Last week I was kindly invited to try out the new Rock Reef activity centre on Bournemouth Pier with a couple of other local bloggers. It was a dark and stormy night so it was nice to seek refuge in the bright and colourful building that used to house the pier theatre.
Lucy, me, Claire & Amy
We stood around nervously signing consent forms and chatting excitedly before stuffing our belongings in a locker and heading off to get our harnesses fitted. Be warned – the harnesses are TIGHT and not the most flattering of things. But on the plus side, they stop you falling to your death so you know, you win some, you lose some.
We were then shown the basics (I was going to make a corny joke then about being ‘shown the ropes’ but I’ll refrain) of how to clip on and off and how to get down safely. It’s pretty nerve-wracking to just let go of what you’re holding on to and throw yourself backwards but you get used to it. Lucy was brave enough to have the first go.
After we’d all had a little go and gotten used to it, we were then let loose to try out some of the other interesting looking walls around the room. I decided to give the ice wall a try and nearly wet myself laughing after having a bit of a palaver with the ‘ice picks’.
It wasn’t long before our attention turned to the more daring looking challenges like the Leap of Faith, the Vertical Drop Slide and the Stairway to Heaven. The Leap of Faith involves climbing a rather high ladder and stepping out onto a small wooden platform before leaping into the great unknown to try and cuddle a punch bag before
plummeting gently meandering back down to the ground. I have to admit that I made it all the way up the stairs but chickened out when I reached the platform and climbed straight back down again. Lucy and Claire on the other hand are made of stronger stuff and bravely flung themselves off the platform like it was no trouble at all.
Without wanting to be completely defeated, Amy & I decided to try the drop slide instead as that didn’t involve any jumping (and there was no way of backing out once you’re up there other than dropping down the slide). We had to climb into these rather fetching suits and then you lay down on the slide and cling onto the bar as it slowly raises you higher and higher. Honestly, it looks much scarier than it is. It was so much fun that I did it twice! (My poor weakling arms did struggle to keep hold of the bar while holding onto my full weight!)
After that we had a go on the high line which is a course of wooden obstacles high in the air that you have to make your way around. I had loads of fun doing this but unfortunately we didn’t take any photos as it’s quite hard to cling onto a camera and a piece of wood whilst mid-air but you can see some photos of it on Louise’s blog.
After we’d finished on the high line, we decided it was time to tackle the cave. I was quite nervous about the cave, even more so when I saw exactly how teeny tiny the holes are that you have to crawl through. I have to admit that it was rather fun. It involves some pretty intricate moves and is not for the faint-hearted! There’s one bit where you have to do a handstand/somersault in order to get out! It was pretty dark in there and you can mainly just see the person in front of you’s feet for the most part so I only snapped one usable picture (which had to be lightened up rather a lot in Photoshop so please excuse the appalling quality!)
After we’d extracted ourselves from the cave, rubbing our elbows and knees, we decided to have one last go on the Stairway to Heaven before heading back out into the dark and stormy night.
I had an absolutely fantastic evening and I’d like to thank Rock Reef for having me. Hopefully next summer I can come back and give the zip wire from the end of the pier to the beach a go!