Adventure Sports- Indonesia Style

17 Jan

I have a general rule of thumb when going to places which offer adventure sports in foreign countries- they will either be a) talked up a lot but be incredibly sedate or b) be awesome and bordering on dangerous. When I found out that we were going to Sidomukti, an adventure park, for our excursion for university I wondered what category it would fall into. After an hours drive up windy roads and onto spectacular terraced landscapes we arrived at this park and were handed a booklet of tickets. It had 3 tickets- flying fox, marine bridge and rappelling, the last one made me particularly excited as it has been a few years since I did some abseiling.

First I went to the Flying Fox with a group of people from uni. Pak Sur one of the staff suggested I be the test and go first. I went up and looked for my harness while staring at the canyon I was about to cross which would have involved about a 50 metre drop. Then an Indonesian guy came over with what was P1150067basically just a strip of material which he wrapped around my waist in a harness like fashion. He then handed me a helmet to which I joked what use is it going to do me if I fall that far. Then I sat down and he pushed me off the ledge and I was suddenly flying at speed across the zip line so I spun around and gave a wave before seeing the cargo net awaiting me until another staff member pulled a rope which jerked me to a stop and I smacked my head into the wooden block there to catch me. Suddenly the helmet made sense and it was a real adrenalin rush.

Next came rappelling, the start to it didn’t really allow you to see how high the cliff was. So I got strapped into a proper (while still quite old) harness which I adjusted to make it actually fit after the guy put it on me, donned aP1150068 helmet and a pair of massive gloves before being asked if I had done this before. I replied I had to which they replied off you go then. At this point I decided to ask that maybe they give me a basic refresher before backing slowly over the ledge keeping my legs straight and slowly making my way down. Then I looked around and saw that I was actually going down a massive cliff and got a bit nervous. Then I got into my groove and it started to come back to me and I started doing a few jumps before making it to the bottom and waiting for some of the others to join us. On our way up we did some calculations and worked out it was a 30 metre drop which was confirmed when we asked up the top and we laughed at how you would never be allowed to do that in Australia without training first.

We decided that next we would do the Marine Bridge although it would in no way be a challenge after our epic rappelling skills. P1150077We clipped ourselves onto the wire to walk across the cargo ne t about 60 metres long over the 35 metre drop to the valley floor. It started off fine with me making good pace until I got held up at the highest point by some people in front. Suddenly my fear of heights came to me and I started to freak out a bit while still having a fair way to travel. I eventually made it across and basically collapsed as soon as I got to the other side. Then I downed a bottle of energy water before being told by an American kid we had befriended that he had scored us some tickets to go ride the ATVs.

A big group of us went up to the ATV track with some of the people who had grown up on farms on quad bikes saying it would be easy. We jumped on these bikes which bounced around and were incredibly impossible to steer. It was in the end good fun despite the bruises, cuts, burns from the exhaust and the epic crashes into fences and trees. I also got stuck when a rock fell onto my back wheel and bogged in a patch of mud. P1150079After the 3 laps of the track we sat down and watched the hilarity as other members of our group took on the track. As much as people had talked themselves up, on these crappy little bikes they were no different to those of us who had barely ridden before (apart from one of the girls who was an absolute pro). After laughing, yelling and a lot of banter between everyone, covered in mud and dried blood we headed back to a restaurant for lunch before a drive through farms and villages and a good sleep on the way home.

At the end of the day Sidomukti probably falls into category b with a lot of fun to be had but the idea that you could possibly die or be horrifically injured at any second in your mind making for a fun day. It definitely made me keen for some more abseiling and ATV riding but perhaps back home or at least somewhere where I can use a proper harness and some more modern gear.

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