Not exactly wilderness (within comfortable earshot of the roar of the A303) but wet and muddy enough – we holidayed this half term in a forest with the inlaws.
Not under canvas, thank God, given a major gale/minor hurricane (depending on your appetite for exaggeration) blew down trees all around – but in a sturdy log cabin, courtesy of the Forestry Commission.
And very good it was too. Walking, biking, den building, hot chocolate drinking, pumpkin lantern making, trick or treating and best of all climbing up a very tall tree…
Now at 9am sharp on a damp Wednesday, the sight of eight dangling ropes confirmed my view that younger and bolder members, of the extended family, were the right guinea pigs.
However hoisting yourself with a ‘foot loop’ and ‘hand knot’ proved a little too much for my father in law’s replacement hip. He wisely withdrew. And in went ‘Dad’ as an unfancied, but unusually eager outsider.
And how glad am I that I did. Hoisting myself up a long rope, to the top of a tree, turned out to be the buzz of the week. And an whoosh down the zip cord with a reasonably elegant landing, had me crowned ‘King John’ for treesmanship – with a local beer to crown it.
What a great feeling – hanging in the still-leafy canopy with the autumn sunlight streaming through the branches. Step in, clip on, hoist yourself up and whizz back down – tree hugging has never been more fun.
The New Forest confirmed, sometimes it is good to try something completely new.