Sorry i didn’t post this yesterday, but I was a bit shattered. It’ll probably be sometime on Tuesday before i get it finished.
I told you that I was off on a holiday.
On Friday Morning, we got the train up to Belfast where we would be meeting everyone. We didn’t need to be there until 3 o’clock though, so I just went shopping.
At 3 o’clock, I met at the RNIB office until everyone came. There were 10 people in total who went.
We got to Newcastle at about 5 o’clock, where we met the instructors, and were shown where our shalley was. It had three bedrooms, a living room, and 2 bathrooms. We had about half an hour to kill before dinner, so that was spent just finding out where everything was, and exploring the shalley.
After dinner, we did a “Low Level” ropes course. This was basically where you had to climb up different ropes, but you were only like 3 feet from the ground.
To get the old team work going, we first had to get up on a bench, and change positions, so that the tallest person was first. We weren’t allowed to step off the bench, so each person had to go around another, by sort of hugging them, and then stepping carefully around them.
Next, we were paired up with someone who was going to be our partner if we fell off the actual course. Before we started the course however, we had to do something which was called “Trust”. This was where we had to keep our feet together, and let ourselves fall back where someone would catch us, and push against our shoulders.. This was pritty easy
After that, it was time for the actual course.
I can’t actually remember the order of things in this course, but you’ll get the drift.
First we had to climb a ladder, sort of like on all fours. At the top of this, was a log which you had to stand on, and shout out something. It was apparently the highest point in Newcastle. I chose chocolate of course.
Next you had to slide down a pole i think which was pritty easy.
There were alot of ropes you had to swing on, and like swings that you had to stand on. I fell off one, but i could practically step down to the ground, so that wasn’t so bad.
Next i think was a thing called the “Icing on the cake”. This was basically a rubbery thing you sat on, and had to slide down a couple of poles.
there were some more swingy things i think, and then a bit where you had two ropes at each side, and you had to kind of crawl along that, but keep your feet inside the rope. This was the only bit i didn’t do, cause it looked too complicated. Overall though, it was good fun, and i liked the challenge.
Next, we did archery. This was fun. I got a bullseye at one point.
During the game we had to choose a holiday we’d really like to go on, one we wouldn’t mind, and one we’d hate to go on. We also had to choose transport and who we would go with. I ended up going to Florida, with my friend Jordan, and i was going on a donkey lol. It was still good.
After this we just went back to the shalley again and played games like Shirades and a game called “Murder in the dark”. This is a game where you were in a fictional village, which was called “Dwarfington” in our case. All the murders happened at night, and during the day the dwarfs had to decide who was the murderer, and the suspects had to defend themselves, before the person we decided who was deffinetly the murderer had to decide what way he got killed. It ended up that all the people of the village got killed and we had picked the wrong person as the murderer. We didn’t get to bed until like 2 o’clock that morning lol.
We were all up at 8 o’clock for breakfast the next morning.
After breakfast, we got measured for our wetsuits, because we were going “Deep Bouldering”., which was walking through a river and stuff.
We then got the wetsuits on, and put our clothes that we would wear for that day on top, a thing that looked like trousers with shoulder straps, and a waterproof coat and life jacket.
We had to travel a short distance by bus to get to the river. The place was called “Bloody bridge”.
When we first got to the river, i panicked a little, as it sounded quite fast moving. I was reassured that it was normal speed though thank god.
Our first part of the river was a “Slide” down into the water. This involved stepping over alot of rocks, and sliding down a rock on my bum lol. Then we had to go to a bit where once at the end of the slide, the water sort of pulled you in. You had to hold your hand up if you didn’t want the water to pull you right under. I went a bit under, and the water was freezing!!!!!!
After that first part, it was just more navigating the rocks.
Next, was a part where we had to fall back into the water. It was scary, as we were not allowed to do it facing forwards, so we had to face backwards. That was scary!!!! I don’t like falling backwards!!!!!! I had to get someone to sort of give me a little push on my life jacket to help me.
After this there were more rocks to nogosiate.
Next, it was back into the water, but thankfully facing forwards, which was fantastic. We had to hold onto a rope, and swim or get pulled backwards.
After that it was just climbing rocks, and a waterfall, which was just like a big slope, with the water pulling behind you.
The whole activity was fun, but scary at the same time. By the time we had finished the waterfall it was nearly time to go.
Before we went back to get lunch however, the people who were partially sighted went on up the river to jump across a meter long waterfall and such. I didn’t think that it was good for me to be doing that lol.
I would just like to say what a fantastic instructor i had. I had great instructors throughout the trip, but for now i’ll just credit the one i had for the bouldering. I will credit each one individually when i get to that particular activity.
So i would just like to say that Kate, you were brilliant. I couldn’t have done that without you. Thanks for being so patient, and ajusting to what way i wanted guided, and being good craic too. Also thanks for not being afraid on how to approach things with me. You and Stephen were great!!!!! Thanks!!!!!!!!
