Adrenalin Junkie Will Topps goes Zorbing at South Down Adventure
"I'M UPSIDE down, why am I upside down?"
"I don't like it, I'm going to be sick."
"We're in water Will, why are we in water, we're going to drown, let me out."
All things my girlfriend Samina shouted at me as we tumbled head over heels down a hill near Torrington inside a giant inflatable ball.
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And she had a point, at times. We were upside down, for a while, and we were in water, for a while.
And the reason we were, was because I'd decided to take Samina zorbing for this month's Adrenalin Junkie.
The experience started when we arrived at Southdown Adventure near Yarnscombe.
Within minutes of arriving we had signed a disclaimer, the usual stuff (in the event of the zorb ball rolling away into the river and washed out to sea, South Down Adventure isn't responsible for your horrible and untimely death).
And were then led across to the top of a gentle slope where two zorb balls sat atop a trailer.
Once one of the balls was taken off the trailer Samina was invited to jump in first, and she dived head first through the small hole in the side of the ball.
Following some simple instructions she strapped herself in and it was then my turn to do the same.
Suitably strapped in, and with a little more air added to the ball, we were positioned at the top of the hill.
And it was downhill from there, as South Down Adventure owner Chris Moore pushed us over the lip at the top of the hill sending us tumbling downwards.
At first we didn't seem to be moving too quickly but it soon became apparent we were.
As we rolled downhill we both started to lose awareness of where we were and the adrenalin kicked in as we clung to the hand holds inside the ball for dear life.
In the right conditions the ball can roll downhill at speeds of up to 30mph and it became obvious how.
I lost my bearings as we rolled and twice thought we had stopped when in fact we were still rolling. Eventually we came to rest in a pool of water at the foot of the hill, left there to make it easier for the ball to be righted. And righted we soon were, albeit with an increasingly dizzy feeling making us think we were still moving.
And that was that, our tumble had taken just 30 odd seconds, but left us disorientated for a good while longer.It was a strange feeling, but one well worth experiencing.
The uneasiness of being strapped inside a ball which seemed to be rolling out of control was quite a rush and the feeling of being unable to do anything to change the situation added to that.
But the most thrilling aspect was that neither of us had any idea what to expect. And the degree of the unknown made the rush all the greater.
Both Samina and I agreed we had almost as much of a rush rolling downhill in the Zorb ball as we did skydiving from 15,000ft. At least with the skydive, we had an idea of what it might be like.