Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Gorge walking - the wettest of wet except for canoeing by Rebecca
What a fantastic (and wet) day I have had today! Today I went gorge walking with my awesome group, group 8 and my adventurous instructor Thea.
When we first got in the minibus we were all on a high. All ten of us sang a particularly annoying song all the way to and from the gorge. Thea told us to be quiet 4 times before we stopped and got out.
Eventually we got to the gorge. Thea set us a challenge for us all to keep our boots dry. Having decided the goal wasn't worth it, five minutes later I stuck my foot in the icy, cold water. I could nearly feel it freezing my feet off!
Due to the 2nd of January storm lots of the trees and debris and leaves had fallen into the gorge and formed a dam. A few people helped to unblock the dam so we could walk across a small island to get to a climbing bit. Me, Roddy and Erin kept trying to unblock the dam even though Thea was shouting for us to keep up.
Even though we had lots of spare time, we didn't get to go through the 'keyhole' which is a little hole in the waterfall or under the 'Rock of Africa' which is a rock that looks like Africa. Disappointed, we all kept on going.
There were hundreds of bits where we had to climb and try not to slip. There was one bit where we went one-by-one. There was quite a lot of waiting and I leaned towards the pool of water we were standing next to too much and I nearly fell in. I got my OTHER foot soaking wet then! I was at the back of the 'queque' so I had lots of time to try to tie my laces up which had completely come undone when they got wet.
After what seemed like an age, it was finally my turn to climb up (without a rope). I was really scared because a waterfall was crashing underneath me and shooting freezing cold water at me. I was soaking when I got to the other side for the waterfall had splashed me clean since there was a lot of mud on my waterproofs from when I fell over.
Then we had to climb up a little bit with a rope. I had forgotten my gloves and my hands felt like they were stuck in ice! I shivered my way up, with renewed water in my boots (for I was walking up a waterfall) and my hands were freezing off. I was feeling so tired by the time I had hauled myself up, but then I saw that we were at the last part of the gorge walk.
About five of us could go on on slide at once. I went on the second go, but was first to sit on the ledge of the stone cold waterfall. As more people got on, the water behind us was slowly climbing up our backs, reddening our muddy waterproofs and pouring into my trousers. Once it was nearly up on our necks, Thea let us slide!
All the water we had been holding up poured over our heads. I tumbled over the slippery rocks, unable to hear anything over the thunderous water crashing over my head. It tumbled over the slippery rocks. Unable to hear anything over the thunderous water crashing over our heads we all landed in a pool of what seemed to be ice. No, I corrected myself, it was water, gorge water.
I burst out of the small pool we had landed in and ran our, splashing everyone within range. Not that it mattered, everyone was already soaking wet and frozen to the bone.
After recovering, we all set off down a muddy path. Thea warned us it was slippery but no one really listened. We should have! I slipped and slided down the first bit of the path. I don't know why, or who, but someone squealed. Once my attention was drawn to that, I fell onto my side completely. I tried to get up but I just slid down further in the mud. When the ground had turned relatively green I stood up and stayed up.
We all had to go back into the gorge for we were all brown as cow pats. Obediently, we all had to lie down in the stream in the gorge and wash all the mud off.
Finally we all got into the minibus and sang one song all the way back to the centre. The only thing I wanted to do when I got back was, before lunch, have a nice, hot (and WET) shower.
Gorge walking was the most fun thing I had ever done in my whole, entire life. I will definitely do it again!