Scarlett) forwards this was caught the camera. Then for some odd reason Mr White went deeper and started floating and waving for the camera!

One of the last things we did, was clamber up onto this big rock and there was this big rock pool about 12ft deep and knowing me and Suzannah we were well up for itJ!!!! I jumped from the highest part you could and because I had so much water in my shoes my feet bent right up to my bottom :> and Suzannah jumped, her jump was a lot better than mine (Jess) her feet didn’t bend like mine did… This was the only activity Mr White did not do!

We then climbed some steps to a road which led down to the minibus! It was very steep and Jess managed to fall over again! When we reached the minibus, we were told Boys go and change in that part of the woods and girls in the other part! Overall the day was amazing!

After this eventful day we came back to the centre, everyone had their dinner and had showers/washed and we came in here to write the first blog of the year! J & S

One step from death….

Hello It’s Poppy Greenstreet & Lauren Rigney, 😀

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Today was our first day in Wales and also the day we nearly died!:O

Once out of the minibus we walked through a muddy field and saw the grave of Bedwellin & learnt the story of his brutal stabbing, leading to his death.(He was a dog not a dude) We then saw his statue made out of bronze. He was the size of a horse and we were told he was actually that size!

Next we walked through the grass & came across a train track. We didn’t know if it was a live rail or not, so we got Robert to test it out(sorry!!;)) Luckily, he didn’t die, meaning it was safe to cross:D Then our leader gave our a map (Poppy,Lauren&Charlotte). Silly idea if u ask us, but we made it through the ledge next to what we called the ‘Death Water’! We were told that if we fell we probably wouldn’t survive, as it was a strong current for grade 5 canooers that if they took one turn probably would drown!!!!!

Next we stopped for lunch, and told stories about Halloween and zombies, but soon after that we climbed a steep slope. We moaned the whole way up about how steep it was and how much our legs hurt, but once we got to the top we realised it was almost flat. We kept asking if we could drink the water but the leader told us you can only drink it at the top. This was our inspiration for getting to the top, we wanted to taste victory like Bear Grills!:D

The way up, was like torture! ‘Only 2/3 of the journey to go’ said ‘mister Sir Man’(As we call him ;D) at this point Me&Lauren were in tears& wanted to give up, but we thought of the water to put our minds off things. Our leader showed us an old gold mine, and in the rocks we could discover fools gold, which is fake but people used to trade it for money. Only Sam found a little, but it was worthless (Typical!) This is when Lauren let go of the map and the wind took it resulting in it flying to bottom of the mountain, slapping someone round the face, we were in hysterics!!!! 😀

When we stopped for the second time we got a perfect view of the Irish sea. There was a waterfall right next to us but we couldn’t drink from it because we were told there was sheep poo. in it- eww! Next we got told a story about the two dragons and our leader’s sound effects made me and poppy laugh so much that we felt a 6-pack coming on. I choked on my roll and thought I might die. The sound was something like this (ee-wee-wooo-ee-wooo-wee) LOL!

After, we finally reached the top through hard work and team effort! Our leader read us a story about the mountain opposite where the king built his palace. We were told we wouldn’t be able to drink water from the mountain today and felt heartbroken.

When we got halfway down we finally found water we could drink and were SO HAPPY! We ran to the water and filled up our bottles, we tasted the victory in the ice cold valley water. Robert ran to get his water and tripped over, spilling his coffee all in the valley water. We asked him if he was okay and got the reply ‘I’m fine, just casually sitting here chilling. OH NO MY COFFEE!’. He was okay.

When we got to the bottom, although our feet were aching and numb we felt proud of ourselves. Today was definitely better than going trick or treating. We don’t want to climb another mountain, but we’ve just been told it is one of the smallest mountains and tomorrow we have to climb Mount Snowdon… Wish us luck!

