Sunday, 29 September 2013

Rings Around Saturn...I mean Carlingford

On the 16th and 17th of September, TY's were packed up and driven to the Carlingford Adventure Centre in Co. Louth. Let me tell you, I have taken a strong disliking to hill walking and the rain.

So we left at 7am, and we drove up to Louth. The bus was filled with an unsettled mix of tiredness and excitement as the signs for Carlingford appeared on the edge of the road.
The first thing we did was get a health and safety talk in the centre. Then we got kitted out for the Laser Combat, which was without a doubt, the best part of the whole trip. I would have paid just to do that, and to stay overnight. (Because our accommodation was really lovely)
We did field activities in the second half of the first day, after a hot lunch. They were teamwork exercises and our leader was very cool. She enjoyed my attempt at a Scottish accent.
At this stage, I was ready to collapse with tiredness, but the day wasn't over yet. After dinner, there was a night walk, which I didn't enjoy. I dislike walking in general, but uphill, and in the dusk was not my cup of tea. My feet were sore and I was probably the most annoying person walking up that hill because all I did was complain. I don't like the dark, especially when I'm in unknown territory, so I couldn't help it.
The night walk consisted of a game in which we had to follow a rope around the forrest - blindfolded, I might add - and then games in the dark. The walk back down was uncomfortable for me, and there was an optional tunnel that I did not go through, because I felt I would literally collapse with fear.
The night, however was lightened up with a trip to the Chipper and a can of coke, so I suppose that shut me up!

On the second day, after a tiring morning of shuffling around our room and taking turns in the bathroom to change etc, we went back up to the field to do more activities. The rain lowered my mood, no doubt, and I soon found out that my so-called "waterproof jacket" wasn't so waterproof after all. We did archery, body zorbing and a dark maze. I liked the archery, despite my poor aim, and the body zorbing made me uncomfortable. I felt a bit trapped and I couldn't move my arms. I could see the rain droplets on the inside of my zorb and I just didn't like it very much. I didn't take part in the maze, for similar reasons to the outdoor tunnel. I don't like the dark and I don't like cramped spaces, but me and Sarah had a great time sitting on the floor trying to keep warm and listening to the struggles of the rest of them inside the maze.
I began to feel a bit sick as the rain worsened and although we got a mini bus back to the centre for lunch, I didn't have much of an appetite. I knew that kayaking was next, and I have done it before, so I actually wanted to do it, but for my own health and well being of my fellow group members, I didn't go out into the harbor. I was a bit disappointed, but a few other girls didn't go and we had great chats in the centre.

As home time approached, I was suddenly desperate to get back to my own warm bed, and the bus ride home couldn't have been longer. We arrived back at the Petrol Station and my mam was there to bring me home and to hear how I got on.

I think Carlingford was a great experience and a good opportunity to build new relationships with everyone.
I definitely would take it as a learning experience - I learned I hate the rain and I won't be going hill-walking anytime soon. But I also learned that new things can be good, like laser combat in the forest!

See you soon,


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