Jumping Off

The day is gray and cloudy outside, but the drizzle has stopped. I’m going through all of my things, packing up again, and preparing for my few days on the fabled Bardsey Island. There won’t be any wifi out there, so I’ll be off-grid for the duration.

It’s been a week of steep challenges. On Saturday I went coasteering off the coast of Anglesey Island — jumping off 25’ cliffs into the Irish Sea. I can’t say I overcame all of my fear, and I’m certainly still processing the entirety of the experience, but what I can say is: bobbing up and down in water that is truly all manner of shades of green, and climbing up and down some of Britains oldest rock formations (from the Neolithic era) was freeing and humbling.

Large white lighthouse down a cliff out in the ocean with long staircase leading down

South Stack Lighthouse, Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales

Shortly after my coasteering experience, I walked all the way down to South Stack Lighthouse (over 500 steps if you include the steps it takes to climb up the lighthouse proper), and walked all the way up. I then followed the Anglesey Coastal Path pilgrimage along the cliffs for a ways.

No barricades.

No safety railings.

Every single step is a “use-at-your-own-risk” decision in the most physical sense.

I love stepping to the edge to get the best view, but I’ll confess even I was hesitant of straying off the path even an inch.

Yesterday, I walked off the edge of the world completely. Zip World is the fastest zip line in the world (averaging 90 miles/hour, with the record being 120 miles/hour), and the longest zip line in the northern hemisphere. I was geared up in a complicated harness, asked to lie face down on red gurney, hitched up to the zip line, and felt the gurney lower itself down from beneath me. Suspending in midair was the hardest part. No going back and all I could see was down.

The first zip was the low one that had me moving at about 40 miles/hour. That was hard enough! But after conquering that one, I was pulled out of the air and transported up to the top of the quarry in the back of a truck.

I went through the same preparation process, only this time “down” meant the entire Welsh valley — mountains, rivers, lake, towns, and the Menai Strait beyond.

Only 60 seconds. It will be over in 60 seconds.

And I was released.

See for yourself…

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