Chiang Mai, Australia
December 17, 2002
Once this is done, you walk along the gorge edge to the first activity - abseiling. The abseil is down a 50-55 metre cliff, with a pretty varied face. The abseil is a nice warm up activity to get into the day - nothing too challenging, but you get the feel of trusting your life to a couple of ropes.
After the abseil, you walk back up the gorge, and back to the main hut. The next activity to get the adrenalin going is the flying fox. Now, I've done flying foxes before, and they're usually a bit of fun, but nothing amazing. However, when you take a running leap, superman-style, and are propelled over a gorge that drops about 120m in the centre, it starts to get a bit freaky! You can take the leap a few times, before you then move onto the next activity.
Back to the abseil site, and this time it is forwards - wrap jumping. This is heaps more fun than a straight abseil. You can really get some speed off the wall, and some great air, which is heaps of fun!
Another walk up the gorge, and then to the final activity...the gorge swing. This is the adrenalin-addict's dream - something that should be left just to the maniacs in the world! A strong rope is suspended across the gorge, with a harness point in the middle. A length of rope is attached to the harness point, and you are strapped in to this rope. Let me describe the experience...
Once you are harnessed, you move to the launch platform, and the instructor clips you in. You choose to go forwards or backwards. Once set, you move to the platform-edge, so that most of your foot is over the edge of the platform. The instructor is holding you just by your harness. He will let out a huge '3-2-1!' count, and then just let go! You then proceed to drop at huge speeds (think about it - if you're tandem, you're looking at 150kg free-falling) 53 metres (which is twice the free-fall of the Vic Falls Bunji), and then, once the rope gets taught, you fly across the gorge, at speeds of up to 180kph! The actual feeling is the most petrifying thing I've ever experienced - one of those 'such a rush' things that you are completely speechless for ages afterwards. As you drop, you slowly turn from head-up, to legs-up, and simply see your whole world flying by in an instant -- wow!
You also get a complimentary lunch and drinks (soft drinks, tea/coffee, beer).
All in all, and absolute rush of a day!
Book via Grubbie's Grotto. Cost US$50.
From journal Thundering smoke, and plenty of adrenalin