Thursday, gorge walking (Mr. A’s group)

We set off in the mini-bus in the morning with our wellies!!!(very exiting) 45 mins later we arrived at the ‘black river‘ and immediately it started raining :O once we got out the mini-bus we kitted ourselves out with helmets, harnesses and buoyancy aids and walked a little way up the gorge as it was really busy at the bottom. As soon as we started in the gorge we filled up our wellies with water on the first crossing and they never dried out again… Oopsie 🙂 we had to attach ourselves to the rope that Mr. A secured for us and drag ourselves through a freezing cold waterfall. Although it was really chilly it was the start to a great day. Afterwards we abseiled down part of the side of the gorge and into a supposedly shallow but actually waist deep gush of water. Once we were all successfully across we carried on up the gorge and found a fairly dry cluster of boulders to sit and eat lunch on. After an episode where Elise accidentally kicked  over Mr. A’s ‘special’ tea and the photo shoot with some funny faces we set off again. We had been walking for about 10 seconds and Mr. A asked us all if we wanted a challenge….. we were all a little scared. So Beaver (James Topping) decided to step up to the challenge and, once finished with his task, immediately regretted it as he was shivering uncontrollably. We then ventured further and were asked again if we wanted another challenge. Suddenly, everyone wanted to step up to it. After 3 or 4 goes each on the most amazing water slide EVER (but also the most painful (hips still hurt!), we had to unfortunately leave and clamber up to the waterfall at the top of the gorge. At the base of the waterfall there was a pool of water that was over waist deep at some points and we all jumped in! 😀 It was extremely cold but very funny indeed. Once we were done in the pool, we started to climb down the gorge. On our way down we stopped at the slide once more and had another go on it each. After walking down a little bit more Mr. A gave us one more challenge. We had to squeeze through a tiny little gap between some gigantic boulders and try and make it out the other side. Harder than it sounds! We then walked (and slid!) back down right to the bottom of the gorge and were finally allowed to change into some dry clothes (heaven!) After we were done changing we piled back into the mini-bus and had another 45 minute journey back to the centre whilst singing lots of songs and terrorising Beaver when he was trying to sleep…… poor Beaver. All in all we had a very good day at the gorge and, although we got many bumps and bruises, we had loads and loads of fun! 🙂

Thursday, River of Whack (Jez’s group)

Yo yo yo Steph and Eilish here lol, today we started off in the room of whack talking about our whack adventures! Jez asked everyone how their energy level were, most of us said we were low in whack. So we started the day off with some orientearing and learnt how to use a map! I (steph) took a really long time and ended up coming last in this task 🙁

When we finished the orientearing we set off on our next task, climbing a small mountain on our own (no Jez and no Mr White). We were showed how to use the right equipment and a special safety tent. While Jez talked to us Mr White set of ahead to a check point which would show if we were going the right way or not.

Craig started off as our ‘group leader’ ,with the help of Alicia, and navigated his way around the mountain with the use of a map and compass. As we trecked along everyone started to doubt Craig’s navigation skills, but as we reached closer to the top we soon saw Mr White’s red coat in a broken down house, we were as safe as whack! We stopped to get a bite to eat and a drink but soon set off, Mr.White left to go get some “KFC” as we carried along on the rocky hillside.

As we got closer to the top the wind picked up and we all had to scramble down the rocky path and through small streams. The grass got thicker and the water got deeper, we had to watch our step; but Mia decided to do some more of her ‘Mia style tricks’. She tried to run down the hill but instead ‘stacked it’ in a grassy stream. Me (steph) being the hero decided to run after her and save her,but instead fell on top of her…Whack.

We carried on along the stream but soon had to stop as George needed a pee, so he stopped on a hill and did his ‘business’. We walked further on through a stream but soon had to stop again seeing as Eilish and Mia now needed a pee! Soon we were back on track and carrying on at a fast pace with Phoebe leading the group! As we reached a waterfall we were soon met by Jez who jumped up from behind a wall and scared us all! We then saw Mr.White treking behind us in his red coat. When he caught up he decided to take a picture of us at the waterfall. Eilish, being the most whack climber of us all, climbed up with her walking stick and managed to fall head first into the waterfall!

Jez and Mr.White then left us again and we carried on, passing the other group on the way. We all saw a sheep, and in a moment of excitment (danger) decided to chase it. It ran away! LOL.

