Postcard from Baracoa, Cuba and missed Adventures

Would you jump or even dive from this shipwreck located just off the Caribbean coast of Baracoa in Cuba? It looks at least 10 metres but held no fears for this bunch of kids who happily lined up to hurl themselves into space and the water far below. There was one young boy that was slightly nervous, making a couple of false starts before finding himself alone he finally plucked up the courage to jump.

I was really pleased for him, it may have been due to peer pressure but he would have really been the butt of the jokes if he hadn’t jumped.

Shipwreck of the coast of Baracoa on the Caribbean island of Cuba on Mallory on Travel adventure photography

A kids adventure playground in Cuba

I was really wanted to go for it but according to our guide the only method of getting onto the wreck was apparently by a rope traverse which the children constructed each time. The sun was going down and it did not appear they were going to do this again, though with hindsight I think the guide may have been saying that to prevent me jumping. Explaining to the operator how some idiot tourist had seriously injured themselves jumping from a wreck while on his tour probably didn’t hold much appeal.It would have bee intrepid however.

Paragliding high above the mountains of the Catalan Pyrenees in Spain on Mallory on Travel adventure photography

Parapenting in Catalonia

Kids show little fear of activities such as jumping into water or climbing high trees, it is a quality which many of us lose as we age. Common sense takes over our adventurous spirit, we rationalise the experience, weighing up the pros and cons. The list of reasons not to do something usually outweigh the argument for. This is probably sensible and certainly an approach I should have taken on numerous occasions.

How often do we challenge ourselves however, how regularly do we raise our pulse rate doing an activity that involves a degree of risk? The fight of flight impulse is healthy and probably not experienced by many of us often enough.

This risk is relative, true adrenalin junkies continually have to push their boundaries, participating in all manner of high risk activities. It is like a drug, starting with say climbing or surfing, progressing to street luge, skydiving, parapenting and possibly BASE jumping.

Every individual has their own personal threshold however, people scared of heights may try perfectly safe activities like via-feratta,  abseiling or zip-lining, if water is the boundary taking a boat trip may provide an exciting but manageable adventure. Swimming with dolphins would surely raise the pulse of anybody, the more adventurous may try diving with sharks. It does not need to involve any risk, haggling with a street vendor, experiencing an alien culture or taking a first solo trip to a totally safe destination are ways to push the evelope.

Only the individual knows their comfort zone, stepping outside of it just a little can be thrilling and if done sensibly involves little risk. I need to return to Cuba however, this shipwreck is still calling my name.


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