Helicopter – been there. Hot air balloon – done that. Boeing737 – got the tee shirt! But there were still aeronautical ‘firsts’ to be had and, thanks to the generosity of Capt. Martin Temple and his gyrocopter, our gorilla took off into the blue yet again. The small matter of getting from Dalby to the air strip was solved by more pedalling, this time 25 miles up very steep hills. Once airborne and travelling at 100mph, it must have been downhill all the way for the cyclists who not only kept up but were at the landing site to greet our hairy friend 88 miles later! And so it was that Seb & Craig collected the banana and took it on to Sherwood in preparation for its most extraordinary journey yet.
When it comes to bridges Newcastle isn’t in short supply. It’s not just the city’s Metro, Swing and Millennium that are famous. Their replicas on Site 4 at GoApe Matfen are worth a visit. The journey began however on Site 2 with our very own aerial circus stunt girl Natalie performing some impressive and very bendy moves with a banana! Unfortunately, whilst the fruit was swinging from the trees our gorilla was taken hostage by the Turboventure gang and subjected to a terrifying sortie in an armoured truck. Finally managing to escape the hairy beast set off for the real bridges with banana in tow, crossing them all on train, foot and super-high stilts. It was then the turn of the cyclists. 90 miles over the Moors was a doddle after pushing their way through the throngs of the Great North Run and Jon, Adam and Sam were very grateful for the refuelling reception that awaited them at Dalby before heading home over the hills.
Big Thanks to Turboventures and Soul Elevation for supporting The Big Banana Relay.
Having already been transported by bike, trike and unicycle the tribe at Peebles were left scratching their heads in an attempt to dream up an original way to carry the banana south. After all, this is Glentress – home of national mountain biking. Fortunately Gardener Gorilla came to the rescue with his trusty wheelbarrow, and so it was that the fruit made its way to the top of the World Enduro Course. For already damaged goods what followed was a terrifying ordeal with ‘mashed banana’ written all over it. But, thanks to the bike handling skills of the team, it survived only to undergo the rather deflating experience of 84 miles on tarmac. Looking wistfully on at the piper’s impressive air bag the banana crossed the border.
Thanks Scotland, you did the Banana Relay proud.
Please show your support at justgiving.com/GoApePeebles
The Big Banana arrived safely at Go Ape Crathes Castle after its trans-Scotland cycle by Aberfoyle. On a typically stunning scorcher of a Scottish day (yes, really), its journey continued on a mountain theme, embarking on a 55 mile cycle to Scotland’s easternmost Munro – Mount Keen. After some seriously steep hills and some mountainous terrain, the bike was abandoned, and the summit continued on foot. We had encounters with the native wildlife in the form of some baffled mountain hares, and met the first people of the entire day at the very top! After some photos, it was time for the trek/cycle back home for a well earned rest (and pint in the sunshine!).
The next day, the Banana travelled to the Balmedie sand dunes, for some high adrenaline boogie boarding! (Again, notice the blue skies). Crathes are hoping to enter the team for the bobsleigh event at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and training is going well.
On the final day the banana embarked on the remainder of its journey, to complete the epic climb and traverse over the Forth Road Bridge. With the gorilla team’s fingers crossed for a calm crossing, they began their ascent. As they and the banana got higher, the giddying drop became ever more apparent, but the view across the Firth of Forth from the top were awesome! After the epic climb the banana was handed across for its next leg with the Go Ape Peebles Tribe.