Britain and Adventure
Thursday, 18 July 2013

"this is the season of reckless jaunts"

 

 

Chaucer noted that when April awakens into summer "people long to go on pilgrimages". Nowadays they long to go on reckless jaunts. This is the season when crazy tourism goes viral, when "gappers" dream up dangerous adventures and when no holiday is complete without some display of machismo. The latest to boom are base jumping, hang-gliding, cave-diving and cycling across deserts.

We once thought this was merely a British craving to escape the Health and Safety Executive. If boys can no longer dive into a local swimming pool, they will dive off a Greek cliff. If they are not allowed to ride a horse without a crash helmet and sack of insurance certificates, they will ride a bull in Pamplona. Take adventure out of Britain and you take Britain out of adventure. It is like casino banking. It goes overseas.

More from Simon: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/02/greenland-mount-everest-season-reckless-jaunts