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Melissa Barker reviews Black Mountain Activities.
I love a challenge, so when I was asked to try canoeing and high roping at Black Mountain Activities in the Brecon Beacons, I jumped at the chance. With its easy-to-reach location, it's an ideal place to celebrate your hen or stag do with options available to suit all abilities. The company offers a wide range of activities, including archery, caving, clay pigeon shooting, abseiling, gorge walking, kayaking, white water rafting and rock climbing.
Out and about
When my partner, Dave, and I arrived at the venue, we were greeted by the lovely staff, who talked us through the safety procedures and provided us with the necessary equipment. We walked to the nearby course, where our guide demonstrated how to move around using the harness and made sure we felt secure.
We were both a little wobbly at first (and failed completely at times) when trying to climb the obstacles. The cargo net was a great way to start the day. We tried to race, but I only made it halfway before conceding defeat!
Dave isn't keen on heights, so he was worried about trying the monkey swings, where he had to climb from one swinging log to the next. The team were great and easily reassured him, helping him to master it in no time.
Each obstacle required a different skill, from balancing across a narrow pole to moving quickly across a crooked bridge. We loved the final section, where we took it in turns to climb a 20ft pole and jump off the top while trying to catch a metal bar. Although we both failed to reach it, we had great fun and wish we could give it another go!
Our adventure culminated in a ride down an 80-metre zip wire. The adrenaline of whizzing through the trees and the fabulous views it afforded made this my favourite part of the course.
Making a splash
Later in the day, we tried canoeing. Having never been on a boat before, I was quite worried, but the staff offered a great deal of encouragement. And before I knew it, I was lowering myself into the canoe, trying desperately not to tip Dave into the water! I can't praise our guide enough; he was extremely patient and helped us to learn the necessary techniques at our own pace.
After we grasped the basics, we powered forward. The canal stretched across five miles, and we shared the water and gorgeous scenery with swans, ducks, lambs and chickens. Around halfway, we stopped and admired the grand countryside – and even got to pet two adorable ponies!
Despite my initial trepidation, by the time we reached the end of the canal, I was sad to be back on dry land and wish that we could have gone further.
We had an amazing day, and next time we're in the area, we'll definitely be paying Black Mountain Activities another visit.
To find out more, visit www.blackmountain.co.uk or call 01497 847 897.
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