Spots for Adventure Sports
Adventure gives us a rush of adrenaline and makes us feel all refreshed and vigorous, while sports give us fitness. What happens when these two are combined? The result is a form of utter madness. To some, these adventure sports, which are full of danger, are nothing but foolishness, and they do not understand the point of putting life to risk, just for a new, bizarre experience. But, for those who actually like adventure sports know the feeling of the heart beating in the throat, the blood rushing to the face and the wind blowing through the hair. Such people are always on the lookout for the hottest spots for extreme adventure sports. Let us look at some of the best sports for adventure sports from around the world.
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Top 10 Spots for Adventure Sports in the World
BASE Jumping in Cave of Swallows, Mexico
As the largest free-fall pit in the world, the Cave of Swallows in Mexico in any BASE Jumping enthusiast’s heaven. It is a vertical shaft, a gaping hole with a 160 – 205 foot opening. It provides quite a long descent, since it is 1220 feet deep, and from the higher edge, is about 1904 feet deep. It is large enough to allow plenty of room for the parachute, and also offers a generous landing area. Besides the thrill of falling in through the crust of the earth in the middle of the rain forest near San Luis Potosi for the length of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty standing on her own head, the other interesting thing about the cave is that the cave-walls are home to green parakeets and white-collared swifts.
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Zorbing in New Zealand
Rotorua in New Zealand is the place where the unique and fun sport of Zorbing originated. A person is put inside a capsule, which is secured inside another giant inflated plastic ball, with a cushioning of air between the inner capsule and the outer ball to ensure safety of the adventurer. This is then rolled across water or down the hills. Simple as it may sound, the rolling ball can reach a speed of up to 50 km per hour, and gives quite a rush. The wet ride is called the ZYDRO, while the dry ride is called ZORBIT. There are four track options to choose from among eight ride variations down four different tracks. Besides New Zealand, it has gained huge popularity in countries of the US and Europe and has also reached Asian countries, including India.
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Glacier Climbing in Jostedal Ice Cap, Norway
Though Glacier Climbing is available in many places around the world, Jostedal is considered the best place for it, because of the guidance and safety equipment provided in addition to the scenic beauty. This might be an exciting sport, but, the rush comes from the challenge that the dangerous adventure offers. One needs to be aware of how to handle harnesses, safety ropes and ice axes, while being fit enough to handle walking and climbing on ice. The ice, too, keeps changing, with the temperature due to the descent of the sun. But, for those with the basic knowledge of ice-climbing, which is also available here with the help of a guide, getting up, close and personal with the nature is a rare experience. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina, is also a great spot for this adventure.
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Volcano boarding, Cerro Negro, Australia
At the age of 161 years, Cerro Negro is an active volcano near Leon, Nicaragua. It is a hot spot (pun intended) for a trip or surfing experience, down its steep, 2388-foot slope on a wooden sled, which is possible because the volcanic rocks are grainy. The hike up to the top of the mountain is fun in itself, but, the real fun begins after reaching the drop zone. The world becomes quite a blur while racing down the face of an active volcano, along the slope which can be as steep as 41 degrees, at a speed of up to 90 km per hour. The ride is quite intimidating, especially because the rate at which one zooms down is hard to predict. Besides, the hard and grainy rocks are not forgiving at all and can lead to injuries if the rider loses control.
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Storm Chasing in the USA
This adventure is different from other adventures and is not just a momentary adrenaline rush kind of a sport. The excitement lies in anticipation and in not knowing what to expect from the unpredictable wrath of Mother Nature. With one eye on the nature and the other on weather forecasts, travellers from around the world are taken by expert guides to the US Midwest, to hunt severe weather conditions and follow the trail of thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and lightning. They get to watch, with baited breath as the supercell storms destroy everything in their paths. The dark sky and flashes of lightning are quite a treat to the eye, albeit a fearsome experience, in the midst of roars that shake the earth.
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Bridge Climbing at Sydney Harbour Bridge
Bridge climbing is an urban version of rock climbing, though not as strenuous. However, the excitement, nonetheless, can be quite high, especially for those with a fear for heights. It is a 3.5-hour climb to the upper span of the arch of the Harbour Bridge along catwalks, 4 ladders and 1332 steps. The journey starts from the Climb Base below the Bradfield Highway, along South-East Pylon, all the way to the outer arch of the Bridge on the Opera House side, till the climber reaches the top. There, the limber gets a 360-degree panorama view of Sidney, with the hum and the buzz of the city’s traffic, and the canopy of sky almost within reach. The descent to the Climb Base is across the Bridge’s spine to the Darling Harbour. The adventure can be taken at dawn, day, twilight or night.
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Biking down the Road of Death in Bolivia
It requires some real guts to rake a trip down the path that has been officially declared as the most dangerous road in the world. The name, Death Road, itself is enough to suggest that many perils wait along the path with gaping mouths to devour the victims. Bikers with a desire for adrenaline rush are not deterred, however. In fact, these dangers are what attract them to take up the challenge. El Camino de la Muerte starts high up in La Paz in Bolivia and runs to the town of Coroico through the Amazonian jungle for 40 miles. The rugged roads have narrow lanes and harsh terrain, and the drops are of thousands of feet. It is a good idea to remember that the nearest health care centre is a two-hour drive away.
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Cold Water Swimming in Harbin, China
One has to be extremely tough, or maybe a little insane, to dive into a swimming pool that has been cut out of thick ice, because that is what Cold Water Swimming is all about. Also known as the Polar Bear Swim and winter swimming, this sport is more of a test of endurance and does not require too much of actual swimming, while the adventure shocks the swimmer into getting a reconfirmation of his existence. It is hard to imagine exactly how cold the water is until the frigid liquid actually covers every bit of the scantily-clad body. While winter swimming is also famous in other places like Illinois, Queensland or Brisbane, the real adventure lies in taking this challenge in Harbin. The fear of hypothermia doesn’t deter hardy souls from taking the icy plunge.
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Dune Bashing in Dubai
Dubai is a magnificent place for many tours and adventures, but, the most sought-after off-road adventure there is Dune Bashing, in the middle of the monochromatic landscapes of the Arabian Desert. It involves taking a drive in the sands in a four wheeler. But, what’s so special about taking a long drive? Well, riding along the unique sand dunes includes invariable slips and skids, tumbles and tilts, and these can only be avoided by manoeuvring the SUV QUAD-Bike with great skill, while starting up a personal sand-storm of sorts with the wheels of the car. An unparalleled experience, this safari can be taken in the morning, as well as in the evening. Dune bashing is prohibited in most parts of the world, but, it is extremely famous in the Middle East. One can also opt for the safari in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan in India.
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Shark-Cage Diving in South Africa
We all know about water sports like Kayaking, and even underwater adventures, like Scuba diving. But, what if a venture in the water is taken a step ahead? Off the coast of South Africa in Gaansbai’s Kleinbaai Harbour which a two-hour drive away from Cape Town, it is possible to dive into the waters in a cage and get a close look at the White Sharks and the shiny white teeth. While the journey to the centre of the earth in the galvanized steel mesh cage is safe enough to be taken by even children, the rush that a person gets on having a clear view of the Great Whites, who are notorious for their gory treatment of any other puny creature, is enough to change the life of an individual. This kind of adventure is available at many shark-infested coasts, including Australia.
There are many other adventure sports in different spots around the world. Some places are famous for some well-known sports, like The Gauley River in West Virginia for Kayaking or Yosemite National Park for Rock Climbing, while others are less known, but, offer sports like Slacklining in Vancouver, or Cheese rolling in Gloucester. The world is just waiting with many adventures in store.