Cliff-jumping or Thigh-flopping?

Letter 134

“You could’ve dropped a whale from that cliff and my splash would’ve been bigger.”

The beach is called ‘Dead Goat Beach’. It’s a tiny cove in Montenegro surrounded by striking orange cliffs with crystal blue waves rolling up on the white pebbles. The slight catch – it can only be accessed by violently plummeting into the sea from what I considered to be a few building heights worth of cliff and swimming along with the few stranded jelly fish to get to the shore. Not to mention the need to physically personify a goat in order to traverse the cliff top to get to the only part low enough to actually jump off. (Still not low enough in my opinion.)

dead goat beach montenegro 2

Honestly, the jump was worth it. The beach was a slice of paradise and I loved every second of being sat on it with pebbles sneaking into my nether-regions and my thighs lightly throbbing from my jump.

As someone who hasn’t jumped into anything since I was a fearless child at all inclusive resorts with deep pools, I was dubious, but decided that it would be an awesome experience and I wasn’t going to miss it. In future I should have much less faith in my abilities to do adventurous activities.

This wasn’t just the day I discovered a beautiful Montenegrin cove, it was also the day I discovered that I cannot cliff jump. After probably half an hour staring down at the endless water from the top of the rock, deliberating whether potentially losing my life to sit on a beach was worth it, I jumped. I knew I had to stay straight so as to go into the water with less of a spash and therefore less pain, but my body had other ideas.

On this day I did not cliff-jump.

I thigh-flopped.

You may be wondering – how do you thigh-flop? Well, allow me to explain. Instead of keeping your legs and body straight with pointed toes so as to elegantly slide into the depths of the sea with the agility of a dolphin, you must roughly assume a seating position mid-drop. Make sure your thighs are at right angles to your calves to maximise floppage on the water and keep your feet flat for extra splash. Then allow your arms to carelessly extend out horizontally if you want a wee tingle and, if your lucky, some little bruises. Then tirelessly swim onto land assuring everyone that you are perfectly fine and that was exactly how you intended to land the jump. That, my friends, is how to thigh-flop.

If you are aiming for a cliff-jump, simply do the complete opposite.

So my classic backpacker “I-went-cliff-jumping-in-Montenegro-to-get-to-an-unknown-beach” story plummeted hard, along with my body into the Adriatic.

The moral of the story? Not every travel experience goes the way it should. And not everybody is made to do exciting things like cliff-jumping. I certainly am not.

Looking back at the watercolour bruises across the backs of my legs and the pain I was in as I got out of bed the next morning, I wonder, was it worth it?


Would I do it again?

In a heartbeat.

I have never been on a beach so small, deserted and inaccessible, and I’ve never done something so adventurous (ignoring the fact I did it wrong). I will always remember the feeling of climbing out of the freezing water and perching on the pebbles with my new friends and admiring the peaceful expanse of water ahead of me. I will also never forget the accomplishment I felt when I (pretty effortlessly) climbed back up to the top of the cliff. Baring in mind I was barefoot, dripping wet and had a goat bone strapped to the back of my bikini top to take back to the hostel.

dead goat beach montenegro 3
My fellow goats

Turns out, I can go up, just not down.

From Lou

About Me

PS. Never fear, if I ever cliff jump again, I will take my own advice and do the complete opposite to my thigh-flop. It hurts and is pretty dangerous. Luckily I recovered quickly and this story I can now tell is far more dramatic.

PPS. If you want to read about my travels in Montenegro click here.

In my post: The Best Hostel! I touch on my cliff jumping story and explain how an amazing hostel gave me this and many other unforgettable experiences!

dead goat beach montenegro 5
The (non-life-threatening) walk back was insanely beautiful.

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