Finally, you get to leave the kids with the grandparents. Your wife (or husband) has finally agreed to do something with this year’s holiday. Three years ago, you roasted at the equatorial-SPF-100 beach; two years ago you stuffed yourself on the all-you-can-stuff-yourself cruise; one year ago you skied at billion-falling-kids-R-Us Ski Land; this year, though, the time has come to do it differently. It’s time for you to be an adult and say you risked your life in the face of a holiday, coming back more bruised but better (and more alive) than ever. Here is our pick of the holiday destinations that will either leave you limping or having you place a raw T-Bone over your bruised eye.
5. Running With the Bulls – Pamplona, Spain, Southern Europe
It’s time to get induced by the sangria, grab those late night tapas and head to the calles for the (hangover) Running of the Bulls. Drop the glass and fried goodness from your gooey hands and run like hell. The Running of The Bulls is an annual Spanish celebration of San Fermin where you can also risk bodily piercings. Although one 63-year old man did actually die in 2003 as a result of this macabre fiesta, so you have been warned!
4. Crocodile Water Rafting – Zambezi River, Zambia, Southern Africa
This white water rafting trip gives you wild wildlife that is all jaw dropping. You’ll ride the waves of the Zambezi, which is between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with plenty of crocs lurking inches under the water. This is probably one of the only places in the world where the calms are all but calming. About thirty people die each year whilst on the Zambezi – yes, mainly taken by the crocs!
3. Riding The Wild Side…err Edge – La Paz, Bolivia, South America
In Bolivia when you say El Camino and de la Muerte, family and friends give you a baptismal like celebration, all with parting gifts. Instead of white they’re dressed in black, though. That’s because El Camino de la Muerte is probably one of the deadliest roads in the world. Grab your bike for a tour of a 43-mile ride from La Paz to Coroico. If you miss a turn here, you’re likely to wave hasta luego as you hover for a split second over a 1,600+ vertical drop. If you have a parachute, pack it on your back. Hundreds of people die here every year, with a trio of bikers taking their last plunge each year. Consider this holiday a relationship tester. “Honey, sign here so I have more life insurance coverage…Thanks dear…”
2. Motor Racing – Baja, California, USA, North America
If you ever feel jealous of a James Bond film opening – generally a car racing curvy, mountainous and rough terrain – then why not try Baja in California for size. The Baja 1,000 is a 1,200-mile (yeah, get that) race that begins in Ensenada and finishes in Cabo San Lucas. Anyone can join, as long as you’ve got a motor and wheels. “Can you take the wheel a moment?” becomes quite a chore when you’re going at 150mph!
1. The Nürburgring – Cologne, Germany, Western Europe
If driving fast has got you pumped, but you don’t quite fancy the 1,200 mile slog (see above), then try Germany’s most famous race circuit The Nürburgring, or simply The Ring. The circuit was completed before the 1930s and has been beckoning death-defying tourists for decades. Sign up to drive yourself or have a professional driver aide you at terrifying speeds. Either way, whiplash and G-Force mingle in Cologne for your next holiday. There are numerous cases of death each year, so racing here is no gloating joke. Be warned that walking or crossing the track when it looks clear is not a good idea – all clear disappears in about a tenth of a second!