Thursday, December 2, 2021

Bird on a wire

Sarah Tucker tries out Britain’s scariest new attraction

 

80mph, approximately a mile long, 700 foot above a mountain lake, under clear blue skies in Snowdonia: Today, I became Wonder Woman for 55 seconds.

 

A view with a loo... The view that those who try out the world's (current) longest zip wire experience
A view with a loo… The view that those who try out the world’s (current) longest zip wire experience
A bird on a wire
A bird on a wire
A map of Zip World
A map of Zip World

 

It took me about twenty minutes to get into the gear unlike Lynda Carter who would have just spun around very quickly in a phone box and appeared all suited and booted like a red dominatrix with a whip in hand.

 

I wore a large red all-in-one boiler suit, was weighed and like everyone else had my weight was written on my wrist. At least it wasn’t my age. If we were considered under weight, we were weighted down with what looked like iron bells on our backs although I’m told these are going to be replaced next week by funkier and more fitting weights. I didn’t care. As long as they got me across they could have strapped a fridge to me as long as I didn’t get stuck halfway.

 

One of the guys shot across so fast (120mph) that he literally backfired and ended up half way back along the wire, to be gamely rescued by a lady named Jane, all five foot three of her. It took 20 minutes and you don’t want to have to go through that either. Another girl put her arms out birdlike and slowed herself down so had to be unceremoniously pulled in by holding onto an outstretched ladder. But these are all early days yet and just teething problems, the small group of journalists being the willing guinea pigs.

 

The zip wire, near Betws-y-Coed, is currently the longest in the world (the one in South Africa at the moment doesn’t work). Still in its very early stages, they hope to build a café at the top so people can have something to drink before they zoom down, although I don’t think alcohol is a good idea or a full stomach for that matter. It’s not the going down that creates the nerves, as with skydiving, it’s the waiting around and the watching others doing it. You will always want to be next.

 

The security procedures are reassuringly anal. They must have said “Are you ready to go?” to the people waiting for me at the other end (they were specks on the horizon) about five times in my case because one of the radios didn’t work so they tried new ones. It reminded me of that scene in Contact where Jodie Foster has the same issue before she entered some parallel universe. I was wondering if, half way down, I would enter into some parallel universe and there would be a different life awaiting me on the other side although I admit I do love this one.

 

After five, four, three, two one, I zoomed down head first – quickly picking up speed, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and think 90mph.  I was told not to put my arms out so flew down determined to be streamlined as possible. You practice on a baby zip before you go on big daddy or mummy or whatever nickname it’s going to be called.

 

The baby makes you realise how you should lie in the harness and that you can trust it completely. It also introduces you to the staff who are all local and specially recruited for their empathetic skills I was told. I admit they were brilliant – calm, informed, like baby porridge – just right.

 

Halfway down despite my bullet-like posture, I turned 90 degrees and continued to zoom down sideways. I don’t know how I did it and the organisers didn’t know either, but I did it, then magically self-corrected myself. I didn’t slow down and landed without needing to be pulled in, pulled back, slowed down and then held the hand that was offered me at the end by a very nice man called Nick Moriarty (wonderful name that) who designed the zip and other ‘rope courses’ around the world. What an interesting job. I didn’t scream but I prayed a lot at the start.

 

For adults it costs £50 and for children £40. It’s worth it for adults, but I do think they should put the price down a little for children. And they charge less for the locals, which is what they should do for Londoners at The Shard.

 

I then went gorge walking which I thought was walking along gorges through forests, spotting the few remaining baby lambs that have managed to survive the freezing conditions (there were a few lambs but usually, I am told, there are thousands). No. Gorge walking is canyoning but backwards.

 

Instead of walking down waterfalls and rivers, you walk up waterfalls and rivers. Going against the flow is as challenging literally as it is metaphorically. Wearing wetsuits, which leave nothing to the imagination, I started walking up the river with a guide called Vicky who was brilliant, gave clear concise instructions (such as “if you don’t lean forward there and instead lean backward, Sarah, you will roll backwards and fall onto the rocks”).

 

There was a bit called Elephant’s Bottom (nothing to do with me) which meant me and two others climbed up a rope on an almost vertical rock formation which had a waterfall flooding down it and then crawled on our hands and knees through a narrow opening at the top. It was quite an experience.

 

I stayed at Craig-y-Dderwen Riverside Hotel, where the food was excellent, the views amazing and there was a wedding going on. The zip and gorge walking are great activities to do for a hen or stag party.  Sober.

 

Zip World: http://www.zipworld.co.uk

 

Craig-y-Dderwen Riverside Hotel: http://www.snowdoniahotel.com

 

Sarah Tucker is an award winning travel journalist, novelist, producer and broadcaster. She has edited, produced and presented her own radio and TV series as well as presenting reports for BBC Holiday Programme and anchored I Want That House on ITV. She is the author of best selling novels The Playground Mafia (short listed for the Good Housekeeping book of the year 2007) The Battle for Big School, The Last Year of Being Single, and The Control Freak Chronicles.

