November 6, 2008, Category: South Africa, Travel

The Big Swing

Curtis and I doing “The Big Swing” on Day 11.

(The content below is copied from Day 11)

We eventually reached Graskop and dove to the “Big Swing.” Watch that link…yes we did that (and have video to prove it). I found this place on the Internet the week before we left and we had decided to do it. Basically, they hook you up to a cable that is suspended halfway across a canyon. Then you stand backwards with your heels teetering over the edge of a 250 foot cliff…and you fall backwards. I don’t get scared easy. Rock climbing doesn’t scare me. Skydiving doesn’t scare me…even roller coasters don’t do much for me. I just always feel safe and know the chances of getting hurt doing the things I do are slim. So I didn’t even think this was that big of a deal. I mean, they’ve been doing this for years right, what could go wrong?

The first thing we did was a zip line across the canyon. You run off the platform and jump into air and zip above the waterfall and trees way down below. This wasn’t really a big deal, I even carried my camcorder and recorded the whole thing from my perspective. Then they hooked us up (we did a tandem jump) and backed us to the edge of the cliff. Suddenly, I started to rethink the whole thing. We backed up to the edge until our heels hung over and we were on the balls of our feet teetering over the edge of the sheer drop and I thought to myself, I can’t do this. I cannot jump backwards over this cliff. No way. They said lean back against the rope and held us in place for a second or two….are you ready…then we were falling. OH MY GOSH it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. The cliff was racing past us, my stomach was in my nose, and we just kept falling…and falling. I didn’t think we were ever going to stop…we fell for over 200 feet…free falling down the side of a cliff and then the cable grabbed us and we flew across the river and over the trees. We both yelled and cheered, it was incredible. Curtis said he’d felt the same way, like we were never going to stop falling. It was awesome. The hike up afterwards was tiring, in fact I think the rickety wooden ladder/staircase that brought us out of the canyon was probably more dangerous than how we got in to it. But it was awesome, we’d both would do it again, anytime!

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4 thoughts on “The Big Swing

  • By Grandma Henke - Reply

    All you shouted was Holy Crap? Or was that an indicate of what you found in your pants after stepping off?

  • By Warren - Reply

    Yeah…I know…I’m being teased at work for that one. Sheesh, I didn’t think my own mother would give me a hard time for only yelling Holy Crap! Hehe

  • Pingback: Warren Henke » Blog Archive » Day 11: Johannesburg

  • By Sally - Reply

    Wow!! Loved the look on your face warren just before the jup. By contrast, Curtis looked calm.

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