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Jumping Wales…

June 28, 2010

Rock climbing. Sun. Water. Whales….err or Wales…Oh the adventures we had! Last week we headed off to Wales on a group holiday of fresh air and vowel-less words (playing scrabble with a welsh version is uber tricky) and most excitingly. a foray into Coasteering. Coasteering is basically scrambling, climbing, swimming and cliff jumping your way around the rocky Pembrokeshire coastline. The area around St. David’s and St. Non’s was probably the most stunning coast I’ve ever encountered…or maybe it was the adrenaline talking. The weather was fantastic and I couldn’t get over how many colours there were…the grass at the top of the cliffs was bright green with it’s grass covering, giving way to the rock cliffs–a stunning assortment of black, orange, purple and tan…and the water. LAGOON blue! In the UK!! As I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t exactly the setting for camera equipment, so I’ve had to rely on the ol’ flickr (what would I do without this international pool of talent!)

So how did it work…well in short. we got suited up in our kit (wetsuit, helmet, flotation vest and old sneakers) and walked about twenty minutes from the town down to the coast. We followed along the coastal path for a bit before we literally scrambled down the side of the cliffs on an old fisherman’s path. When we ran out of rocks we jumped in..simple as that. That’s when we all thought that we were going to lose our appendages. Welsh water is freezing, summer or otherwise. But alas, we had jumped into the ‘toilet’ and were soon distracted. The toilet is this inlet in the rocks that due to something horribly scientific that I didn’t catch, well the water flushes in and out–so you are floating around wondering if you’ll still be able to take the dog for a walk if you lose half your toes, when the water level drops six feet. Just as you get over that, the water suddenly rises back again just as fast. It was fantastic! After that we climbed over some rocks, jumped in off a natural diving board of sorts…yada yada yada….took a spin in the ‘washer’. another aptly named natural feature. This time the current ran around a cropping of rocks just off of land. If you huddled close to the edge, you’d get flung one direction, only to be reveresed after about five seconds and flung the other way. Now, if I wasn’t in the appropriate gear or expecting it, yah, I would have been in hysterics being tossed around the ocean, but under watchful eyes of our guides and wearing a life vest it was such good fun! Plus, our friend Hugh sacrified his hands for the greater fun of the team by hanging onto the baracle covered rock, acting as a swing for the rest of us to hold onto and be whiplashed around the bend. Thanks Hugh!

The rest of the morning was spent rock climbing and when we ran out of rock, or found an area too difficult to cross, back into the water we went. Eventually we made our way around to a large stepped face that acted as a multi level jumping board, with us each jumping a few times from different heights. I think the max was 7 metres, but I wussed out at 6.5 due to a precarious footing and fear of heights. Another .5 metre wasn’t going to make it any better for me. Several beautiful jelly fish sightings (and avoiding as one was a ‘stinger’) later and we were climbing up the side of the cliffs again …what could top such a morning off after all that. A 6.5 hour drive back to London…ouch.

A big thanks to archidave for the stormy weather cliffs photo, zenith9 for the flowered cliffs snaps &  rolandbutter for the coasteering shot
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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 7:32 pm

    I am very captivated by Wales at the moment, I’m thinking of taking a holiday there soon.

    Have you seen the lovely little movies the Visit Wales tourist board have made following a family as they go on holiday? They’re lovely, really well produced and evocative, I put some links up in a post on my blog a while back. Very inspiring to get myself there, and now the prospect of a Blue Lagoon too!

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