Jess and Jared took us to the TreeTop Adventure Park, about an 75 minutes out of Sydney. The Park has high ropes courses, graded from Yellow to Black, much like the difficulty grades for ski runs.
We started at Green (the first ‘easy’ adult course) and aimed to get to black.
Blue was okay with a bit of wobbling, a bit of effort.
Red started getting quite hard. At one part of the course, I grabbed a rope and swung Tarzan-style from tree to tree. At the arrival end, I had to let go of the rope and throw myself at a rope net. It was hard, pulling myself up the net to the next platform. The net kept moving because it was not anchored at the bottom. Damjan had to coax me up, every net square of the way.
At the end of the red course, Jess said to us, ‘I just spoke to the man ahead of us. He’s done the black one before and he says he finds it quite hard.’
This is true. I think the black TreeTop Adventure course was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.
At the beginning, I almost made it over a long flying fox but I landed just a bit too slowly and didn’t get onto the platform. Instead, I zoomed backwards to the centre of the rope. Using my arms, I had to pull myself backwards toward the platform.
As I came to the next challenge, Jess yelled out to warn us that the moving platform here would slide back as soon as I let go of it at the other end, so I would have to leap onto the other tree as quickly as I could.
By this time, I had no strength left in my arms. A few times, I couldn’t keep the platform beneath me and it slid away behind me as I clung to wire ropes. As I inched close to the end, Damjan grabbed me and dragged me to safety. I burst into tears and thought very seriously about calling for management help to get me down from the trees NOW.
Forging onwards, there were unstable ladders to climb up, swinging footholds, monkey bars… For one challenge, there was a wooden plank suspended between two trees. We worked out that we had to use it as a ‘half bridge’. We inched over it to the centre, then used our feet to swing (like surfing) the half bridge over to the other tree to complete the crossing.
The man doing the course behind me walked the plank to the centre of the gap before the plank slipped off the first tree. He hung in mid-air, the plank dangling beside him.
‘Is this supposed to happen?’ he called plaintively. ‘What do I do now?’
With no options, he dragged himself to the other side using the guide rope.
I kept thinking the course was almost over but it was obstacle after obstacle.
At the end of it all, I was so relieved. I think I accomplished something but… all I think about, really, is how bloody hard it was.