by Menai Holidays
Seeing as I have been at the mince pies since mid-October, I am already thinking about my post-Christmas “Recovery Plan” that I am told will leave me feeling more energetic, both mentally and physically. What better way to kick start my plan than to take the advice of one of the best in the business, Bear Grylls, and embark on his “Survival Challenge” at Dragon Raiders Activity Park, Llanystumdwy, in the heart of the Llŷn Peninsula. Bear Grylls himself owns St. Tudwal’s Island West, visible from the Main Beach in Abersoch, and spends much of the year there with his family. It is little wonder why he chose Dragon Raiders as the location for his unique set of challenges and expeditions.
Bear Grylls is known worldwide and is one the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure, as well as one of the youngest ever climbers to reach the summit of Everest. He has won legions of fans around the globe, who love to watch him battle for survival in extreme environments and conditions and now we can see how we would fare ourselves.
I quite fancy my chances on his Wildcamp Survival Course, run by Dragon Raiders.
The course will teach me a combination of survival skills and exciting adventure tasks that will be “fun, challenging and designed to put participants to the ultimate test.” I will learn how to survive in the wilds of a rugged and unforgiving dense forest terrain and sleep out under the stars in my own survival shelter. I will also learn how to make a fire and how to forage for wild edible foods, identify animal runs and lay traps. This is something I have wanted to do for ages! Harking back to my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, I will “use astro navigation techniques and night vision goggles to develop my skills in the art of wilderness stalking and learn how to protect myself in the wild from attack.” Crikey!
Joking aside, something that I really would like to take on, maybe with slightly more training, is the Snowdon x2 Challenge. This two day expedition is very much weather dependent, but sounds fantastic! You are picked up and taken via helicopter to the Caerneddau Ridge where you are dropped off into a completely remote and wild location. Here you have to earn your stripes and fight for survival in your first challenge to find the aircraft wreckage that will contain your food rations for the 2 day experience! This experience will take you through a set of challenges including scaling down 100 foot waterfalls, seeking shelter in a derelict quarry, mountain foraging, navigation techniques and fire survival. What a great experience!
For those who just want to have a bit of fun, you can condense the experience into a half day adventure course, where you learn Bear Grylls’ top priority survival skills through a number of given tasks. Alternatively, you can enjoy an adrenaline adventure in the Paintball Park or fly around on a Segway.
After a night or two in the wilderness I think a little bit of luxury is definitely in order! These holiday cottages are perfectly placed for exploring the mountains or enjoying a stunning vista whilst you rest your weary legs. Cae’r Dyni is a five minute drive from Dragon Raiders and is a great spot to enjoy some R&R, as is Bryn Deryn. Both have luxury interiors and unspoilt sea views.
If you would prefer something that feels like you are still “at one” with the mountains, then take a look at Dinas Noddfa. This house is something special and would suit any walking party wanting to spend their evening in luxurious surroundings rather than under canvas! There are some stunning holiday cottages in and around Snowdonia to suit all tastes and parties. Get active and get booking!
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