After lunch we did a thing called “Permanent Initiative” which was like team building games.
The first game involved a wooden platform thing, which was called a mushroom. We had to do different things involving the mushroom, like getting just 3 hands on the mushroom between 10 people, and such.
Next, we became the bomb squad!!! We had a barrel which was the bomb, which was liquid, so it couldn’t be shaken or anything. We had to get it and all 10 of us over a wall, which was more like a high fence, in 10 minutes to start with, and then in 7 minutes.
We decided to climb up on the bomb, and then we were helped up by someone sitting on the wall, then we each helped the next person from the other side. When we were all over, we had to bring the bomb over. If we didn’t finish it in time, we had to go back to the start. It was fun, but the wall was uncomfortable to sit on to get over.
Next, it was the Zip line, known as “Area Runway”. This was basically a platform which you basically sat on the edge of, and lowered yourself down. It was really fun, but there was a chain that went up to stop the rope from swinging, and it made a really scary smashing sound, which always made you think that something had broken.
After dinner that night, we went into Newcastle town. We went on the Bumper cars in the amusement arcade which was great. Then i went on a thing like a jet ski, where you had a bike thing, and you had to watch what was happening on the screen, and complete a course. Then i went bowling, which was crap, cause there were no bumpers up. It was just a bowling machine.
After that, we went and played football, as some of the boys had baught a football. Me and a couple of volunteers went bak to the shalley for a while, but decided to go out later on and met the boys half way, so we didn’t get very far.
The night was spent first of all making a human knot, and then getting out of it without breaking the not, and then playing a game where you had to count to twenty, but you had to guess what number the other person was going to pick, and get in there before they did. Bed was earlier at 12 o’clock, as we were on “Breakfast Duty”, which turned out to be lunch duty, as we forgot an got up too late to help prepare the tables.
Sunday morning after breakfast was the “High Ropes” course. This was similar in a way to the “Low level” course, but you were 20 feet in the air. We were strapped into harnesses though.
Before we did the actual course we did what is called the “Practice” course, which was to determine if we would be safe on the course. This involved us having to clip different ropes to our harnesses, which we would be doing on the course. We weren’t allowed to take one of the ropes off before we got the other one on.
So once we had finished the practice course, we were on the main one.
Again, to start with, there was a ladder that you had to climb up, only this time you could climb up the normal way, instead of on all fours. The ladder wobbled a bit, but you were always attached to a rope, so that was good.
At the top of the ladder was a platform, which you first had to get your knee onto, and hoist yourself up after that. That was a bit hard, as i wasn’t sure exactly what way would be the safest way to get onto it. I ended up using a ring attached to a pole which the platform was attached to, and getting up that way.
Once on the platform, I had to clip on my second rope. So once i had that on, i could take off the first rope.
Before the rope bridge, there was a platform which you had to get onto, from the one you were standing on. My leg wouldn’t reach across to the other platform, which was across a metre gap. I had to sit down in my harness, and push myself across, where I was helped to get onto the other platform.
Next, was a rope bridge. You had to hold on to a rope at either side of you, and put your feet on each knot you came to. This was quite weird to start with, but once you got the hang of it it was alright.
At the end of this, was another platform, where we would get another rope on for the next part of the course.
The next part involved having to walk along a rope, whilst holding onto a rope above you. You had to kind of shimmy your way across. This was kind of hard, because the rope wobbled a bit, and there was nothing behind you to support you.
It was then off to another platform to get the next rope on. I had two ropes on for this one, to give me extra security.
This next rope was in the shape of an “X”. As you got to the middle of the “X” it moved apart, as it wasn’t tied together. This was meant to happen. I had to hold on to the ropes on my harness, which didn’t really feel too safe, to be honest. As i walked along the “X”, it got a bit scary, and i didn’t like the way the X moved, so i decided to just get down. To do this, i had to sort of sit down, and push myself outwards.
I was a bit disappointed because i wanted to do more of it, but at least i tried it.
After that, it was just basically lunch and home.
Once again, i would just like to say thank you to the two wonderful instructors that accompanied me throughout the course. Christie, sorry if the spellings’ wrong, but thank you for explaining everything to me, and being patient. Also thanks again to Stephen. Whoever provided the disability awareness training or whatever, was great!!!!!!!!! Thanks again guys!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a great weeeee holiday, although now i’m covered in horrible itchy bites lol. It was worth it though. I look forward to another holiday.
Tomorrow i’m off on a wee holiday down to Newcastle. It’s with the
I think. Well if not that, it’s deffinetly with one of the youth workers from there.
I’m going down to the
I’m not sure what i’m doing, but i think it’s ropes courses and stuff. Should be good craic. I’ll post when i get back. I’m off for the weekend by the way. It’ll be good to get a wee break. Plus it’s fun!!!!