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Lockdown dreams: taking flight

It feels like the perfect time to dream of the freedom to jump off a cliff. I have done it 12 times now, 11 of those jumps on one spectacular day.

There will only ever be one first time

Ziplining was such a magnificent experience for me (and I am usually quite a scaredy-cat, especially with heights) that it recalibrated my brain and changed my life.

That day – as I let go of the fear of letting go – some other old wounds seemed to evaporate like rain on hot tar.

Will I do it again? Pretty likely.

Taking a person ziplining is a great way to mark something auspicious. Maybe an 18th birthday, or a 21st, even a 30th.

For me, it was turning 50, a good time to let go of old some old stuff that hadn’t served me for so many years.

Come to think of it, the Cape Canopy Tour, in the Elgin Valley near Grabouw, has so much going for it in the perfect gift department.

It is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, it is in the pristine Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. The surrounding countryside, classic Cape weekend-away world, is dotted with charming towns and villages with a wide selection of places to spend the night.

We stayed in a cottage on an apple farm and saw absolutely no one else on the night of our stay, heard no one either. Bliss.

The Cape Canopy Tour is not just one adrenalin-fuelled jump; it is a 4.5-hour excursion through rugged, untouched landscape, up and over hills, across valleys, including 11 jumps off the cliffs.

The thrill and the pleasure stretches from a nipple-jiggling, white knuckle ride on a cliff edge in a 4-wheel-drive. Then a walk, and a jump, and a walk, and a jump.

Lockdwon dreaming of jumping off a cliff

A record-breaking day of squashing fears on the longest and the highest and the almightiest ziplines in the world.

The guides are so professional and the safety checks and back-ups (and back-up back-ups) are so convincing that I mange to break through my vertigo, which in the past had sometimes made sitting in the upper balcony of a theatre uncomfortable.

The repetition of the raw wildness of jumping off those fynbos-patterned cliffs left me feeling exposed but not at all afraid.

It is not an exaggeration to say that I felt healed.

Paragliding off Lion’s Head: ticked off, moved on

After ziplining, paragliding off Lion’s Head felt like the final frontier and a perfect checkmate gift for my beloved (who had ‘made’ me jump off those cliffs). Happy 50th birthday darling!

This adrenaline-fuelled 10 or 15 minutes is a beautiful way to see this gorgeous city.

Will I jump again? Maybe … from a plane.

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