Close to our rental home in Marbella, Spain was an outdoor adventure parked called Aventura Amazonia. The moment Ella laid eyes on it, she began begging to go!
Sunny days were few and far between, and we realized finally we were running out of days. I took the girls there on one of our last mornings in town (while Jared stayed with Ethan), and paid the whooping 31 Euros for them to enjoy 3 hours at the park (yes, they had a maximum time limit).
It turns out that Maiya was too small to do any of the circuits, so her activity was being in the Mini-Kids area with a teacher who conducted crafts and let them do little challenges on a big fenced off property. She was excited—and I was relieved that she didn’t throw a fit (not cheap, though! I guess I just have to think about it as babysitting)!
Ella was allowed to do the Explorador (Level 1), but first she was required to do a little practice run on a training course with a group of other people (adults, kids, etc). I ran out to the car, and when I returned I discovered Ella had already been dazzling the instructor with her Spanish (he was speaking English to most people), and she was confident and ready to go!
It was fun to watch some of the adults stare at Ella, probably just as bewildered over her independence as I constantly am. That girl just doesn’t hesitate one bit! She is fierce!
Within minutes the instructor was complimenting her on her intelligence and skill, and then asking me why I wasn’t doing the ropes course with her (“The people at the desk told me she could only do the little kid’s level. I’d love to go with her on the next level up!”). He was shocked the desk told me that, so he went to go check. Unfortunately, they confirmed what I had said. He fought for Ella, saying that she was certainly good enough to go up a level! But the boss turned down the instructor—she was about 4 inches too short—and rules were rules—and he wasn’t going to bend them. Oh, well!
So, Ella’s course wasn’t particularly high or challenging, but she did have a wonderful time (p.s. Maiya SO could have done this…but she had to be 6 years old!). The Mom of the girl in this picture (on the right) was a French woman who told me that this course is too restrictive…her kids have done much harder in France! Apparently these adventures parks are very popular there!
The park is majorly into safety, so even to climb up the short ladders the climbers are required to clamp on—and remained clamped on at all times. Ella clamped on and off methodically, obviously following all sorts of rules that I had missed when I ran to the car during her training.
She even got to do several zip lines on her circuit…all completely unassisted by any adult (I was watching—but she certainly didn’t need my help)!
Meanwhile, Ella kept doing circles around the rest of the kids. She got to her circuit 3 or 4 times! Once, she had no lineup in front of her, and was able to do the entire circuit in about 10 minutes. The next time she was stuck behind kids again, which instead took about 40 minutes. She didn’t complain…she was just happy to be there!
I snuck a peak back at the Mini Kids area where Maiya was staying entertained with a small zip line and a simple obstacles course.
She was also happy to show off her original painting!
All in all…the kids LOVED the park. I was really itching to do the course myself, as there were some very challenging-looking adult courses (although I’m pretty sure I didn’t qualify in height for some of those…can you believe it?)!
However, I was here for the kids—not myself—so I enjoyed a morning without electronics, and simply relaxed outside and watched them build more confidence.
I want one of these parks in my backyard
(wherever that may be!)