Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday: High Ropes Park

We woke up today for the final full day in Switzerland. After getting breakfast, we figured out which of us got which activity patches. There are six different patches one can earn while over here for doing different requirements. It ended up being that of our contingent of fourteen people, all but one of us got five patches, while the one exception still got four. (You couldn't really get all six, seeing as it's kind of hard to get the "Snow and Ice Adventure" patch in the middle of July.) We also went over the plan for tomorrow, and then we all headed out to the High Ropes Course.

Unlike last time, in which we spent about an hour on a chartered bus to get the place, we only had to walk about 10 minutes this time around, as they opened up a new place right by the scout centre. We waited for about 15 minutes for it to open, and after that we got about 20 minutes or so of instruction before we went out on the actual ropes. It was divided into four separate courses based on difficulty. Bear in mind that this being Switzerland we're talking about, so what they consider to be easy is typically rather advanced for us in the States.

I ended up going on all four of the courses. The segments ranged from walking across a rope ladder, to 30-metre zip lines, to monkey bars, to one bit where you had to slide across while sitting on a disk which would swing up into a net. The latter one was particularly difficult, as you needed to grab onto the net without letting go (as you end up swinging back and getting stuck in the middle) and without falling off the seat (as it becomes extremely hard to unhook your carabiners from the rope and you have the heavy seat pulling you back). Most of us took about three or four tries before we finally made it across.

After about three hours or so of being several metres in the air, we put away our harnesses and our helmets and we headed to the town, all aching and exhausted. Everyone split up and did their own things -- most people went somewhere to lunch (I ordered a nice Hawaiian pizza at a restaurant) and shopped for souvenirs and Swiss chocolate. We headed back to camp to relax a little and to start packing for our way home.

Since we have to leave at 9 AM, this will probably be the last post I make here. I'll post something on Thursday, most likely (seeing as how we don't arrive at National until midnight, which translates to 6 AM Swiss time). So until then, have fun wherever you are, and while it has been a good time here, I can't wait to get back to a regular American keyboard.

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