Now, Bala is about as natural as you can get- as you can imagine, it is an outdoorsy paradise for couples whose definition of a sweet and romantic 5-day week is being caked in sweat and mud, cycling like maniacs and essentially rolling down hills in such grace and fervor that Jack and Jill would whistle in solemn appreciation. This is Steve and I in a nutshell…
We love Bala and the area around it. To be fair, almost everywhere in North Wales has the postcard-picturesque quality about it, but I like Bala because of the memories I have of visiting it with my grandparents when I was a kid; essentially, it makes me think of kayaking, sausage and chips and ice-cream! Not a bad trip down memory lane…!
We decided to upgrade from our pretty battered and bruised tent and begin our adventure by booking a holiday home not far from Bala, Llawrbetws Leisure – recommended to us by a friend. This is not exactly a hardcore start, but you do have to take a break sometimes to be hardcore another day – and no-one likes to be soggy for 5 days on end, and if there’s anything you can’t rely on, it’s the Welsh weather!
Besides, the holiday home we ended up with was beyond amazing, and exactly what you need after a mental day of adrenaline, excitement and dirt. I could fill pages about how comfortable we were while staying there, and it definitely gets huge, dirty (and bandaged!) thumbs up from Steve and I.
So, we got the base of operations all set up, and were ready to do what we came here for. We decided to go hiking first- it was a good hypothetical warm up for the days ahead, and we would have the chance to explore and appreciate the local sights. I always loved hiking in the hilly regions, and that’s something Bala boasts in abundance! It was unadulterated nature with every turn, a great workout for our lazy, 9-5 office-bound limbs, and we got really scenic views to boot, killing two birds with one stone. (Though bird stoning is an activity I generally do not condone – no animals were hurt in the writing of this article).
The next day was somewhat in the same vein- while visiting new areas, we prefer to do familiar activities first so we are able to transition into the “we should try that!” zone. To be fair, the zone is all-encompassing, so, for better or for worse, we don’t really miss out on anything. This time, instead of covering distances by walking, we decided to do it while on a mountain bike. As precarious as mountain biking is, there is not much on this earth that could give you as much high. Blood pumping, hearts drumming and eyes blurring, we rode the course until we had to huff and puff our way back to our holiday home.
We were both bright eyed when we woke up, as we have arrived at the border of the zone. However, this was our third day, which was the middle of our 5-day week. Looking longingly into each other’s eyes, we both knew exactly what we truly wanted to do together that day: stick ourselves into giant balls and roll down hills. This is romance. This is Zorbing. Zorbing is the process in which you (alone or with a partner) are placed inside a sphere and harnessed into place. You are then offered to the mercy of physics, and it is highly recommended that you do not overeat beforehand.
Rafting, High Ropes and Home
The last two days were more on the winding down side of things, though not any less physical or exciting. We did a high rope course and then some white water rafting. We finally ended the trip with a soothing kayak ride to take in the sights one last time. Our last night was spent in our cozy and comfortable Llawrbetws Leisure holiday home, pondering if it were possible to move to Bala in the foreseeable future….