When we traveled to Mexico, I had only
two three items on my wish list. It should be easy enough to satisfy three small things, right? And zip lining topped the list.
Okay, it was second on the list.
- Bask in the sunshine
- Sunset cruise
Fortunately, everyone shared my adventurous spirit. And there was a discount (of $30 per person), so I took that as a sign from Heaven (Aren’t coupons God’s express permission to purchase an item?)
After a fair amount of grumbling from the kids about having to wake up early, we settled on a day and time. A bus would pick us up at 8:15 and transport us to our adventure. It would start at 9 am and end around noon.
The only instructions we received ahead of time: wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothes. No one told us we would have to leave our cameras behind. After all, the main reason I wanted my husband to have a Go-Pro was to catch this action on film.
Instead, we have still photos taken by the “guides” (and purchased for no small amount) and only our brain’s recollection for moving pictures. So, I’ll do my best to share that here.
The guides were a hoot-and-a-half. By the end of the day, I wondered how many times every day they repeated the same quips. You can be sure a portion of our gratuity was thanks to their delightful acting skills.
Our adventure included ten zip lines and rappelling down a 180-foot rock wall (which was optional). Honestly, the chance to rappel is what made me choose this company over the one with “the longest zip line in Mexico.”
First we needed the gear. This involved an attractive liner tied over our hair under an equally attractive helmet. Most important was the web belt with the solid ropes to clip onto the pulley (which we carried for the next two hours) and zip line.
The safety briefing and instructions spotlighted the silly sides of four of the six guides going with us on this adventure. Can you really get a class in how to ride your pulley with the line is not even six feet long? “Shortest zip-line ever” is my title for it.
The reason for the solid walking shoes became immediately evident. We wound up a narrow rocky trail to a short metal wire spanning maybe 50 feet.
“Lie back and scream like you’re happy.”
Yep. Those were the man’s exact instructions. He may have mentioned something about keeping your knees bent to your chest and not straightening your legs unless you wanted your ankles broken like Kathy Bates’ prisoner in Misery.
It was over before I got the “Geronimo” out of my mouth. (That’s my happy yell. It’s named after an attraction at the OKC theme park.)
I don’t think my heart had time to pick up its speed.
We walked up a longer path to the first “real” zip line. After all, we have to get up high if we want it to be exciting. In the end, I think my heart rate was elevated more by the hiking than the all-too-brief zips along the wires.
It was fun. I enjoyed watching my kids having a blast, but it wasn’t the thrill ride I was expecting. Maybe it’s because we were never more than 500 feet above the ground. Or that the longest ride was 1500 feet and it took less than 30 seconds to complete.
The best part for me came after all but two zip lines had been conquered. Yes, the 180-foot rappel.
I tried indoor rock climbing once. Mostly because I wanted to rappel. I enjoyed the climbing, but zinging down the smoking rope brought the biggest smile to my face.
My drill sergeant would have been proud. I didn’t even balk when I backed over the edge of the platform (the scariest moment atop Victory Tower). The guy on the ground did his job belaying me a bit too well, so I didn’t get to fly down like I hoped.
From the platform, there was about forty feet where the wall was too far beneath to reach. So I spent some time dangling with nothing to push off from.
“Release your left hand,” the guide kept telling me.
It was released, but my belayer wasn’t letting me move. See? There’s no danger involved in this sport.
I was smiling at the bottom. The last zip line was a race – my husband won – and anti-climactic after the wall.
I was the only one asking if I could go again. What’s wrong with those people who didn’t do it? I should have been allowed to take their place, right?
If you’re afraid of heights, that’s not a big deal. You don’t have to look down when you zip line. You’re lying on your back.
If you can look around though, you’ll get a great view of whatever’s beneath you. For about five seconds. Because then the ride’s over.
So the next time you’re watching the Amazing Race and thinking, “That would be so scary” as they zip line a few thousand feet, don’t.
It might be a rush – or a thrill – but being dropped from a hundred feet with only a bungee cord to stop you is much more frightening.
Have you been zip lining? Bungee jumping? What is the scariest thing you’ve done? What is something you thought would be scary that turned out to be nothing?