Xplor: shenanigans in the jungle – part 1

Filed under: Places to Visit, Things to Do - by Louise Hennessy

Xplor: “If you get lost, always return to the heart…”

This was the cryptic advice we received as we were kitted out with our obligatory protective helmets, and provided with a locker key. Exchanging raised eyebrows and puzzled looks, we obediently headed up the pathway we were pointed along, through dimly lit caves and past a river, encountering a sort of prehistoric dinosaur replica (we think) and taking care not to bump our heads on the walls, which is painful, even with a helmet in place. A strange, far off thumping caught our attention, getting stronger and stronger as we advanced along the path, and  as we rounded the final bend there it was, an enormous mosaic heart, with a loud heartbeat emanating from within it (or perhaps from skilfully positioned speakers ).

Xplor

It was still a bit confusing for us for a while, in fact, only after we had done a couple of the activities did we realise that really and truly, everything did lead back to the heart, various paths ending up in this very same, although some of them were hidden behind the rocky walls. The locker system  was also something that stumped us, as we had been given a five-digit number and reminded to watch out for the ‘brown section.’ Consequently, it took us ages to work out where ours was. Perhaps it’s all part of the Xplor experience, to exercise the mental muscles as well as the physical ones…

First things first, we hit the fresh juice and smoothie bar  which was a brilliant idea of whoever thought it up, and a great way to start off the action-packed day. We did wonder why there wasn’t more to eat than a couple of bananas and oatmeal biscuits (cookies) though, but we definitely made up for it in the buffet lunch later on the day.

Xplor

Still not adept at finding our way within the park, we strained to listen out for the heart in order to find the appropriate pathway to the quad-bikes, which just had to be done first! The ‘disorientated’ theme of the day continued at the entrance to the quads, where there were two separate pathways leading off in different directions, and we were quickly hustled through without any idea what the difference was or what we were supposed to do. We found the whole thing quite amusing, especially when we spotted the quad bikes on the opposite side of the road and thought we had to dodge passing vehicles in order to grab one. Once on track we had a whale of a time, but then again we enjoy driving. Perhaps it wasn’t as hard core as we had imagined from the pictures but there were a good few obstacles to bounce over and under. However, we were puzzled that we never came across the  long-awaited waterfall.

Xplor

Enthusiastic to try out another activity we went for the zip lines, deciding that it was best to do them pre rather than post-lunch, to avoid pebble dashing everyone down below as we sailed across. There are actually two zip line routes to take, but we would recommend doing them both, one after another. All in all it takes about an hour and a half in total, what with the climbing up and down in between. We had never done as many zip lines in a row and the variety was good fun, with a couple of zip lines you can do while attached to each other, and then a couple of toboggan-style ones where you need to be sure that your shoes are securely on your feet, or in your hands, so as to avoid the lifeguard having to wade around in the water searching for a fallen shoe. This, alas, we found out the hard way.

xplor

Breathless and famished this was where we decided to head back to heart, buffet-bound…

For more on this fun-filled day, watch this space for Shenanigans in the Jungle – Part 2!

Our essential tip so far: Xplor requires a comfy pair of shoes, and they will get wet. We strongly recommend water shoes or the like.

Our retrospective tip so far: ask how to find the locker on your way in, it can save you a great deal of time!

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