 

For more information about Sarah Tucker, go to: http://www.sarahtucker.info

 

Buy The Playground Mafia on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playground-Mafia-Sarah-Tucker/dp/0099498456/ref=sr_1_7/202-9265101-5575054?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193856472&sr=1-7

 

Follow Sarah Tucker on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/madasatucker

The Steeple Times
We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.
Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement

£1 per week Supports The Steeple Times

Help journalism to remain honest & independent. You can make a difference to the world today.

2,780FansLike
2,068FollowersFollow
11,763FollowersFollow

Subscribe For DAILY NEWS

Please subscribe, like and share this unique site, it helps us tremendously. The Steeple Times in return will send you an email at noon each and everyday, that we sincerely hope you will enjoy & look forward to seeing in your inbox.

AD
Advertisement

Recent and Popular

Clowning Around Boris Johnson Sir Keir Starmer

Bosie – Stop Clowning Around

Matthew Steeples suggests Boris Johnson needs to stop clowning around and tell the truth about his strategy to fight COVID-19 and Omicron this winter.
Poisonous apple Ghislaine Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell – A Genuinely Poisonous Apple

References to Adam and Eve from Ghislaine Maxwell’s defence team ignore the fact she is a genuinely poisonous apple; references to Jeffrey Epstein being like James Bond are equally ludicrous suggests Matthew Steeples.
Lowbrow Lindsay Lohan

Lowbrow Lindsay Lohan Reaches A New Low

When you thought lowbrow loser Lindsay Lohan couldn’t go any lower, the ‘celebutard’ predictably delivers.
Day of Destiny Scott Borgerson Ghislaine Maxwell Jeffrey Epstein Prince Andrew

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Day Of Destiny

As Ghislaine Maxwell faces her day of destiny at the ‘trial of the century,’ her brother ridiculously claims their pension robbing father’s “reputation was trashed beyond belief” and announces of his sister: “This time, let’s bring this ship home.”
Karl Lagerfeld Rolls-Royce

Rolling With Karl Lagerfeld

Three Rolls-Royces that belonged to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld to be auctioned by Sotheby’s; the eccentric never drove them himself.
Amanda Platell with paedophile Rolf Harris

Moron of the Moment – Amanda Platell

Paedophile and sex offender apologist Amanda Platell’s claims that the BBC “conned” her into an interview about the royals are beyond laughable.
Haider Malik

Hero of the Hour – Haider Malik

Unemployed graduate Haider Malik’s decision to seek work by standing with a pop-up-stall outside Canary Wharf tube station paid off with a top job offer.
Stella Creasy Wally of the Week

Wally of the Week – Stella Creasy MP

Labour loudmouth Stella Creasy MP proves herself to be nothing but a petulant pain in the arse in moaning about not being able to breastfeed her brat in the House of Commons.

Over a Million Views

Omid Scobie Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex Finding Freedom

Who REALLY is Omid Scobie?

An examination of the true character traits of the Duchess of Sussex’s PR peddling biased ‘bestie’ Omid Scobie by Nikolay Kalinin.
Justice for James Scurlock – Power of social media proven after the senseless murder of James Scurlock in Omaha, Nebraska allegedly by a bar owner Jake Gardner who has been photographed with Donald Trump.

Justice for James Scurlock

Power of social media proven after senseless killing of James Scurlock in Omaha, Nebraska allegedly by a controversial bar owner named Jake Gardner who has been photographed with Donald Trump.
Moron of the Moment – Prince Harry – With his marriage to the former Meghan Markle, Prince Harry has morphed into an utter bore.

Moron of the Moment – Prince Harry

With his marriage to the woman formerly known as Meghan Markle, Prince Harry has morphed into an utter bore   Prince Harry used to be a fun loving sort. He boozed, partied and enjoyed playing pranks. Now, having married ‘Murky Mucky Mendacious Meg,’ it seems those days are over.   Supposedly, according to...
Omid Scobie Sadie Quinlan Yankee Wally

Scobie Orf!

‘MeGain’s’ bestie Omid Scobie deservedly gets slammed by ‘Yankee Wally’ Sadie Quinlan for getting her shut down on Twitter; this childish chap should now just ‘belt up, wrap up and shut up.’
A Massive Media Maelstrom – McCann, Mandelson and Maxwell – Matthew Steeples highlights how the ‘Mandelson Media Method’ is very much in play in both the case of the Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein connection and the renewed interest in the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

A Massive Media Maelstrom – McCann, Mandelson and Maxwell

Matthew Steeples highlights how the ‘Mandelson Media Method’ is very much in play in both the case of the Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein connection and the renewed interest in the Madeleine McCann disappearance.
Richard Madeley Diana Princess of Wales

Moron of the Moment 2021 – Richard Madeley

As the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue is mocked as looking like him, ‘Dorian Gray of Daytime Telly’ Richard Madeley pathetically claims he got PTSD due to worrying about his son’s wedding.

Weather

London
scattered clouds
2.3 ° C
3.7 °
1.2 °
77 %
0.9kmh
38 %
Thu
4 °
Fri
7 °
Sat
7 °
Sun
7 °
Mon
4 °