Challenging Adventure Retreat

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Ready for kayaking

Ready for kayaking

I had been quite lagging behind in visiting blogs again lately. Life had been in the fast lane again. Need to move back to the slow lane to refresh. But how? Too many things happened, both good and bad. I only know, “Smile and the whole world will smile with you!” It works! I’m smiling now….*big smile*. I hope you are smiling too.

Beautiful Scotland

Beautiful Scotland

Had a most awesome weekend away at a church retreat, at the very heart of Scotland’s aesthetic nature. Hubby went too. Time to get out of my comfort zone again! It has been a very challenging, yet adventurous and fun retreat. I must say it was exhausting. The next day…muscle aches!…..sob sob.

The retreat was at Compass Christian Centre. 24 of us went. We were divided into 3 teams. We were very warmly welcomed on arrival. The accommodation is very clean. I was given a room for 2 while my hubby was given a room for 8. Imagine all the snoring competition at night!!…haha. All the food was catered for and the staff were very polite, friendly and helpful.

I was in Team 1. There were 6 of us in the team. We had to complete many challenges. There’s a professional instructor for each activity. We went through many rope challenges. A few were mind-bursting ones. Those were not too bad….only brain exercises. The weather was quite freezing and brain exercise didn’t help, specially when it was the first activity in the morning. There were 3 challenges for that.

Rope challenge adventure land

Rope challenge adventure land

When we were brought to the rope adventure land, I thought I am in big trouble! There were at least 20 rope challenges that require arm strength, leg strength and tactics, one after another without getting down from the rope! All these challenges were concentrated around many trees spread over a wide area. In the picture right here above, the big area behind that little wooden hut is the rope challenge adventure land. Here are a few of the rope challenges.

Scaling the length and difficulty

Scaling the length and difficulty

This one is not too bad. It may be narrow but with ropes to hold on both sides, at least you won’t fall off, unlike others.

Tyre challenge

Tyre challenge

I think this one is the most challenging. There were 5 tyres, each hanging from a piece of rope. They were of different heights. You need to go from one tyre to the other. You need a lot of arm strength for this. Miss a move and you will do an instant split in the air, one leg in one tyre….haha. Would be easier to do this challenge in sports trousers but mine got all wet after the kayaking. So was my hubby’s ones. But still not to bad though….*grin*

Water across a net

Water across a net

This rope challenge is walking across a big net. Looks easy but not quite. Just don’t miss a step and hold tight to the rope. I thought this picture is so funny. One is laughing while the other is suffering…haha. I think that’s what friends are for. To help us through difficulties with lots of laughter to cheer us on……*big smiles*.

Walking on big wheel

Walking on big wheel

This is another rope challenge. It’s walking on  a big wheel from one tree to another. You have to use the rope to pull yourself while walking on the wheel to make it move. Just go slow and steady. If you pull too hard and don’t walk fast enough, you will go WHAM….BANG….into the tree. None of us got hurt which means we were all very good….*grin*.

Kayaking is so fun

Kayaking is so fun

Another challenge that I would never thought of going through was the kayaking. I just didn’t want to get wet. But I went for it! Any regret? No. It was not fun getting wet as the weather here is still very cold. The water feels icy. But it was total fun!….*big smiles*. We were all smiling and excited on the way to the big pond. Seeing our smiles, the instructor told us that by the end of the kayaking, we would probably lose all our smiles……haha.

Drenched wet and cold after kayaking

Drenched wet and cold after kayaking

But he was wrong, very wrong! We were all still smiling….*grin*. We were drenched wet though, despite all the waterproof trousers and jackets because we were chasing each other and splashing water at each other. We had to do crazy challenges in the water too so lots of water came into our kayaks! My friend’s kayak almost sank because so much water went into her boat when we did a crazy challenge. That was a little scary for her because she couldn’t swim. But then it was in shallow water so it wasn’t too bad. Here are some pictures of our kayaking fun.

