Last Wednesday the lovely people at Rock Reef Adventure Activity Centre hosted five of us Bournemouth based bloggers for an evening of thrill-seeking fun! The event was a ‘mystery’ with only Hannah from The Adventures of Hannah Bee in on the surprise, who instructed us to bring trainers and a ‘sense of adventure’!
Rock Reef is situated on Bournemouth pier and when we arrived at the beach at Hannah’s designated meeting spot she asked if any of us had a fear of heights… this got my adrenaline pumping as I’m not the most confident at high altitude! The prospect of climbing made me a little nervy but I was up for the challenge! Plus watching the waves crash in to the beach from the top of a wall does have a positive effect on calming the nerves…
Juan the marketing manager greeted us and gave us a tour of the centre and its various activities before handing us over to our instructor Will for a safety briefing. Will talked us through getting in to our harnesses which gave us all an instant bum lift and thigh gap – win! And once we were secure he showed us how to clip ourselves on to one of the easier Clip ‘n Climb walls, with Cheryl from Dorothy and Alice volunteering to show us the ropes… rather spectacularly shall I say! Rosie from A Rosie Outlook was the first to set off up the wall, shortly followed by the rest of the gang.
We were then left to our own devices to scale as many walls as we wished, all featuring a different challenge. Once I got to grips with the harness and became comfortable abseiling down the walls my confidence grew and grew. In principle, me and climbing, or any adventure type sport for that matter, just don’t go together so I completely shocked myself at how ‘able’ I was, and it didn’t take long for me to relax and have fun!
By the end of the climbing experience I managed to scale one of the timed walls in under 10 seconds which I was pretty proud of to say the least. Louise from Pauper To Princess was an absolute pro and completely impressed me with her Spider Man abilities to climb – plus it’s a pretty impressive thing to look this good in shorts when climbing don’t you think!
Some of the girls were a little more adventurous and Hannah challenged herself to have a go on The Vertical Drop Slide ( I secretly think the suit is what swayed her!). There was no way in hell I was giving that challenge a go so hats off to her for trying! Cheryl also braved a vertical set of columns, almost like a stairway to heaven but way scarier!
After we had explored the activities on the adventure centre’s floor we moved on to the High Line aerial obstacle course. This had to be the most terrifying of all the activities and comprised of a series of logs, ropes, swings and other precariously dangling objects to transport you from A to B. Although scary, the High Line definitely gave me a huge sense of achievement once I finished the course and I certainly got over a few fears from giving it a go. The instructors were really supportive and guided (hoaxed!) us round to the end.
Now pumped up and raring to challenge ourselves we finished our adventure experience in the Pier Cave – a series of tunnels and a ball pit completed with head torches and a lot of courage. The one thing I’m more scared of than heights is confined spaces, but once through the first passage and in to the ball pit where we wallowed in the balls and had lots of giggles, myself, Hannah and Cheryl decided to brave the back passage (cue a series of innuendos and a lot of laughs!). After nearly falling head first into Cheryl after our passages connected (no innuendos here please…) we made our way out to the light and safety of open space. I still can’t believe I was brave enough to complete the course but with a bunch of girls keeping spirits high I somehow managed to find some inner courage.
It was such a fun event and we had a lot of giggles along the way! If you are based in the Bournemouth area or are planning a visit this summer then I urge you to visit Rock Reef. It’s a fantastic day out and I guarantee you will leave with a sense of immense achievement that will keep you buzzing all week!
One of the final activities being installed at Rock Reef later in the year is the world’s first Pier Zip – a zip wire from the pier down to Bournemouth beach. Now there really isn’t a better reason to visit Bournemouth this summer!