In the Jungle…

This post has made the long list of nominations for Best Blog Post in the Blog Awards Ireland 2013. You can vote here.
‘Jungle’
1. Land densely overgrown with tropical vegetation.
2. A dense thicket or growth.
3. A dense, confused mass; a jumble.
4. Something made up of many confused elements; a bewildering complex or maze.
5. A place or milieu characterized by intense, often ruthless competition or struggle for survival.

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As part of the Tyrone Rose of Tralee, the roses, escorts and committee visited the Jungle NI back in April. I had no idea what I had let myself in for. While the Jungle NI is not ‘densely overgrown with tropical vegetation’, it could be described using the last two definitions; confusing, bewildering and intense. The award winning Jungle NI is set right bang in the middle of Northern Ireland and is the first and only Zorbing site in Ireland.

We were welcomed to the Jungle NI by a hugely enthusiastic team, with a slight glint in their eyes. They were ready to set up some adrenaline junkie style activities. Now, I thought I had a good sense of adventure and would be up for anything, but the Jungle NI take things to a whole new level. Pushing you to go against every single human instinct you have.

We began the day trekking up a huge hill, where we were meet by two over sized hamster balls. All five foot four of me felt even shorter in comparison to these balls and wondered how exactly it all worked. Being ever so polite, I let all the other roses go ahead of me and went straight to the back of the queue. This was definitely not so that I could avoid taking a roll down. Watching the other ladies take their turn I began to relax; the zorbs seemed to move quite slowly. Eventually,I plucked up the confidence (after a little encouragement) and jumped in. The only way I can describe it is, the zorbs are like a small ball inside a bigger ball, so when your rolling down the hill it feels like your bouncing up and down. It was the strangest feeling ever! I screamed the whole way down and they feel a lot faster than what they look. It was a great experience but I don’t think I could hack it again, once is certainly enough for me.

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The amazing view from the Zorb hill.
Photo: Gary Condon

We then moved round to the treetop adventure where we got all ‘harnessed’ up. First task was to get across the rope bridge to the tree platform. Feeling a lot braver, I was excited to get going. I walked over the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge so I was a pro at these kind of things you know. Wrong! I got half way across and reverted back to a total scardey pants yet again. Getting so far, I’d no choice but to keep going. I got to the platform were I was hooked up so that I could leap off. It sounds pretty straight forward and I wanted to jump but my body just kept telling me no. It did eventually take a big push to get me off the platform and I was out in mid air panicking whether or not I was going to make it to the ground. Then in an anti climax I was lowered slowly to the ground, left with the shame of thinking that’s all I was afraid of.

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The Tyrone Rose of Tralee Crew
Photo: Colin Hampsey

The Jungle NI provides a day that will make you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. It’ll bond you as a team, a family or even a couple. I’d highly recommend anyone to give it a go. There’s a package to suit everyone and individual activities are also available. Have a look at the price list and figure out what suits you, then get out there and have the experience of a lifetime, in your Northern Ireland.

Lala x

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