Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Extreme-ly beautiful Scotland

I've just reread my previous posts and noticed that they both seem a bit whiney and pitiful. Actually, I'm not sad at all. Insecure, uncertain, a bit stressed. But not sad. It would be nice to know where I'll be living in 6 months time. But not essential. Glasgow's not so bad.

Take this last weekend for example. We went to the Trossachs. Beautiful lochs, lovely hills, gorgeous forests. The wee 'un had a fine time splashing about in her wellies and crawling over ruins, safe since the 1200s. And the previous weekend we were in Pitlochry in Perthshire. It reminded me a bit of Victoria Falls - except there were no falls (and least none on THAT scale). And it was considerably colder. And all the people were white. Okay, so not so very like Vic Falls after all. But it does have a few adventure centres where you can go white water rafting, abseiling and a few other 'extreme' activities. - which you get at Vic falls too.

I'm not too sure how this 'extreme' trade works here. In southern Africa things can be pretty gung-ho. When I went rafting the Batoka Gorges we were given a briefing, a short how-to intro and then pretty much told not to drown as we threw ourselves out of the raft on the first rapid. I managed to get myself pinned under the raft (very scary). 'Oh! I forgot to mention. Just let the raft slide over you and grab the rope on the side as it goes past.' added the guide as I regurgitated a few litres of the Zambezi. Yes. Helpful.

When we paddled down the Orange River we were allocated canoes and told to go down river feet first if we fell out. Advice on the Breede River included the gem, 'If you see a snake in the water don't try to touch it or hit it with anything.' No problem there.

But here everything is governed by health and safety. So how does that work. Are extreme sports subject to rigorous checks and balances. Not very extreme. I suppose its a bit like rollercoasters. A bit of a thrill but really quite safe. Except for one other thing I've noticed since being here. Not all that many people can swim.

1 comment:

Annie said...

You probably think I'm some crazy lady commenting all over your blog. Reading your posts have brought so many memories of my parents telling me stories of our time in Africa - all those names, Vic Falls (exactly how they used to call them), the Zambesi, Lusaka - I'm just waiting to read The Mosi-O-Tunya somewhere!

I was very young when they decided to move back to Ireland, and they have talked often of going back with me - I had a chance a few years ago, but chose to follow my heart here instead. As I said in another comment - someday I will! Your posts have strengthened my resolve to do so.

My Uncle is a Priest and has been based in South Africa for a long time, he is frequently asking us to come - I'll take him up on his offer!