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Special Guest Blog Post From 73 Year Old Silver Back Frances Butcher

  • Sophie
  • 7th April 2017
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Find out about silverback grandmother Frances and her trip to Go Ape with her 'Little Monkeys' ...


I tend to think of the grandchildren as 'Little Monkeys' (in the nicest possible way) but I recently found my inner-ape. The invitation to join my daughter and her two children on the Go Ape challenge at Thetford Forest filled me with excitement. Then I looked at the website and the excitement turned to trepidation, but I was determined not to show cowardice in front of anyone, let alone a 6-year old.

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On the appointed day we arrived in time for a picnic lunch and a review of the course from ground level, and it almost looked too easy. So I donned the harness and rushed to the start point. From 8 metres up in the trees it then didn't look quite so easy, but I wasn't going to admit that, even to myself.

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I was amazed to find what fun it was crossing between trees on swinging pathways of various ingenious designs; clinging on to a cargo net, and walking over a suspension bridge of logs. The one challenge that I found mentally difficult was the balance log. Just a bare log between one tree and the next. But as there were people in front and behind me I told myself I just had to do it, and fortunately I did without resorting to the need to sit on it and shuffle along!

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The best part though was the zip wire hurtling through the air at high speed (or so it seemed). It was all over far too quickly. Did I find it difficult at my age? Not really, but as the course was rightly designed for children the height of some things meant I needed to stoop a little, but the biggest problem was that my large feet caught on things like the netting.

I would recommend anyone of any age to 'have a go' if they fancy it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, hope I didn't embarrass my grandchildren, and may even do it again.

Want to try Go Ape? Find your nearest location here.

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