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100 things to do before you die: adrenaline

Thursday, August 24, 2006

90. Pamplona, Spain The origin of Pamplona's Running of the Bulls fiesta is lost in the mists of time. There are chronicles from the 13th and 14th centuries mentioning the Sanfermines which, up to the 16th century were held in October to coincide with Saints festival, but moved to July due to the unpredictability of October's weather.

Ernest Hemingway's descriptions of the event in his 1927 novel The Sun Also Rises gave it international fame — or infamy. Attempts to outlaw the bull running part of the fiesta have failed and it remains an attraction.

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91. Port Lincoln Shark Dive, South Australia Port Lincoln, keystone of the Eyre Peninsula, has one of Australia's best natural harbours, three and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour. Lurking in the deep blue waters is a 100,000,000-year-old creature which holds top position on the ocean food chain — carcharodon carcharias, otherwise known as the Great White Shark, the ocean's ultimate predator. If you've ever wanted to get up close and personal with one of these majestic creatures of the deep, Calypso Star Charter can satisfy your wish.

There are very few locations in the world where the sharks can be accessed as they are solitary oceanic creatures mostly inhabiting the open sea. The Spencer Gulf empties into the Southern Ocean where the great white reigns supreme, having no enemies other than man.

92. Nevis Highwire Bungy, New Zealand Henry van Asch and AJ Hackett are the brains behind the bungy industry. They have created jumps from a 43-metre bridge, 47 metres off a man-made ledge, night jumping and the Nevis Highwire.

In New Zealand's Nevis Valley, the 134-metre bungy is the world's first purpose-built gondola or pod bungy. Jumpers and spectators travel by 4WD bus from Queenstown. There is a safety briefing, jumpers are fitted out in the appropriate gear and they and spectators are attached to a harness. Six at a time travel in the cable car to the pod, suspended from wires hanging across the valley. From the pod the jumper walks a half-metre long plank, smiles at the camera and counts down for the eight-second fall.

93. LA air combat To be at the controls of a fighter plane and be involved in a dogfight over water is a dream for many. It can happen at Fullerton Airport near Los Angeles! You are fitted for a flight suit, helmet and parachute and go to ground school to learn the tactical manoeuvres needed in combat. Then you will be behind dual controls in the cockpit of a SIAI Marchetti SF260, an Italian-built light attack fighter, or an Extra 300L, a world-class aerobatic champion. Back on the ground you will review the cockpit footage during your debriefing, which gives you added insight into your combat technique. You take your video home.

94. Tanna Volcano, Vanuatu Vanuatu is a chain of 83 islands stretching for almost 1000 kilometres. Tanna is one of the most traditional of the islands and one of the few places in the world where you can stand on the edge of a volcano and look into the burning inferno.

Mount Yasur is easily accessed as it is just 360 metres above sea level. What it lacks in height it makes up for in activity. It vents its anger on a regular basis, spewing bits of molten rock and ash hundreds of metres into the air. Night viewing is a spectacular fireworks display of red hot lava rock against a black sky.

For further information:

90. Running of the Bulls, Pamplona

91. Port Lincoln Shark Dive
Calypso Star Charter
Ph: (08) 8364 4428
Fax: (08) 8332 6360

92. Nevis Highwire

93. LA Air Combat
Adrenalin Club
Ph: 1800 762 763

94. Mt Yasur Volcano, Vanuatu

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