Ballooning, Repelling, Sliding, Jumping and Zip-Lining

Today was exhilarating. A few of us had the opportunity to view Australia from 5,000 feet up in a hot air balloon!

Most of us, myself included, got to go canyoning in Cairns!
We began the journey by climbing THE steepest hills we had ever seen. It was probably the most strenuous part, but every meter we struggled climbing was worth it when we got to travel down. The tour guides gave us the run down on our gear, and we were off.
Once we were at the top, I was the first one to volunteer to drop down. They hooked me up on a yellow rope the diameter of my thumb, told me to lean back, and I was falling down a cliff. It was terrifying, slipping all over the rocks. I quickly learned I needed to trust myself along with the guides. Underneath the falls, there was a smooth rock formation you could sit on. At just the right angle the flowing water pushed you right down a slight drop reminiscent of a water slide. I went through quite a few times and the adrenaline was pumping.
After warming up, we took on a larger, more slippery drop, directly to the left of a waterfall. I strapped in and repelled straight down, sliding and struggling to maintain my footing on the canyon walls.
At the bottom of this waterfall was a beautiful, deep pool. I climbed up onto a rock, 10 meters above this pool. Guy, our photographer, held my hand, told me to stare at the wall, counted to three, and I jumped. The split seconds I was in the air, I was screaming and smiling. The water was freezing and hit me hard, but I could barely feel it through my wetsuit and 2 thermal turtlenecks. The life jacket quickly brought me to the surface, and I struggled back up the rock formations to jump a second time.
After quite a few difficult repels and another high jump, we made it to the zip line. You hooked onto the line next to a waterfall and ended up in the water diagonally across the river. Once you jump, you drop immediately, which makes your stomach drop. Then you glide gracefully across the canyon, with the wind whipping against you and your bottom dragging in the water (they tell you to lift your legs so they don’t hit anything the river). We also got the chance to “slide” down part of the canyon. The guide hooks you onto a rope and slowly drops you into a waterfall against a wall under a waterfall, where you hang and try to maintain balance until you hit the water. Some of the less coordinated in the group ended up upside down falling into the water!

So, after repelling, sliding, jumping and zip-lining, most of us were shaking. It was exhausting because of the constant stressors, fear and excitement at every turn. I would give anything to try out another canyon, while others would never go near it again. Overall, it was a thrilling experience. Never did we forget to enjoy in the moment. WE WERE INSIDE A CANYON!!!!! I was giddy the entire time, and we all were in awe of the beautiful views around us. We explored nature in a different and incredible way.



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