Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No helmet, no waiver - no problem!

So you've seen how much fun we've been having since Thursday or so of last week, right? If not, a short recap:

Thursday morning Celia and Olivier had their baby, so Thursday afternoon I got to meet little Danae. Thursday night we went to see WALL-E, which was a really really great little movie. Friday was Swiss National Day, so more food and more friends and some fireworks. Saturday we lazed around the house and Mr K played truly epic amount of Guitar Hero. Sunday was a tasty dinner with Steph's parents. All this brings us to...

Charmey Aventure Monday! Before you say anything about it, that is the correct spelling - we're all Frenchified now, remember? Ok then! So on Monday morning, I got up and sent poor Mr K off to work. Then I put on my most sportif clothing, packed myself a little lunch, and set off with Dani and Steph for an afternoon in Charmey (same little town we to go for our thermal bathing - mmmmm). We parked just a little ways down from the baths and bought our tickets.

Our adventure began with a sky cable-car ride up the mountain side. Once we arrived, we were harnessed up, given a seven-minute introduction on how to use our various pulleys and ropes, after which we set off to explore - no helmets worn and no waivers signed - amazing, huh?

Basically, Charmey Aventure is like a big playground - like the most extreme version of the playgrounds you remember from your childhood - all wood and cables and their attendant bruises and scrapes. There are five different difficulty levels of courses ranging from yellow (easiest) through green to blue to red to black (we'll come back to this one.) We started on the green track, walking across tightropes and zooming down ziplines. The majority of the stations were no more than ten to twelve feet off the ground - a nice, easy start. From there we went on to the blue before taking a little break to catch our breath, rest our legs, and chow down on the contents of our backpack o' sandwiches.

After our short break, we confidently headed to the red track. By this point we had over two hours of making our way through the various stations and we were feeling good. When we arrived at the beginning of the red track, however, we ended up in a short line behind a family with five kids, most of whom were a bit young for that specific course, so they were taking foreeeeeeever. We conferred amongst ourselves and decided to just head to the black course (I admit I had my misgivings but figured 'how bad could it be').

Well, let me tell you - my arms and legs are killing me today and I think about 75% of that pain can be attributed to the first station of the black course - a humongous spider web, about 15 feet off the ground. I made it about halfway across this thing and my arms and legs were shaking like leaves - at each little section of web, you had to let go with one hand so you could move your carabiners from one web section to the next. This only took a few seconds for each move, but it felt like forever, hanging my whole weight on one arm, my feet clinging to a thin wire underneath me. Dani had gone first and was waiting for me on the platform at the other side. When I finally made it all the way across, he said we had to go back - that the second station was too hard. You read right - if you got stuck at a station you have two options - go back the way you came or let the staff of the park come rescue you with ladders - how embarrassing is that?!?

I wasn't yet convinced the second station was all that difficult - it was just a 15 foot rope ladder leading straight up to the next platform. Dani headed back across the spiderweb and then Steph gave it a try, quickly joining me on my little platform while we contemplated the rope ladder. I took off my big work gloves, tucked them in my shirt and started to climb up the ladder. Wow, I had no idea it was so hard to climb a free-hanging ladder. It spun and the rungs slid unevenly as I moved from one to the next. As you may notice in the picture, there was also a huge distance between each rung, so you really had to pull with your arms to get to the next one. I was just too tired from all our previous exertions and only made it halfway up the ladder before giving up and heading back down again. Since we clearly weren't ready for the black course, we had to head back across the giant spiderweb once more. Somehow I made it and we decided to give one of the easier courses one more go before we headed back to Fribourg. Dani and I went with the blue course while Steph forged on ahead to the red.

By the end of the day, we were all completely worn out, having spent nearly four hours up in the trees. There were two other activities we wanted to try - one was the 1000m long zipline and the other was a giant-wheeled offroading Razor-style scooter for zipping down the mountainside. We were just too tired, though, and decided to save both those activities for our next visit, which will definitely include Mr K.

All this fun and I only managed to get three or four little bruises - that's less than our average jiu jitsu class!


Katie said...

that sounds sooooooooo fun!!! what a great workout too!!! if/when B and i ever make it across the ocean we HAVE to go there!

Jürg said...

you guys are busy bees aren't you? :)

you WENT to see wall-e? :O
did you go back to the states or where can you see that flick here in europe? (i mean beside some superlong "previews" in the www *cough*)

Miz K said...

hiya! we saw wall-e at the cap-cine theater right by our apartment - it came out about a week or two ago. you should definitely go see it!