Mad as cut snakes. When pursuing extreme adventures, disapproval of others is expected. Our search for adrenaline rushes has brought on much head shaking, finger wagging and mumbling under breath. Crazy, mad as fools, strange ducks and the list goes on.

A quote credited to Mark Twain, explains our quest for adventures. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did.” 

However, given time to reflect on dangerous activities and adrenaline tourism, there are a few extreme activities we would refrain from trying again.

I believe I hear the murmuring of,  “I told you so” in the background.

Extreme Adventures we would not repeat

Extreme adventures at the top of Victoria Falls

Extreme adventures we would not repeat

 

Swimming in Angel’s Pool Victoria Falls – Adrenaline rushes included

As the guide walks me through the raging waters of Victoria Falls toward Angel’s Pool, my eyes bulge out of their sockets. I cling to his muscled Zambian arm like the last preserver on a sinking ship.

I see no pool whatsoever, let alone one suitable for the name Angel in the eight feet between us and the edge of the abyss. The Zambezi River awaits us some 108 metres (350 feet) below. In the heart of high water season the mist of Victoria Falls rockets skyward.

Angel's Pool map

Devil’s Pool, on a nearby section of the falls, is too dangerous to access during the season. Thank goodness for small mercies.

As my guide, whose hand has likely gone numb some time ago from my vice grip clinging, points to another spot I should step. Here I reach my perch in the Angel’s armchair.

The ‘armchair’ is a rock where the Zambezi River, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, threatens to take me over the edge.

The gentleman standing before me and a rope slung across the falls, are the only safety measures in place. My toes curl around the edges of the rock in anxious desperation.

Adrenaline Rushes Victoria Falls

Of all the adventures of the world we have done I felt this was the most dangerous

Those seeking extreme adventures in one of the most dangerous places in the world, this qualifies. Of high adrenaline activities, swimming here, or clinging on for dear life, is not for the faint of heart.

In other words for someone extremely comfortable with water, heights and lacking all common sense.

Possessing good balance for walking on the wet rocks and being strong enough to stand in the current and cling frantically to a guide is beneficial.

I found incessant force of the falls challenging. Without a doubt one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of our lifetime.

 

Paragliding in Turkey – Running off the cliff

Traveling in the dilapidated van, ever higher on the narrow switchback roads, might have been thrill enough. As the gravel trail deteriorates to rock path, black as night goats leap out of the way, as if terrified they may appear as a kebab on the dinner table. 

The van comes to an abrupt halt at the top of the mountain. Prone to motion sickness, I am grateful to stumble out and breathe fresh air while gazing at the white buildings of Kas some 500 metres below.

Extreme activities above Kas Turkey

Extreme activities above Kas Turkey

The trio of Turkish men who have brought us to this precipice, make quick work of laying out our orange and red sails. Under blazing mid day sun, we dress in faded flight suits and helmets.

To this point we have not signed a waiver or paid any money for this extreme adventure. Perhaps a good sign that they will need to keep us alive to collect.

Now harnessed to a large Turkish man, I am instructed  to run off the edge of the cliff. However this seems like an incredibly bad idea. With no time to reconsider, my paragliding pilot and I are off like birds in no more than a few steps.

Dressed for extreme adventures

Dressed for extreme adventures

Initially the quiet of flying above land and sea, with only the flapping of the sail seems blissful. My attached tour guide points out nearby islands, as though we might be on a local bus ride.

After that, my pilot is keen to show me the wonders of updrafts. His mood is gleeful as we shoot skyward as if on a supersonic amusement park ride. Over and over the thrill rides via wind drafts continue. 

My nausea grows with each surge. Sensing my distress, the pilot thrusts a plastic bag in front of me. 

“Let’s give you some air.” My attached flying guide takes my helmet off. In other words save your stomach rather than your head.

Apologizing profusely, the pilot lands quickly and safely. Thankfully the bag remains unused and my noggin is intact. 

Extreme activities paragliders landing

Landing on the dock of Kas Turkey

 

 

 

Olivine Tidal Pool Maui and the Rogue Wave

I am begging my husband for some relaxation on the beach.

“Oh but we are so close to the Olivine Tidal pools,” pleads my ‘how-many-things-can-you-do-in-a-day?’ partner. The guide book describes the hike down to the barren lava beds as unforgiving for those who are not sure footed.

Well it is a beautiful spot to be sure. “What’s that?” You want to sit on the far side by the edge of the ocean?”

Dangerous activities Olivine Pools

Tropical bliss hiding a dangerous activity

 

 

Looks dangerous to me. It’s like going on vacation with an explorer. Or possibly a six year old.

“I’ll stay over here on the rocks.” Did I mention I just want to relax?

You may have heard of rogue waves. You know the kind of unpredictable giant walls of water that sweep people out to sea. Appearing out of a relatively calm sea I see one suddenly appear behind my husband who has his back to the ocean.

tidal pool rogue wave

Moments before the rogue wave turns this idyllic setting into a dangerous attraction.

As I scream his name at the man-turned-boy, a 15 foot wall of ocean smashes over him.

As I begin to swim toward the last spot he was seen, I wait for a sign of him to resurface.  I wonder if there is cell phone coverage out here. Vague memories my teenage lifeguard rescue dives flash to mind.

The pace of my head up front crawl pace picks up as adrenaline rushes out to toes and finger tips. The lava bed basin refuses to cough up my husband

Then suddenly, like a cork set free from a champagne bottle, his head bursts from the depths. With a  dazed expression and boyish grin, my relief gives way to immediate demands for the end of extreme adventures for the day.

We head to the beach.

Are there extreme things to do you would recommend? Or adventures of the world you would see as dangerous activities?

Enough adrenaline rushes Maui beach

Enough adrenaline rushes for one day

 

 
 

No time to keep reading? Click on the video below to see the extreme adventures we will not be repeating.