Ziplining across the waterfalls

January 13th, 2014 by dad

After the Storms River Forest Canopy Tour, the adrenaline junkies in us were awoken and we headed off for another ziplining experience a few days later, this time across the waterfalls.

It was as different as two ziplining experiences can be. The forest was dark and close, the waterfalls were wide open to the sky.

Although both tours handle similar volumes, the forest tour is much slower and we were in a group of eight with the next group right behind us. The waterfalls went much quicker, and was just us and the guides. The forest tour brake consisted of a wet glove, the waterfalls saw a proper brake with good control and consequently nice smooth landings.

The slides were also much longer, the longest being 211 metres against the 91m of the forest tour. And, this time there was a only a mild drizzle, no lightning and thunder.

For the safety conscious, the forest tour had us clipped twice onto a line capable of holding 10 tonnes, and clipped once more onto a secondary line capable of holding 7 tonnes. The waterfall tour saw us clipped just once onto the main line.

But, we weren’t worried. Here’s Anique, with nerves of steel after conquering the forest, heading off on the first line:

And here she is hurtling into the river below after the cable snapped:

Well, no, luckily not. But the guide behind jumped onto the cable while Anique was still going across, causing the line to gyrate wildly, and making her feel like the line had snapped. A bit of extra adrenaline rush thrown in for free.

The scenery was beautiful, and on another day the pools below would have made for ideal swimming:

Overall, a fun way to spend our last morning in Storms River.

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Atop the trees in a lightning storm

January 12th, 2014 by dad

Dorje, his mom and I went on holiday to Storms River. One of the main attractions was the Forest Canopy tour, and I looked forward to whizzing across the forest canopy between giant yellowoods.

Dorje’s mom needed some convincing, and looked ready for a heart attack when I found out there’d been a late cancellation and we could go straight away. But, we got kitted out and headed off.

To add to the fun (and probably the reason for the cancellation), it was pouring with rain, with loud thunder and lightning. The guide, who’d been there many years, said that it was only the third time he’d been out in weather like that, and the assistant guide, who’d only been there three months, was a nervous wreck, wincing everytime the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled, almost jumping off the first platform.

The braking system consists of holding on to the line with your glove. In the downpour, however, the combination was like an oil slick, and you may as well have been playing the flute. The array of gloves scattered on the trees below wasn’t a good sign, and I kept looking in the trees below for the hands they were once attached to.

Dorje managed just fine though.

Putting us all to shame was the youngest on the tour, a five-year old who’d been paragliding the day before.

Perhaps a bit too brave though, as, with everyone huddled atop the yellowwood as we prepared for the next slide, she kept hitting me on the bum telling me to “move forward” which would have put me twenty metres down on the tree below.

No-one got hit by lightning (Dorje luckily not living up to his name and channeling heavenly light to the earth), and no-one plummeted to their deaths below, and it was a fun afternoon out, well-worth doing for anyone in the area.

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