LOOK: The calming high of the Mossel Bay Zipline
With sweaty palms and wobbly knees, I found myself staring down a 1.1km-long wire and 90m drop below, asking myself: “Gerry, what have you gotten yourself into?!”
A stopover in Mossel Bay formed an essential part of the coastal journey of the Cradle of Human Culture to explore the caves at Pinnacle Point as well as the Cape St Blaize Cave close to the Mossel Bay waterfront.
The Point Hotel where we stayed was just a few steps away from the Cape St Blaize Cave and offered spectacular ocean views.
As breathtaking as the view from my room was, I was more intrigued by the long wire that ran from the top of the hill to my right, down to the bottom on my left.
What I didn’t know at the time, is that the long wire suspended high over the ocean was in fact the Mossel Bay Zipline. I was so excited when I saw it on the tour itinerary.
Staring at the line with my morning coffee in hand, I felt excitement turn to dread as I realised exactly how long and high the line actually is.
I’m not the adventurous type, so deciding to do the zipline was a giant leap outside of my comfort zone, but a part of me felt this overwhelming desire to do it.
So I made my way to the Mossel Bay Zipline base.
As I stepped into the harness, straps being tightened across my body and legs, I felt the reality of it all kicking in. But it wasn’t until the guide gave us the safety instructions that I felt my heart racing and a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I actually thought I was going to throw up.
Silence fell over the usually rowdy group of tourists as we were made aware of everything that could possibly go wrong if the instructions weren’t followed.
Warnings of fingers being crushed and arms ripped off made me want to wriggle my way out of those straps and run back to the hotel.
While my mind was saying, “you can’t do this,” my body was already halfway up the hill heading to the starting point and before I could say “get me out of here”, I was standing on the platform staring down the long wire trying to see the other end of it.
There was no turning back, and I was so glad that I didn’t, because it was at that point that this unbelievable and unexpected state of calm swept over my body.
As I stepped off the platform, all I could focus on was the wind in my face, the sound of the ocean below me and the spectacular view ahead and around me.
Even though I was going down at a speed of 90km/h, it felt like I was slowly gliding through the air.
As per the detailed instructions, I slowed down the speed with a gentle tug on the wire to prolong the experience. I didn’t want it to end. The 1.1km didn’t feel long enough.
With a massive grin on my face and tears sprayed across my temples, I gently stepped onto the platform.
Looking back up to the starting point, I immediately wanted to head back up.
As I said before, I’m not the adventurous type, but that experience has left me wanting more.
Who knows, I might even try bungee jumping next!
For more information on the Mossel Bay Zipline visit www.mosselbayzipline.co.za