More to follow in the morning, with some pictures…. time to eat

Thursday, Afon Ddu Gorge (Anne’s group)

Hi – it’s Vicky, Izzie and George K here!

When we found out that we were off to Afon Ddu Gorge, we were so excited because we had been waiting to do it the whole week. After a 45-min journey we arrived and started to don out 20kg of gear each – waterproof jackets and trousers (Eden spent 10 minutes looking for her’s in the bus, absolutely certain that she had brought them with her but they were not to be found anywhere!), buoyancy aids, helmets, wellies, harnesses and Karabinas. We finally started up the hill towards the gorge.

To start off our ascent we first practised a little bit in the lower end of the gorge, where the water wasn’t too deep and the current wasn’t moving too quickly. However, Izzie still managed to fall in! Then we climbed around a sheer rock face after Anne had demonstrated it – most of us managed to get around except George and Joe … everybody was gradually getting wet 🙂 even through our waterproofs!

Vicky’s trousers (aka the puddle-lover) actually filled up until she looked like the Michelin man and when she squeezed them out, we were seriously killing ourselves laughing as she had a hole at the very top of her trousers where it all spurted out! 😀

The next challenge was to scramble around a deep pool, where there was some really smooth, no foothold rocks in the middle. Anne gave the group a choice an adventurous route or an easier one, Eden, Izzie, Joe and Miss Hodgett watched the rivine below the ledge they reached and saw George flailing his arms around trying to catch a disappearing Anne! We were all in hysterics at his funny face 🙂 Poor Clover was the last to participate in getting to the ledge and whilst trying to put her foot up, she unfortunately slipped and was swept away down stream! Everyone was cheering her on and Clover managed to regain her balance and joined us on the ledge.

We carried on our way up the rocks, and whilst taking a breather Vicky was dared to sit down in the middle of a pool, which because of her love of puddles, she immediately agreed to do it! We took another, more grassy, route to have a snack, and after about 10 minutes we set off, waving at the other group as we ascended once again.

All week our group motto was “think of the showers” which kept us going up all the mountains more quickly, and today, with the amount of water involved, just as we were steeping under a small spout of cold water, it was quickly changed by Vicky to “no showers tonight!”

When we finally got the top of the waterfall, we were offered the choice to jump like a pencil into a large, deep water pool of a rocky ledge, into the middle where it was deepest. It was so scary but everyone managed to overcome their fears and all jumped off the ledge twice. Josie (the smallest but makes up for it with her determination) jumped of the highest ledge there was.

We all sloshed our way down the really steep hill covered in really slippery leaves until we discovered that we could slide down faster on our bottoms. When we got to the corner we had to stand up again but Eden’s feet ended up running away from her as she couldn’t keep up with her speed and she stacked it! LOL unfortunately she hurt both of her knees – but not too badly. We have all collected a load of bruises in various places over the last four days! 🙂

The highlights of the day for us were Vicky sitting down in a puddle, Bartek singing ‘Barbie doll’, George’s various faces that he pulls, Izzie’s constant falling over, Vicky’s hole in her trousers and jumping in and watching other people jump in the really deep pool at the top of the waterfall. It was amazing to watch Anne and her skills and all the stuff she can do with ropes and climbing. One of the best activities of the week.

Loggin’ off for hot chocolate now! LOL

Wednesday, Afon Ddu gorge (Mike’s Group)

Well today we went ‘Gorge Scrambling’ in the Afon Ddu gorge. This is basically trekking up a very steep river, trying to get to the top. This involves climbing up waterfalls, wading through deep water, thanking the goddess of the gorge for keeping us safe and going up through ‘the elephants bottom’!.

The team have come on great guns since Monday, and it is clear that confidence is building and they are all looking out for each other. This activity in particular highlights the need for people to work together and help others. It also calls for a bit of courage here and there, and this is something that everyone in ‘team zonkey’ is appears to be full of. Both Mike and Myself commented on what a nice day we had at the gorge, and what a nice group of people we have the opportunity to work with this week – so thanks!

Here are a few of our pictures from the gorge………