Here’s one for the thrill seekers! Tristan, a member of our Guest Services team, has been trying some slightly more ‘extreme’ activities in Belle Plagne, take a look!
As a self confessed adrenaline junkie, the thought of a holiday to the French Alps to take part in White Water Rafting down the fast flowing river of Tarentaise had me pumped just reading the brochure and checking out the reviews online. Finding friends crazy enough to join me wasn’t really all that difficult and off the cuff, we booked up one week in with Inghams staying at the Chalet Hotel Des Deux Domain, Belle Plagne.
Wasting no time at all, the first full day in resort saw us raring to go as we headed down the mountain towards H2O Rafting located near Bourg St Maurice. This extremely popular event had a full coach load of us ranging from all ages. It only became apparent to us when we got to the venue that we were the only ones who had signed up for the ‘red category’ rafting experience.
Before we set of to see what the ‘red run’ had in store, we were kitted with all the safety gear and had a detailed brief from our excellent instructor who would be guiding us down the river that day.
Off we set and immediately the fun and game began. A few drills started were we would fall into the water and the rest of the crew would work as a team to rescue each other. Before long we were willing to capsize and sure enough, moments later I found myself back in the river with the rest of the crew.
Back onboard we rowed down the river, taking the rapids head on and then all of a sudden we were instructed to spin the boat around and careered our way down backwards. Along the way we played a game of cat and mouse with another boat. Our guide had one thing on his mind and that was to start a water fight with the other vessel. Having soaked each other from head to toe (as if we were wet enough as it was), we then under the careful guidance of the instructor started to board our ‘opponents’ boat and take control.
Further down the rapids we came across a fallen down tree overhanging the river. As I had let the team down and during the last capsize and might have accidently let go of my paddle, our guide instructed me as punishment to hang from the tree and wait for the next boat. Sure enough I jumped from the boat and monkey’d around for a while, waiting on the next boat to arrive who would kindly reunite me with my longed for paddle.
Amongst all the shenanigans we soon entered a magnificent gorge, completely surrounded by rock and calm waters. Floating softly down the river we soon approached a bridge were we were instructed to pull on shore. Climbing up the bank we made our way onto the bridge and took in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings. It was all getting a little to calm for my liking until I was told we could, if we wanted to, jump off a platform at the side of the bank aiming straight for the water. I didn’t need to be told twice! After watching the rest of my crew make the jump, I made my way onto the ledge. Now believe it or not, from an early age I found that I suffer from a fear of heights but not in the conventional way. I have a fear that if I am up high, I want to jump. So as you can imagine it didn’t take a great deal to take the leap of faith. Freefalling seemed to take forever and eventually the water surrounded me as I plunged into the deep pool beneath me, before my buoyancy aid kicked in and I found myself floating down the river to the rest of the team. The feeling of adrenaline flowing round your body while being in a complete setting of tranquility was very surreal and not one I will forget.
However, it had to end soon enough as the last part of the journey was the final gauntlet of rushing water and blood pumping excitement. Completing the last of the rapids was down to team work and carefully listening to the experienced advice of our guide. Crashing through the waves and bombing up and down, we paddled our hearts out as if our lives depended on it. Water appeared from all directions and laughter broke out on the boat as we all got into the feel of things and made the most of our experience. Before long we had reached the end and the three hours seemed like a distant blur. As we exited the boat, a sense of achievement was felt by all as our instructor gave everyone a high five. The only real way to feel a rush like this is to do it yourself which I can’t recommend enough, there really is nothing like it.
To find out what other ‘extreme’ event you can do in the Alps, why not check out the Inghams Website or just pick up the phone and call our reservations team on 01483791111 who between them have extensive knowledge of the Alps and can give you first hand advise on excursions such as Cannoying, Down Hill Cycling and much, much more.