Monday, June 13, 2016

Canyoning 2016: Tight Suits, Cold Water, Sore Bodies

Canyoning in Wales
By McKenna Reicks and Stephanie Johnson

Hey all! Welcome to our day 4 blog!

   Our names are McKenna and Stephanie. McKenna is entering her senior year majoring in Early Education and Elementary Education. Stephanie is entering her junior year majoring in exercise science.

  Today, we started off our day with a delicious breakfast provided by Coleg-y-Bala, the Presbyterian youth facility we stayed at last night. After breakfast, we struggled through the challenge of putting our wetsuits on. We found it was easiest to put one leg in first and then work up from there. The suits were all very form fitting, and NOT flattering for anyone! ;)

   The guys from Rhos y Gwaliau outdoor education center came to pick us up with two big vans, we all piled in and were on our way. After about a 30 minute drive and a 15-minute walk, we were ready to jump into the COLD water! The first thing we were told to do was belly flop into the water. Of course, we were all excited about this, that is until we felt how cold the water was! It was literally breathtaking!!

 We then attempted to walk across the slippery rocks but it turned more into slipping across the rocks. Once was everyone was a crossed we learned about the amount of trust this adventure would take. So we practiced with some trust falls! Our leader held our belts counted to 3 and let us fall backward into a pool of water. It was scary at first but soon we learned that concurring our fears would end up to be very rewarding.

  Our next stop got our adrenaline pumping when we looked over the cliff to see our zip line and the cliff we were about to jump off. One by one we fastened our carabiners to the line and jumped. We even got Brittney to strap the UNI flag onto her backpack and fly!

The zip line was our halfway point this is where we had the option to get out of the water or keep going, we all kept going. :-) We were then faced with more hiking up and over and across slippery rocks. The last of our journey was close but only tested our fears more. First, we slide down a waterfall into a pool of water that they refer to as The Pot. The Pot of water was about 18 meters which is close to 60 feet deep! Yikes! After we all slide down the waterfall we had the option to jump off another cliff into The Pot. There we two different heights we could jump from.

  Our last challenge was getting back to dry flat land. The UNI rock wall didn't prepare us enough to for the rock climbing we were about to do! Luckily we all are pros now after climbing a mountain and we made it across just fine. :-)

 After talking with everyone in the group we agreed that facing our fears of height and water was well worth it! This was an amazing experience that we wouldn't have had back in the United States. It was an awesome opportunity to go canyoning in Wales! Our leaders were fun, the water was cold, the cliffs were high, and our group was the best! :-)