Friday, 8 August 2014

Center Parcs 'Sherwood Forest' Day 5ish, maybe 9

Activity: Caving Adventure, Adventure Golf, assorted other adventures

Being vertiginous, I like to climb mountains and walk along ridges, so as to give my brain the shot of adrenaline it needs to fend off creeping melancholia. Likewise as a claustrophobe, nothing excites me like the thought of squeezing into narrow underground tunnels, forcing one's caver-unlike torso into crevices shaped to terminally trap overambitious mid-life-crisis types. Of course I jumped at the chance to accompany M and G through Center Parcs' new indoor Caving Adventure course: imagine a giant closed marble run designed by a 23-year-old death wish sadistic outdoor type who hasn't yet reached the "Y'know, actually I think perhaps I would like to survive beyond thirty" stage, and who doesn't count amongst his trendy outdoor type mates anyone with a waist size above 28". G, being small, practically ran around it. I on the other hand got my money's worth. The air inside was thick with sweat vapour, barely controlled panic and groaning as knees whacked into tactically placed fake stalagmites. I half expected to encounter the decomposed remains of the last foolish dad, alongside scratched messages to loved ones progressively deteriorating into desperate, animalistic claw marks which one can just make out: "I... want... {illegible}... refund".

More sandwiches for lunch, this time salami and the other flavour of cooked turkey in the Parc Market. Fast running out of options - we may have to resort to Pasta 'n' Sauce, but I doubt whether even starvation or extreme culinary paralysis could entice me to abandon basic human mores and consume Chicken Tonight.

The last time we did Center Parcs Emma won at Adventure Golf. Like a newbie gambler who wins at their first attempt and is thereby doomed to a lifetime of trying to repeat the feat, she sped eagerly to hole 1. Not crazy golf this, adventure. We didn't quite know what the adventure bit was until suddenly carpet bombed by raindrops the size of golfballs. Emma had little prospect of winning and it was with a conspicuous absence of decorum that she quickly insisted we abandon the game (on the last bleeding hole) due to rain, despite my protests that it was only a shower.

Chicken fajitas for tea. Thanks, Old El Paso - you really have thought of everything in your "dinner kit". Oh, apart from the lettuce, vegetables, soured cream, cheese and chicken. A metaphor for Center Parcs perhaps; holiday kit, just add sustenance and entertainment. In the box: accommodation, Subtropical Swimming Paradise, allowing you to ride a bike around.


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