I’m a single mum, hitting the milestone of 40 years old and this year I’ve made it one of my prioritises to tick things off my bucket list and experience new adrenaline packed activities. I thought white water rafting at Lee Valley would be exhilarating but my goodness, I underestimated the physical involvement.
First up, I got kitted up (rings had to be taped up, helmets, water boots, skin tight wetsuits and personal flotation device). Feeling very sexy indeed in my group of 9, we each grabbed part of the raft and walked down the steps into the lake. An easy job you would think. I however got quite the surprise as I dunked myself under, thinking there was another step. As you can imagine, I was pretty mortified but my team didn’t laugh (at least not out loud), one simply asked me if it was cold. LOL
Having all now got into the raft and used to the paddling orders, we were told we had to conquer the almighty swim test. Yes, folks, that meant plunging (again for me) into the rapids and battling against the current to prove our aquatic skills. Having managed the swim and feeling a sense of relief to get to the steps, I couldn’t get my footing against the current but the staff at Lee Valley, who have plenty of helpers dotted around the course, offered me their arm and pulled me out.
Next, came the realisation that getting in and out of the raft (whilst heading down the bumpy Olympic course) was quite the workout. Who would have thought you’d be sat on your bum with your knees in your face one second and then perched on the side of the raft, paddling the next. And let’s not forget the boat control techniques…leaning from one side to another to navigate the rapids, engaging the core whilst trying not to headbutt one your team’s derrière.
We started with a couple of easier runs down the rapids, rotating the team on each round to each experience the sheer volume of water in our faces. Rides continued to get more challenging as we went with more time spent navigating the rapids.
I would like to give a shoutout to our impressive instructor. Though he may have playfully orchestrated an unexpected dip in the water on our last outing, his enthusiasm and expertise made the experience more memorable and exciting. He gave clear instructions to keep us safe at all times and the staff work well with each other to co-ordinate the other rafts in the proximity.
Now, here’s where my naivety truly showed. I actually packed my running gear, thinking I’d have enough energy for a jog around Lee Valley afterward. Well, let’s just say the rafting adventure left me happily exhausted.
Afterwards, I met up with some of my team on the decking of their cafe that overlooks the olympic course. This is the perfect spot in the Summer for lunch! One of the partners filmed us in the raft and was kind enough to share their footage with me, allowing me to put together the above video. If you’re reading, Thank you!
Experience day review; White water rafting
Despite my humorous miss judgments and embarrassing moments, I would wholeheartedly recommend Lee Valley white water rafting to anyone that’s a fan of endorphin-filled activities and seeking their next adrenaline rush.
It’s an adventure that will challenge you, make you laugh, and leave you with unforgettable memories.
Now, grab your paddle, embrace the thrill, and enjoy the incredible ride that white water rafting has to offer. It’s an experience day you won’t want to miss out on—trust me, you’ll have a amazing time.
Experience day rating: 10/10 – I really couldn’t fault them at all. Check in was simple, staff were friendly, the gear was provided and I felt 100% safe.
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