Monday, August 23, 2010

ZipLine Canopy Tour

There I was, in the canopy. Trying to appreciate the Panamanian nature all around me. And I couldn’t take it all in, at the moment. I was harnessed to a cable. I double checked to make sure my helmet was secure and quadruple checked that my positioning was ok. Zip lining is serious business! And “HASTA LUEGO” I was flying down a zip line in the cloud forest. And a tree was straight ahead of me. I knew that I could brake, but you see, the problem was, which hand the brake was. I assumed the hand in front of me was my brake. I pulled down on the carabineer that hooked me to the cable. I assured myself it was a reliable brake system and I would slow down after the signal transferred to the cable. Just would be a few shakes. But a shake and half later and the tree was smack dab in front of me. My laid back attitude turned to a frenzy. I started yelling at the guide, “I CAN’T BRAKE” He smiled and waved, knowing I would see him in any second. I bent my knees towards my body, thinking that I would either fly though the tree, or rickashay off it. Either way I wanted to know where Tarzan was and if he carried a first aid kit under that loin cloth. I gritted my teeth, scrunched my eyes and held on tight as I approached the tree. And WHEWEE! I looked up and I thought I saw my Tarzan. He was wearing a forest green t-shirt that outlined “ZIPLINE TREE TREK” in yellow letters. He was unhooking me from the cable and I was walking just as good as I was before. I was baffled, how did I not hit the tree? “Emergency brake, chica!” Ahh what relief. Turns out you can brake for your own piece of mind, otherwise, why wouldn’t you want to pick up speed and fly on down and go up to 50 kilometers an hour. The Zip line Tree Trek in Boquete, Panama is one of the best. The guides are not funny, they are hilarious, and show off really neat tricks as they zip line from platform to platform. Riding upside down, flipping, and going backwards. And you really get to know your group. You all start out on platform one, and zip line from platform to platform, Once you reach a platform about halfway you all meet up again, the whole gang and all the guides. The photographer takes a quick video and you are out swinging on the ropes again and giving each other encouragement that you can easily make it down the longest zip line. By the end of the day we were all buddy buddy, living off adrenaline and smiles.

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