Saturday, August 8, 2009

Outfitting the Expedition

Junior Grendel Number One is very keen on the whole adventure concept and when I suggested a trip the the camping and climbing store to look at some boots and jackets for New Zealand, he was raring to go.

He spent the first 10 minutes checking out the tents while I tried on boots - then he found the climbing wall and insisted that he was going to climb it. I started with the usualy 'well maybe one day when you are bigger" line but he was not to be dissuaded and showed me on the sign where you had to be over 6-years-old.

Damn that school and its fancy ideas on literacy - this was so much easier when he couldn't
read. . .

I am learning not to assume that just because he has autism that he sees any limits for himself and I have no doubt he'll want to try some of the more daring options available for his
age in New Zealand (NO BUNGY!) but he will try climbing again I am sure.

We handed over a goodly sum to Anaconda but got some
great gear for our trip and it raised the notch on the excitement levels once again.

It was just great to see him clamber fearlessly up that climbing wall - until he glanced down at me and saw how high he was - he didn't panic and leapt from the wall riding the cable down to the bottom - he had no desire for a second attempt right then but I have no doubt he'll be back.

I am hoping we can find somewhere similar for him in New Zealand so that he can add to his vertical experiences as in the past he has had a great reluctance to go anywhere high.

The crew at Anaconda were very good in encouraging him to climb, but not pushing him beyond where he wanted to go -
which is often a challenge. Some aspects of the trip - such as the flight, are unlikely to be a
problem as he is eager for the experiences, but others we shall have to
wait and see - tobogganing in Queenstown is one possible sticking point but the snow alone will be a novelty for all of us.
We are mostly through the planning phase now - purchasing some of the things we'll need was the first real launch into
preparing to leave.

On the airline front - we have not heard back from Virgin at all but it seems likely that we'll be taking that late night flight and I have already rearranged our hire car at the other end. I sure hope we can induce the two Junior Grendel's to sleep on that flight!

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