After months of planning, the day had arrived for Willow and I to travel up to Scotland! A quick dash to the gate at Gatwick was followed by a relaxing hour flight to Edinburgh Airport, where only having hand luggage meant we were able to leave the airport hassle free. After picking up our hire car, we eagerly made our way to our first supplier visit, Nae Limits.
Nae Limits offer a variety of extreme water activities in Perthshire, from white water rafting and canyoning to the experience we were partaking in; white water adventure tubing! I’ve been incredibly excited for tubing since we were booked in a couple of months ago. Since then, we’ve received useful information regarding what to bring on the day, including swimwear, a towel and shoes you don’t mind getting soaked. As we arrived at the venue, there was lots of onsite parking, which suited our minimal parking capabilities perfectly! We were welcomed to Nae Limits by Dale, our instructor for the day. He checked us in and asked us to wait in the large café area for the rest of our group to arrive. There can be groups as big as 16 on the tubing experience, but today there were only 4 of us.
Once the others arrived, we were guided through to the equipment room to be kitted out! Dale demonstrated the correct and easiest way to put on the outfit, one tip being to put the socks on before the wetsuit. For those of you who are like me and couldn’t find shoes they don’t mind being ruined, Nae Limits have their own ‘T K Maxx’ section filled with second-hand shoes people have left behind. It was lovely to hear that every couple of months they donate lots of the shoes to charity. We scanned the shoe racks and typically Willow found some cool black Nike trainers and I was left with luminous pink running shoes. After we put our life jackets, gloves and helmets on, we jumped into the company’s van and made our way to the River Tummel. The views were breathtaking and about 10 minutes later we arrived at our destination. We were handed a tube and before heading down to the rapids we sat and listened to a safety briefing and instructions on how to control the inflatable rubber ring!
The time had come to ride the rapids! We walked down the hill, rings resting on our heads (this looked as weird as it sounds) which was surprisingly effective at making carrying them easier. When we reached the water’s edge, we couldn’t help but stare at the picturesque setting we were in. Tall trees surrounded the glistening river and the mountains created a scenic backdrop. After each rapid there was a pool with little current. These would be our meeting points throughout the experience, enabling our group to stay together. The question came, “who wants to go first?”, silence was in the air which I soon broke by volunteering. This rapid was narrow and fast but my tube was able to bounce off the rocks without me feeling a thing! Immediately, the fear of the rocks and steep drops went away, and I was ready for more! There were lots of rapids all with their own names, including zigzag, I’m sure you can guess why! Our instructor was brilliant at keeping us all together and giving us mini briefings of how to tackle each rapid to prevent us falling off our tube. None of us feared falling off, having been told you can swim the route we were travelling, and if we did fall, to just lay on our back and glide feet first until we reach a pool.
A highlight of the day was the last and most scary rapid. Dale explained that he would direct us though the rocks, and as we go over the edge, we’d need to thrust into the air in an attempt to stay in our ring. I am proud to say I managed to stay in my ring the first time, and when I went back for a second (to see if it was a fluke) Dale bet me a chocolate bar if I was successful. Let’s just say I enjoyed my chocolate bar! Once everyone was down, we were able to go under the waterfall in our pairs and have our photo taken. The couple in our group had a lovely photo before it was our turn. What was meant to be a nice moment ended up with Willow panicking about the water going into her eyes (she was wearing contacts) and my hysterical laughing causing me to choke on the water! This wasn’t what we imagined but created a hilarious memory. Dale still managed to take a couple of pics before we dived through the waterfall and emerged back to the surface.
Throughout the experience, you’re aware that you don’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing. So, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or someone who wants a relaxing ride down the gorge, the instructor will provide for everyone. The last part of our journey down the river Tummel was a cliff jump into the waterfall pool. With Dale on hand for safety, one at a time, we looked over the edge and tried to find the motivation to take the leap of faith. After a good amount of time and encouragement, Willow and I both jumped! This was the perfect end to the experience.
We can’t thank Nae Limits and Dale enough for the unforgettable experience. For two people who had never travelled to Scotland before, this was the best way to see its beauty, whilst having a brilliant time! When I return, I’ll definitely be taking on the white-water rafting activity!