Before we went into the water

Before we went into the water

A friendly fight before going into the waters. Husband and wife, if you ever want to fight, fight it well and fight it smart. Be well equipped (not with guns and knives of course….hehe) and just keep smiling!….haha.

Kayaks are ready

Kayaks are ready

Getting the kayak into the water

Getting the kayak into the water

This is how you get your kayak into the water, shown by our instructor. That’s not easy. If I did that, I think my whole kayak will turn over….haha. Our other guy in our team, apart from my hubby, helped to push each one of us in. Being the last one, he had to get himself in. He did it! Well Done!

Down the slope!

Down the slope!

This is one of the challenges in kayaking….sliding down the slope into the water…….SPLAAAAASH! 3 person did that. I chickened out…haha. I saw how the kayak torpedoed into the water, splashing all the water onto your face. That’s only for brave people…..*wink*.

Time to drain off the water

Time to drain off the water

The kayaking fun is over. Time to drain off the water from the kayak. Just remove a plug at the end and lift up the kayak. My gosh…….every kayak had collected lots of water in it! I didn’t had to do it. Hubby did that for me….how sweet! Wonderful to have him in the same team. No more fighting with oars……haha.

Taking aim

Taking aim

Another fun challenge is the archery. This is the second time I tried archery. The first time was also at a church retreat a few years ago where we did it in the open field. This time we did it in the sports hall. That’s a lot better as it’s not so cold. My gosh…I couldn’t even remember how to hold a bow! But we have awesome instructor. That really helped.

Archery

Archery

However, in my second attempt, I managed to get my 3 arrows very close to each other. See the bottom 3 green arrows. Those were my shots. The instructor was very impressed. He said that’s called ‘grouping’. It shows my precision! Wow…..I shot to Cloud 9 immediately!…haha. But it never happen again after that….*sigh*. Oh wait, our team got the best overall score…yay! Well Done Team 1!

On top of all the challenges, we also had time for badminton, ping pong, snooker, basketball and other sports. This is the first time I played snooker. I think I did quite well.

Now…Food! We had good food. When we arrived, we had curry and rice and naan. That was delicious except that the curry was a little too sweet for me. It’s more like Japanese curry. Nevertheless, I finished it all. I love curry. Sorry, I forgot my camera, so, no picture to show.

Mushroom soup

Mushroom soup

In the morning, we had oat porridge, cereals and cooked food for breakfast. As for lunch, we had sandwiches and mushroom soup. The soup didn’t look appealing to me at first. But my first mouthful changed my mind immediately. The soup was not too thick, hot and very delicious. We had this after the kayaking so you can imagine just how good it felt drinking it……so warming! I actually had 2 bowls! very tempted to go for the third bowl but I ned to leave space in my tummy for my sandwich.

Tuna sandwich

Tuna sandwich

We made our own sandwiches. This must be at least half a year I had not eaten sandwiches. It was fun making my own. I had mine with tuna, cheese, cucumber, tomato and lettuce, drizzled over with mayonnaise and tomato sauce. I love my sandwich. We were so hungry and cold after the kayaking so our team tucked in most heartily! Food have never felt so good and delicious…..haha.

Delicious steak pie dinner

Delicious steak pie dinner

Our final day dinner was the best…steak pie with beans and roast potatoes. I really love the steak pie.  I can’t believe that I ate such a big portion!…*big smiles*. I think most people went for second helping. After all the tough challenges, I thing we were all like starving children…..haha. Well, I must learn to make the steak pie.

banoffie pie

Banoffee pie

Then we had banoffee dessert. That’s a very popular dessert here. It’s banana mixed with crumbs and caramel sauce and topped with cream. It’s sweet but very delicious….mmm.

After dinner we had to say ‘Good Bye’ to the retreat centre. What a wonderful weekend! I slept very well that night and got up late the next morning……feeling exhausted and my left arm muscles really hurt. My right arm muscles were safe because of all my badminton…..*big smiles*. I should have learned to play badminton with my left hand too!…*wink*.

