The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag feeling of adventure

Taigang Hotspring trail, 4:19 pm

There is no trail! All there is, is a narrow ledge, barely wide enough for one person. To the left, a near vertical wall of rock, greenery spilling over the edge up above; to the right, a steep drop down to the swiftly flowing turquoise water, swirling and frothing as it passes over and around some big boulders in the stream, the sound of rushing water filling the air. A thin rope, attached at intervals to the rock, trails along the cliff side; no way of knowing how well it will hold. I grab on to it more for psychological support than actual safety. I don't want to stumble here, focus on placing my feet; step by step by step until the ledge widens. I can relax again and take in my surroundings; the gently rolling green of the opposite bank, the afternoon sun coming in at an angle, painting golden highlights on the tree tops. I stop briefly to snap a quick photo that doesn't quite capture the feeling, then continue onwards.

Luoshan Forest Road, 3:46 pm

Despite the name, this isn't actually a road. It's more like a hiking trail that's possible to ride with a motorcycle...Well, barely, the trail is so narrow the plants growing along the sides keep whipping my legs as I go along, and the ground is treacherous with patches of loose gravel interspersed with large rocks. I go bumping and skidding down the trail as it winds its way through the forest, my eyes focused on the ground in front of me, my mind fully concentrated on riding, my muscles almost vibrating as I'm constantly adjusting my course. I would like to go slow but I find it's easier to navigate this terrain if I keep the speed up, so I go fast as I dare, the forest flowing past me within arm's reach; it's simultaneously scary and exhilarating. Right here, right now, this is the feeling of adventure I always long for.

Over the jungle, 2:40 pm

I’m whizzing through the air along a metal wire suspended over a gorge. All around me is lush greenery, jungle spilling down the sides of the valley. To my left a bare rock face, water cascading over the edge to form a huge waterfall, a rainbow down at the bottom where the sunlight hits the spray off the rocks. The speed is exhilarating and I shriek with joy, drowning out both the whining wirr of the zip line and the rush of the waterfall.… Read the rest

Road 54, noon

As soon as the road entered the mountains the fog descended. As we climb higher it gets thicker and I find myself unconsciously slowing the car down as visibility shrinks to just tens of meters. I hunch forward over the steering wheel and peer into the milky nether, searching out the curve of the road and the least sign of an oncoming car. My focus is heightened partly from fear of flying off the road, partly from excitement at the risk. My wife beside me is scared but the sense of danger has me smiling.… Read the rest

Nanzhuang mountains 5:19 pm

We follow a small mountain road until we reach a fork, I take the left, which seems to be the main road, but my girlfriend points out it might be wrong, so I back up and turn right. We are now faced with a muddy, broken piece of road undergoing repairs. Gingerly I inch the car forward and, like a little donkey it takes us past without a hitch. It seems this short stretch of roadworks has transported us off the relative comfort of Taiwanese roads to a more remote area a South American jungle. The road is narrow and … Read the rest

Somewhere near Rautasjärvi, 2 pm-ish

We are driving our snowmobiles across a large, windswept plateau in between the rounded, forest-clad mountain tops. It’s hard to tell with all the snow, but our guide informs us that it is actually a frozen lake. That explains why it is so flat and lacks trees. The snow is has been packed by the wind and is hard and bumpy but the area is open so it is possible to drive at speed, the soft seat cushioning the bumps. The sensation of speed is strange, there is surprisingly little wind yet anything over 40 kilometers an hour feels like … Read the rest

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