Saturday, May 21

The Lee Valley White Water Centre Click for more info

As the preparations for the Olympics start to finish, it will always be interesting to find out exactly how us, as residents of London, get to leverage our side of the deal that we were signed up to. For me, that means checking out the facilities - The Lee Valley White Water Centre was the first specially built venue to become operational, and one of the first to be open to the public to boot. Although it will be used for the canoeing slalom in 2012, most of us mere mortals will choose to use the centre for white water rafting, and that's exactly what eight of us did this morning.

So first things first: the rafting itself. To be honest I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Yes it was fun and exciting and yes we got wet, but it wasn't very far off from the rapids ride at your favourite theme park, except in this case we had to wear fitted wetsuits (and no, there are no pictures). There is an element of increased involvement in that you have to paddle, but as with all team activities like this this only works if you're a team to begin with. I suddenly realised why Pakistani men don't dance - we don't have rhythm. That said I'm sure it would have been better in a group that knew each other.

The whole thing was quite short; we booked into the 9am session and were done before 11am. We chartered a whole boat, working out at £49 per head, and I found that quite pricey for what we eventually got. Still we got to spend fifty quid in the relatively decent cafe so it wasn't all bad. So yes, although I don't have any regrets going I did think that the morning lacked in the value for money stakes.

But still we did get to use some world class facilities, and it was quite an experience to use a venue that would be attracting the top most competitors throughout the world - the venue was actually shared today so we even had the pleasure of getting in the way of practising professionals. From the course itself to the changing facilities, everything oozed class and I was actually proud of what London had to offer the world.

Although expensive I do think it's something worth checking out, both for the fun of it and if you're interested in anything to to with the Olympics.

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