Friday, July 11, 2014

Repost-(from the Archives) - L' Accrobranche/Ropes Course - Le Porge/Lacaneau

Originally posted - 9/21/12 

Le Peuple Des Cimes  - 
Parc Accrobranche
 Awesome fun for kids of all ages!

A few years ago when we were vacationing in the Basque area of France, when my older 2 girls were 8 1/2 and 5 1/2, we stumbled on a rope's course designed for families.  The girls begged to try it and they had a ball.  I watched my middle daughter gain so much confidence in climbing, stepping and maneuvering the various stations on the course and my oldest was way up in the trees.  Since then, the girls have begged to try other Parks like that one - and more seem to be popping up all over France.

Now, I know rope's courses have been around in the States for a long time, but what's wonderful about these courses - called Parc Accrobranche in France - is that they have multiple levels and loops- often for as young as 3 years old.  It's so fun to find a place where all of my girls can have fun.  (Did you catch that - my girls, I choose to take the photos - thank you very much!).

So this past weekend - we headed off toward the ocean - toward Le Porge - just south of  Lacaneau to try out another park - Les Peuple Des Cimes.

Here are my oldest and youngest getting fit for their harnesses.  The staff at this park were very helpful and great with instructions and assistance.

All three of them get a safety lesson and instructions before they depart.  They are shown how to work their clips, where to attach at each station, and for my oldest - how to attach her own zip line slider.  (For the younger girls, the sliders are already attached on the course.)

The Park is set up with multiple loops at various levels - There's a course for under 5 year olds, another course for ages 6 to 12 and then a couple of adult loops.  Each loop increasingly longer, higher and more challenging.  This park is located in Porge Ocean - just a mere 2 Km from the beach - it's on the edge of a campground and they hope to continue to expand further into the trees.

For my youngest daughter who will be 5 very soon.  This is the second time she has done one of these courses. ( I wrote about her first time  - here ).  It was amazing to watch that this time she was more confident, willing to try more on her own and definitely was more relaxed.  Her course was about 4 feet off the ground.  High enough to help her feel like a big kid- but low enough that an adult could easily help their child.

At the end of her course was a small zip line where she attached her clips to a slider and then sits in her harness and slides.  I loved her face when she headed down the line!  She was actually having a great time - I know in the photo she looks somewhere between terror and excitement.

As she got closer to the end, she needed to lift her feet to catch against the padding on the tree.  It was neat to see her focus change from take off to concentration.  She loved this course. As we went in the Fall and there was no one else waiting to do her loop - she chose to redo it 3 times!  Each time she got more confident and had more fun!  So fun to she what she can accomplish at not quite 5 years old!

My middle daughter did the course designed for kids ages 6 to 12.  This course is about 6 feet off the ground.  You can see in the photo below - my husband, who is 6 feet standing below her.  

She had a lot of fun with each new challenge...

The swinging logs took a bit of concentration and time -
And then the wide steps which almost meant a split.....

And finally the zip line...taking it all in...
Looking a bit nervous.....
Talking it out with Papa....not too sure she's ready to sit and slide.
then decided it was better to have a little assistance ....
But then got to the last zip line......
and did it herself!
She was so proud of herself - completing the course, so then she does what every kid would want to do...she started again!

And this time - she did both the zip lines all by herself...such a confidence builder!!

And then there is my oldest daughter - the monkey!!  She's been a climber and daredevil all her life.  Even the first time she did a rope's course at 8 1/2 years old, she did a high one.  As I was helping the my 2 younger daughters, she was mostly on her own...but we did get some fun photos.

She enjoyed the part where she needed to swing into the net...

She actually missed catching the net a couple of times - so was giving the knotted rope to pull herself in with. As she said it's harder than it looks!

Then she had to climb up the net, to the platform on top, and then go further up the ladder next to it...She did it - but boy, it was a good work out!!  So wish I did some of that when I was her age...oh, but then again, I have this thing with a herd of wild horses wouldn't have been able to drag me there to try it!  I really enjoy watching my kids do it though...and they so enjoy it!

So this was our adventure afternoon at Le Peuple Des Cimes (translates to the People of the treetops!) - In the summer they are open everyday in July and August.   In September they were open on weekends through mid-September - but after - by appointment or reservation. They are also open on school vacations. Check them out - we rate it as one of our favorite courses - especially since they had something for everyone!

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