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Archive for the ‘potholing or cave exploration’ Category
An extreme sport that we do not often write about but none the less it is a sport that has many thousands of enthusiastic followers and it is indeed extreme when you consider that the world’s longest subterranean cave system took four years and over five hundred dives to piece together.
It was in March 2007 that a German and a British cave diving team made their dramatic announcement – read the story below and then watch the video from vsproduct of their daring adventure.
Robbie Schmittner from Germany and Steve Bogaert from Great Britain found flooded passageways connecting two previously known cave systems.
Bogaert said their dives proved a connection between the Nohoch Nah Chich caves and the Sac Actun system which altogether measure a length of 95 miles. The longest previously known submerged cave system is the 91 mile Ox Bel Ha system in the same area of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
There is concern that the inter-conectivity of the caves in this region makes them very vulnerable to a source of pollution which would spread rapidly throughout the system of caves. In the times of the Mayan Indians this underground fresh water system provided drinking water to the Mayans where the caves ceilings had collapsed so creating lakes or sink holes.
In some places the submerged caves are massive – big enough to fit a Boeing 747, in other places the team had to remove their scuba gear from their bodies to sqeeze through narrow passages.
As the short video below shows the pioneering spirit is alive and well but this is one extreme sport that we don’t think we will try!
Some people just can’t live without their adrenaline fix even when they go on holiday so I’ve put together ten vacations that could only be described as extreme!
1. Drag racing
Foot to the floor and before you can say ‘Jack Robinson’ you’ve crossed the finish line having attained a speed in excess of 300mph in a quarter mile! Doug Foley’s Drag Racing School offers several dates at Atco, New Jersey with options in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Or you could go for the Super Comp Dragster package, a two-day program that includes safety instruction and step-by-step familiarization with your car before you hit the track.
2. Gorilla safari
JK Safari run a 4-day safari to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Africa which is the best place to see these gracious and gentle giants – estimated to have a worldwide population of no more than 700. You are also likely to visit the Karisoke Research station, the inspiration behind the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ and where Dian Fossey was murdered and is buried.
Why not try your hand, or should I say your skis, on the virgin slopes of Alaska’s Chugach Mountain. You have to have almost represented your country in the Olympics at skiing – only joking – but this is definitely not one for beginners, but it will give you a unique experience on the slopes and something you will be able to talk to the grandchildren about. Valdez Heli-Camps operates tours to the Chugach mountain range and offers acc4.
4. Mountain climbing
Stand on top of the world – yes I’m talking about conquering Everest, the world’s highest mountain and something that you will need to sign a disclaimer against as Everest still claims lives every year, but it can be done if you’re an accomplished climber, Adventure Consultants offers summit expeditions from Nepal with no guarantees of either making it to the summit or getting back – alive!
Because its sand doesn’t mean its not extreme and this rush will take you to Cerro Blanco near the Andes mountain range in Peru to find the world’s tallest sand dune. Carving your way down the dunes will challenge even those dudes who think they have done it all on the colder and whiter mountains.Peru Adventure Tours runs this very alternative boarding trip.
6. Shark diving
Of course it cannot be guaranteed that the only shark you will see is the Blue shark and the Mako shark – I seem to recall that the Great White is sometimes seen in these waters, but if that’s your fix then Apex Shark Expeditions runs day trips into False Bay , near Cape Town, South Africa, between November and June. Its in these waters that I always wished for another set of eyes in the back of my head!
7. Space travel
The final frontier for the brave and super rich, already possible on a Russian rocket and as offered by Virginia-based Space Adventures for a cheek sucking $25 million or you can wait for the Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s suborbital space probe which will set you back a paltry $200,000 and which is due to blast off in 2009. My guess is that like computers the price will only come down.
This is your chance to meet an Orc, or if you’re really lucky Gandalf and/or Frodo, for in the Waitomo cave system in New Zealand you can rappel down the side of limestone cliffs, squeeze through damp crevices covered with luminescent glow worms, leap from a subterranean waterfall, and go “black-water rafting” in the underground rapids at Ruakuri Cave, where you may even find Gollum! The five-hour Black Abyss adventure is offered by The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. and is the most challenging of the region’s guided tours.
9. Stunt vacations
Another extreme challenge is offered with this vacation package courtesy of Thrillseekers Unlimited, who in a five day course, called appropriately enough the ‘Stunt Experience’, will teach you under the instruction of SAG professionals all you need to know to enable you to be part of the action in burning building scenes, car chases and other stunts including a bungee jump from the AJ Hackett Tower on the Strip in Las Vegas.
10. Titanic dive
And finally for those fanatics of the movie Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet head for Newfoundlad where The Great Canadian Adventure Company will take you to a depth of 2.5 miles to see the final resting place of RMS Titanic, where the infamous vessel lies broken and twisted on the ocean floor. A surreal experience if ever there was one.
For sure they are extreme….. and they will get you away from the madding crowd – either because there are not that many people crazy enough to try these crazy vacations, or is it just that they are financially out of the reach of us mere mortals! If you are one of those crazy guys all I can do is to wish you luck and ask that you let all us mortals know of your adventure when you return. Enjoy!