‘Whill in Wales’ Georgina’s blog
The adventure bug has got me! After a gorgeous mini break to Wales, I now want to explore everywhere I can. This trip was an extension of my sisters 21st birthday as she wanted to tick it off her bucket list. We certainly did just that and a whole lot more!
We stayed in Bangor and the journey through Wales was so scenic. Every drive we took there, I was constantly glued to the window admiring the passing landscapes. We headed over to Zip World quarry site to partake in quarry karts and the highlight of the day, the world’s fastest zip line and Europe’s longest, Velocity 2. It was very surreal and breathtaking, but there was also a lot of fun and adrenaline rushes along the way!
Because of the nature of the activities, it wouldn’t have been easy to take my Whill C as I would always end up in a different place to where I left my powerchair. So, for access they were more than happy to give us lifts to each of the locations needed. For getting to the start point of the karts and zip line, they transfer everyone in old army trucks so that was great! They were so accommodating and didn’t hesitate once to help.
The next day we were back at Zip World! This time, ready for their Fforest coaster which is self-controlled, so you can go as fast or as slow as you like! Of course, with this being a forest in Wales the terrain was damp and hilly. I took it slow and steady but as always, my Whill got me where I needed to go. One thing is for sure – I put my chair through its paces but it always handles it. There were some steep parts to the path and whilst I did feel a little nervous as the terrain was slightly slippy from the rain, with some steady driving and moral support from my family I did it without any issues. There are some chairs out there that I just wouldn’t feel comfortable using on that kind of terrain as I wouldn’t have confidence in their ability but thus far, there’s not really been a terrain where I’ve thought “my chair could never do that” – apart from soft sand and pebbles but only specialist chairs can do that. No adventure would be possible without my lifeline of my Whill powerchair!
The Fforest coaster itself was a whole lot of fun and you get three turns on it. Normally after each turn, you’d get out of the coaster and re-join the queue but with myself being a wheelchair user, me and the rest of my family were allowed to stay in the coaster and just simply go back again which made it so much easier and better for myself. After, we decided to go for a drive across to Holyhead and find a lighthouse we had heard about. The route took us down some very narrow roads but at the end of that was a small carpark right on the edge of a pebbled beach with a gorgeous view of blue waters and the Beaumaris lighthouse at black point. Along with a few seals! It was so beautiful and worth the backroad journey. Of course, with the beach being pebbled, this meant my powerchair couldn’t go on it, but you could get close to the edge of the pebbles and therefore still get a great view from there.
Before the drive home, we went up to an accessible waterfall called Aber Falls. It was an early morning start so there weren’t many people on the trail or at the waterfall itself which was lovely and serene. I’m very proud of my Whill for this journey and the path, although accessible, it was shaley with some rocks and roots you need to dodge. There was part of path that wasn’t accessible and we had to carry my chair over that section but luckily that is possible as the Whill is so lightweight. This path says it’s accessible and whilst it mostly was, it could certainly be improved as there were also a couple of “steps” at the very end. I’m lucky that I can stand and take steps but if you couldn’t, I dare say you may struggle. However, there’s no taking away from the picturesque journey and the reward of seeing your first ever waterfall so close up. It was breathtaking and so calming. I could’ve stayed there all day!
One thing is for sure, I will definitely be going back to Wales. No matter where our next trip will be, it’ll be an adventure and that’s where me and my Whill thrive!