Friday, 18 October 2013
"Laser guns are expensive. Do not break these, and do not frighten the locals."
*I apologize for how long this took to publish. I really need to stop mistaking the "save" button for the "publish" button. Excellent work, Caoimhe.*
Well, after last week I am exhausted.
The week began when I got up at six in the morning to catch a bus at seven to Carlingford. It was a tad chaotic, what with people forgetting bags and some people arriving late and the like, but we set off on time with high spirits.The two hour bus journey wasn't so bad, as I brought snacks! We also passed some lovely scenery. When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the staff and were brought straight out on activity. Then things really started to get interesting!
The first activity was probably my favourite: laser tag! We walked up a mountain (which took about forty five minutes. Speaking as a very unfit person, this wasn't so much fun. But when we got there it was so worth it.) to a forest carrying these giant laser guns. When we got there, we were split into teams, taught how to use the guns and after rather a lot of talking were finally told we could go shoot at each other.
Okay, so I wasn't the most useful person on the team. I found a really great hiding spot behind a wall thing though, and that one time I shot someone was exciting. Although, my (very loud) celebrations gave away my hiding spot and I was shot like twenty times but we won't talk about that. Our team won that round, and that game was one of my favourite moments of the entire trip. After that, we played capture the flag which usually doesn't interest me, but you'd be surprised how enthusiastic I am when laser guns are suddenly introduced. We won, again. And then we walked back down the hill, feeling exhausted but happy.
That afternoon we did a lot of activities. One that really sticks out in my memory is the one where we had to bring a log thingy across a log path and put said log thingy into a bucket. But we had to build the log path with the log thingies as we moved forward. Sorry for the terrible explanation but it was a great game! Another activity we did was this spider whatsit, where we all had to get through this spider web (made out of ropes, not an actual spider web) but two people couldn't go through the same hole. We had to lift people through the ones at the top, which was difficult because you had to not drop the person but also try not to be kicked in the face. We also played a maze game where you weren't allowed to talk during the game (some people found that impossible) and numerous others.
After some R&R, we were brought out on a night walk, which, I have to say, was a crazy experience. We were brought up to where we played laser tag and blindfolded, then told to walk! We made our way around the forest, with nothing but a rope to guide us. The instructors started to spray us with water, which I have to say freaked me out a bit and, in my mini freak-out, I clutched my friend in front of me far too tight, which she didn't enjoy too much (sorry, Kyra). I also felt something furry on my face which I sincerely hope was just a glove and not some tiny animal.
That night was amazing. I got (questionable-tasting) Chinese food and went back to the room I was sharing with my friends. Although we were exhausted, we still didn't manage to shut up until nearly one. I slept in a bed full of gummy bears and sugar because of a contest we had earlier, which was not comfy at all.
The next day was completely mad. First we did archery, which I was terrible at. Really, really awful. I had fun missing the target completely, but I think my friends enjoyed laughing at my failure more than I enjoyed failing. After archery we went zorbing, which was one of most hilarious and painful things I have ever done. So what you had to do was get into this giant plastic ball that covered from about thirty inches above your head to your knees , then bump into each other and try and knock each other over (I was used as the example to show people in my group how to get in and out of it, but I got stuck in it so I wasn't really a good example). Now, I'm not exactly tall. I couldn't knock anyone over but I was fantastic at tumbling around the place, if I do say so myself. However, after a while I began to feel a bit of motion sickness coming on. It didn't help that in those things it was nearly impossible to breathe or see out, so I also felt a bit claustrophobic. It was quite painful when people bumped into me and I'd go flying and my glasses are a little banjaxed after it all but I'm still in one piece, so it's all good. It really was one of the best activities there, though.
The last activity we did was kayaking, which I probably would have enjoyed more we weren't doing it in arctic conditions. Well, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration but it was freezing. Also, I couldn't wear my glasses while doing it and without them I am thoroughly blind so I was just concentrating on not hitting people with my paddle throughout the activity. We started off by doing warm-ups with the paddle, which was hard for me because I have the worst hand-eye coordination known to man but I didn't hit anyone and I think that's an accomplishment. Then we got into our kayaks and set off. I was sure to get a double with my friend, because there was no way I could have kayaked by myself for so long (if you've got no upper body strength and you know it clap your hands). We stopped at this square floaty thing and a trampoline in the middle of the lake, which was really cool! We all clambered on to the float and people took turns swimming over to the giant trampoline. I was determined not to go into the freezing water, but that didn't matter because I wasn't up on the float for very long before I was pushed in. Everyone was all "no, the water's not that cold, come on," to which I responded through chattering teeth with "...oh yeah.... t-totally n-not c-cold at all," but I think my lack of tolerance for cold was given away by the fact that, after trying to act like it wasn't bothering me in the slightest, I curled up into the foetal position while still in the water and started singing Baby It's Cold Outside. Sadly I didn't make it over to the trampoline that looked super fun, but I enjoyed catching hypothermia.
On the bus home, the atmosphere was, well, something else. I was surrounded by friends, some of whom I was close with before the trip, but others who I probably wouldn't have even spoken to if it wasn't for Carlingford. Mrs. L. told us that Carlingford was going to be a bonding trip and she couldn't have been more right. Some things happened in Carlingford that I'll remember for a very long time, such as the laser tag and the night walk.
I know I should probably finish this off considering how long it is, but I can't end it without thanking Mrs. L. and Ms. O'C. profusely for a wonderful trip and everyone at the Carlingford Adventure Centre. So, thank you! It was a really great trip, and I had a blast.
Until next time!