Here we go again, another throw back to one of the activities form my 3o things to do before my 30th list and this time it was pretty extreme for me, completing the longest zip wire in the UK. Read on to see how it went.
The longest zip wire in the UK was actually the first activity that made the list. So I was super excited that only a few month into the list I was able to complete it. Better yet I was going to have company as my little brother, Kieran, and my mums partner, Chip, were also going to sore through the sky with me. Plus mum was organising it as a Christmas present, reducing some of the financial strains of this list, BONUS.
We set off at 7am, Kieran, my two boys, and I in one car and my mum and Chip in the other. As we made our way to zip world I was getting increasingly nervous, butterflies like eagles were loop the looping inside my tummy and by the time we arrived I was seriously questioning my mental stability. Why on earth would anyone choose to throw themselves off a slate mine – wire or not, it’s still a little crazy!
We made our way for the safety briefing as soon as we arrived and it was just that – brief. I kept thinking “there must be more, you’re about to throw me off a cliff, surely there is more I need to know” but apparently not. Next we had to be weighed, this was probably the most traumatic bit of the whole day, who ever thought it was a good idea to ask people to weigh themselves in front of a room full of strangers needs sacking, I guarantee it wasn’t a women! Then we geared up and made the walk to the little zipper.
I am not entirely sure why it’s called the little zipper, ok it’s smaller than the main attraction, but it sure aint small! We reached the top, had another brief safety talk and then the first people were strapped in and off they went. This is the point when Kieran said I had gone white and had tears running down my face. I was petrified. Despite having a list full of extreme activities to complete before I turn 30 I am not a true adrenaline junky, infact I am a total wimp. I tried to distract myself by looking out at the view but it didn’t help, firstly all I could here was my youngest crying somewhere in the distance and all I could see was a drop that I would never survive from if I was to fall.
Kieran and I were called up to the platform and then started to get ready. I glanced at Kieran and he was in position waiting for me, I was going so slow, anything to put this off, I really had made a mistake. I was terrified, but the staff were brilliant and hooked me up regardless of my death grip on the railings, they asked if we were ready, of course I said no, and then the count down began… 3.. 2.. 1 and we flew.
It was breath-taking and heart stopping and utterly amazing.
The view was unreal and I loved it. Then it was over, far too quickly, but that was of course just the taster for the real attraction. As we dismounted I looked over at Kieran and his smile was amazing he had clearly loved it as much as I had.
Once everyone was finished we got into the back of what I can only describe as a cattle cart. We took a 15 minute bumpy ride up to the top of the slate mine for the main zip. On route a lovely tour guide gave a very informative talk about the history of the mine, the start was fascinating but the higher we got the less I listened and the more nervous I became once again.
The view from the top was amazing but we were asked to go straight into the wooden hut for yet another safety briefing, in fact this was even briefer and went something like “same as before, look for the hand signal and enjoy” that was it! I don’t know what else they could of said but “enjoy” didn’t cut it. This time the instructor asked for people with a certain weight to go first, the room was silent, either no one matched the weight or no one wanted to go first, Kieran and I were the latter. Then chip chirped up with “those two are in that bracket, aren’t you guys!” Well gee thanks for that one! And so it came that me and Kieran had to go first.
Same as before my brother jumped right into position and was eager to go, even asking if one wire was quicker than the other and bagging himself the quickest, whilst I shook like a leaf and tried to convince myself I wasn’t about to die. Once in I allowed myself to look out at the drop – wow, it was a big drop over water, not so bad I thought, I can swim – ha like that would have helped!
3 2 1 – we were off. This one was so much faster from the start, you went over the slate mine for a second or two and then it all opened up and you were over the water, it was truly majestic. That split second of the land opening up to reveal the water was the most incredible sight and the best image from the whole experience. If felt as if you were truly flying, I honestly don’t think a human could feel any closer to flight than that.
On the incline up from the water the wind seemed to catch me a little and I went out to the side, this really worried me as I thought I was about to come loose especially as I could see Kieran hurtling forward in a straight line at some speed. Needless to say I didn’t fall off and before I knew it, it was over. I couldn’t get the smile off my face, it was the most amazing experience ever – pure adrenaline with a dash of magic.
Having read this back three years later I absolutely need to book and go again.