Monday, 4 November 2013

An Unexpected Weekend Away

Looking through my photos, I was reminded of an unexpected invitation to go to north Devon back in July, with my old TA unit who were having an Adventure Training weekend. This weekend was the week before I injured myself in a fall, which I wrote about here. Of course I jumped at this chance, and once I'd figured out how to fit a mountain bike plus all the rest of my kit into the back of a tiny Toyota Aygo (no mean feat!) I was off!

We each got to do 2 activities, and I did mountain biking - good preparation for the upcoming South Downs Way trip - followed by coasteering - which I hadn't done in a long time.

The mountain biking started well, following pretty difficult paths with lots of rocks and drops to negotiate. There were also some really steep uphills to test the use of gears, not to mention endurance! The road ride to return to the start point ready to switch activities also seemed to include some of the longest hills in Devon - for one stretch we had 3km of uphill with no respite from the incline at all. A real leg killer, we were so relieved to reach the top after what seemed like hours of pedalling. The next 7km were all either downhill or on the flat, and whizzed by in about 10 or 15 minutes, making a real mockery of the uphill struggle. (Sadly there were no photos from the mountain biking, as the only points where we stopped I was too busy either taking on fluids or energy sweets - or just trying to breathe...)

Coasteering (with guides from Active Escape) was fantastic. The weather was glorious and sunny, which really took the edge off the cold sea, and after hours of hard work on the bikes it was nice to let the sea take the weight off for a while. The swimming also balanced out the leg aches by adding a good arm work-out into the mix. I'm pretty nervous about jumping from a height, but love the feeling of overcoming the nerves and getting braver with each jump. And luckily the guides had a waterproof camera with them to capture a few action shots, to jog my failing memory!

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