Taking a giant 'Leap of Faith' at a Dubai waterpark
THERE are small and medium-size waterparks, and really big waterparks.
Then there is Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai, the mother of them all.
There I was on a Dubai stopover staying at Atlantis and treating myself to an afternoon in its sprawling waterpark, feeling indecently frolicsome for my age, determined to have a go on the daring Leap of Faith, the big one of all the water rides.
I'd started off timidly, joining the kids with tubes to bob along a "river" where placid waves and gentle currents scooted us beneath waterfalls and gushing showers flanked by rock formations and rainforests.
Perhaps it was a daring step to go from the kids' ride to the top of the Leap of Faith in this vast and thrilling waterpark, but I was up for it.
However, as I stood waiting to plunge 27.5 metres down an almost vertical freefall waterslide, my inner kid morphed into my outer old lady.
What was I thinking?
I felt like one of those grannies who decides to jump out of a plane on her 80th birthday without thinking things through.
It was the bigness of this waterpark that gave me false courage, the overt extravagance of it with its giant slides and gushing tunnels and fast-flowing "rivers" and dripping wet young people everywhere making the most of each exhilarating ride.
The glamorous hotel itself provides more than enough thrills with its flamboyance at every turn. It's enough to keep you occupied for a long stopover.
But its waterpark... well, the kid in everyone leaps out to play here.
My courage left me at the last minute - The Leap of Faith's plunge was so vertical, so steep - and instead I headed to another option, a fast and wet ride down a twisting chute sitting in a big tube to hurl around tight corners and to finally shoot out like a champagne cork from a bottle into a lagoon full of sharks.
Fortunately I was encased in a Perspex tunnel in the shark pool and I drifted along in my tube at a leisurely pace with sharks and stingrays gliding above and below me.
If I am ever lucky enough to get back to Atlantis the Palm, I will tackle that Leap of Faith... maybe when I'm 80, as a nice birthday present to myself.
Speaking of birthdays, Aquaventure Waterpark does have a birthday deal. Check-out the details above and see if you are brave enough to take the leap.
IF YOU GO:
Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai is offering any visitor to Dubai a birthday gift of a free day pass for its Aquaventure Waterpark. The promotion, which also includes a free digital photo, is valid for the next year. Simply register your or your child's birth date at aquaventurebirthday.com to receive a free ticket redeemable during your birthday week, on production of your passport.
Aquaventure is the number one waterpark in the Middle East and Europe and features awe-inspiring water slides, a record-breaking zipline circuit and non-stop water play.
More at atlantisthepalm.com