I hope you have a great weekend, too! Maybe go for some outdoor activities. It’s very refreshing and good for the soul too . Nature always has a way of calming our inner being. Get some friends to go along as it’s more fun. If you like cooking, you can get a self-catering accommodation where you can even have fun cooking together.

I love outdoor retreat. I think I had been to church retreat almost every year. The one that I went last year was at a different place. That was real fun too. You can read more about that at Abernethy Retreat - Worth All The Pain.

Quote of the day……

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

- Helen Keller

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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15 Comments

Belinda @zomppa  on April 24th, 2012

Oh goodness - EVERYTHING looks awesome and fun!!! I would have LOVED to do everything here - nothing like stepping outside comfort zone, eh?

faye  on April 24th, 2012

What a lovely time you had with your friends. Really good for your soul. àit is still cold and raining in Vancouver, I wonder if we are going to get any summer this year. We sure did not get much last year.
I watched the max gerson therapy to cure cancer video after seeing the ABC juice in your food blog. And I used the juice combine with some other tea to cure my husband of high fever, and gout and his whole digestive system. He recovered in 3 days and is feeling good again. Thank God for this knowledge and thank you for sharing.

somewhere in singapore  on April 24th, 2012

So interesting, how i wish i were there…

Jeannie  on April 24th, 2012

Wow! you are one very active lady indeed! All those activities are keeping you really trim! Great photos!

Angie@Angie's Recipes  on April 25th, 2012

I wish I was half as active as you.
Thank you for sharing!

Mary  on April 25th, 2012

@Belinda @zomppa - Totally agree with you that nothing like stepping outside comfort zone. It’s scary yet exciting and fun :D

@faye - Oh, I thought you get better weather there at this time. Just heard from a friend the other day that Vancouver has nice weather. Looks like it’s not always. It’s a little unusual here too.

Wonderful to know that you read through the Dr Max Gerson therapy. So wonderful to know that your husband is cured of his fever, gut and digestive problems! :D I applaud your husband for the willingness to try. You are such a good wife to make for him. A lot of my friends won’t even consider. They just believe in medicine. By the way, I’m curious to know what tea you added into the juice.

@somewhere in singapore - Yes, come Sharon. I am still waiting for you :D

@Jeannie - Haha…I think all the activities are to keep me more out of boredom :D

@Angie@Angie’s Recipes - Angie, come and I will drag you into all my activities! You are probably shaking your head now…haha :D

Jane @ The Wayward Oven  on April 25th, 2012

All that looks like so much fun! The rafting especially. I haven’t done that in years.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and I’m glad I found yours. See you again in Cyberspace!

Yummy bakes  on April 26th, 2012

You are very adventurous. Yes, I love Scotland’s scenery - beautiful!

Cheah  on April 26th, 2012

I can see that you’re smiling and really enjoying yourself. I don’t have the guts! Beautiful scenery.

Quay Po Cooks  on April 27th, 2012

Fantastic photos of your adventures. Great photos of you smiling in everyone of them. Enjoy yourself.

vianney  on April 27th, 2012

fun, fun, fun..thank you for sharing!

Sophie  on April 29th, 2012

What a fun & great weekend you all must have had! Thanks for sharing your adevnetures & food with us! I love a good adventurious weekend! We must do that from time to time: it does us all good! :)

MamaFaMi  on April 30th, 2012

My oh my… you are just so full of energy! Surely you’ve enjoyed yourself with all the activities.

kristy  on May 15th, 2012

Wow Mary, missed so many of your posts! Gosh, what a magnificent trip you had there. Wish I can join in too! So much fun. Btw, wishing you a very Happy belated Mother’s Day!
Kristy

lena  on May 28th, 2012

so much fun you had there! the tyre ones do look a bit difficult, i may get splitted! haha!

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