As I travel around the world, adding to my total number of countries visited (60 so far) I try to get on to as many adventure activities as I can. Some have been wild, some have been crazy fun and some have just been, well, a bit crazy.
Here’s my Top Five Dream Roll travel adventure activities:
Death Road in Bolivia
Pushing the Death Road in Bolivia, the world’s most dangerous road has to be my Number One.
In a bid to show everyone that anything is possible, I set out on an adventure of a lifetime that could well have also been my last adventure, down the Death Road in Bolivia - the world’s most dangerous road.
Last year, during my end of season break, I jetted out to South America to push the length of the Death Road in my racing wheelchair. With the help of the team from Gravity, who helped make this adventure possible, I started the deathly adventure from the altitude of 4650m. Along with the rest of a group of backpackers, we travelled for hours down the steep and windy gravel road before, with much relief and without any major incidents, rolling into the finishing village mid-afternoon at 1100m of elevation.
This extreme adventure is my Number One adventure activity as it let me push the boundaries of what is possible and pushed the boundaries of my skill in the racing wheelchair all day long just to make it down the road alive. A huge thank you goes out to the team from Gravity in Bolivia for making the adventure possible and for helping me tick off another adventure bucket list item.
Sandboarding in Huacachina - Southern Peru desert
While traveling in Peru, this must be a stop for any backpacker on the way through. I managed to do a day trip from Lima to Huacachina with PeruHop as my time was limited and I wanted to make the most of my time in this amazing country.
Unsure of what I was going to do or how much of the daily activity I would be able to manage, I made the long trek down from Lima to the Sand dunes in the desert oasis of Huacachina.
As most countries I travel to, the locals were so positive and supportive and my tour/sand dunes buggy driver was no different, so away we went with the hope of being able to have a go.
As it turns out, with a little help, I was able to slide down the dunes along with every other backpacker on the day with no limitations. Flying down the side of these stunning sand dune mountains is a life long memory that I will not forget.
White Water Rafting in the Swiss Alps
After previously white water rafting at the Olympic course in Penrith in Sydney with the Australian Wheelchair track team I had some experience and was keen to try it on one of the most stunning locations in the world - and one of the best courses as well in the world for white water rafting.
As I ventured up into the Swiss Alps to the adventure capital Interlaken, I searched out a company who was willing to take a person in a wheelchair. This was no easy feat, but after finding a company being run by Aussies, I realised that I may actually be able to do it. After speaking to the guides and explaining who I was and what I was capable of doing, they were soon relaxed and comfortable with me having a go.
As it turns out I was one of the strongest in the raft. Holding on with one hand and paddling with the other. By the end of the river I was the only one in my raft not to fall into the water or forwards into the raft - proving that I was, in fact, more than capable of doing this activity.
A big thanks goes out to my Aussie guide for taking me in his raft and allowing me to experience this wild ride down the river.
Paragliding in the Swiss Alps
One of my travel adventure bucket list items has been to Paraglide, but my goal was to do this in a stunning location. There is no better place to do this than on a beautiful summers day in Interlaken – the aforementioned adventure capital of Switzerland – surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
After a few recommendations from the very helpful hostel staff, I tracked down a pilot who was supportive of me having a go. After discussing how we could start and end the trip, we headed up the mountain with a group of fellow backpackers.
I was keen to go Paragliding, as you start from the side of a tall mountain with the shoot open and land on an open field. For some reason I felt safer doing this activity, while I have no interest in bungy jumping or skydiving.
My adventure started near the top of a nearby mountain just outside Interlaken, and after a short ride up the mountain my guide prepared for the flight. Now, as I am unable to walk, the guide was very confident for take off from the steep slope, trying to explain in Swiss-German while I was trying to understand what is about to happen.
But it wasn’t long before long two other guides picked me up under each arm while my guide strapped to me stands and prepared to go down the slope. The guides helped me to slowly gain speed and just threw me into the air as we took off from the mountain - a much smoother process than I could ever have imagined.
Something tells me they had done this before.
This was such an incredible experience, flying high in the mountains far above the small village below, following the thermals around the mountains before following a local crow up into the clouds… We eventually made our way down to the landing spot, but instead of the usual landing where you land on your feet and run before slowing to a stop, my guide said to grab hold of my legs and let’s just land on our backsides, sliding along the long soft grass, which in fact turned out to be a very smooth landing with no bones broken, which is a huge win.
Summer Time Lugge in New Zealand
While in New Zealand recently for a half Marathon, I we managed to visit the adventure area of Rotorua for a day trip, which included the must do activity of summer lugge.
This activity involves going down on sleds on a downhill course. Unfortunately, I have no balance and found this activity very difficult. While my other traveling companions were able to fly down the mountain and safely control around the corners, for me it was a much more leisurely adventure to make it safely down the mountain, but I somehow made it down and loved the experience and the thrill of this activity.
Many other activities came so close to making this list, which I will write about in the future, but for now this is my Top 5.
What adventure activities have you experienced while traveling? What else should I try on my next Dream Roll adventure?
For now, I hope this gives you some future dream activities to also try around the world on your next adventure.