Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ziplining in Belize

The number is arbitrary. Sometimes there are 5, sometimes there are 8, and sometimes there are 10 monkeys. She sings the song over, and over, and over. The monkeys jump on the bed again and again. There are hand motions of course. She pronounces monkeys, moon-keeeys. The cuteness is overwhelming. She is completely unaware that she has attracted an audience of boat passengers.

We are on the first boat of the day, traveling from Caye Caulker to Belize City. 

We probably would have been fine taking the second boat, but we want to be absolutely sure we arrive on time to meet our guide from Cave Tubing.bz  

Since we arrive at the water taxi terminal with plenty of time to spare, we peruse a shop in search of an early morning snack.

I never eat sugar wafer cookies at home, but for some reason, I end up eating them in Latin American countries. In Panama, I nibbled them while swaying in a hammock in Santa Clara. In Costa Rica, I ate them on our bus ride to Puerto Viejo, and now, I munch them while waiting for our tour to begin. 

Our tour guide is right on time. His name is Oscar. 

We climb into a van, then drive to a hotel around the corner. We pick up a family from Iowa who will be joining us for the day. 

Compared to the almost three hour ride we had for our tour in Mexico, the hour ride to Cavetubing.bz feels brief. While our driver Roach keeps his eyes on the road, Oscar shares all sorts of interesting information about Belize. 

I was slightly nervous about ziplining. I wasn't afraid of plummeting to my death, I assumed that they wouldn't be in business if they frequently lost visitors, I was just unsure what the sensation of ziplining would feel like. I was hoping it wasn't like the feeling I hate when I'm on a big roller coaster.

Our first stop is check-in, where we pay, 

use the restrooms, and have a quick photo op. 

We hop back in the van, then make our way to the zipline sight. We sign our lives away, then get geared up. 

I thought the gear would be cumbersome, but it is surprisingly comfortable. 

There's a bit of a hike up an incline, and then up several flights of stairs. We need to start very high up in order to make our way down. Our two zipline guides (whose names I forget) are enthusiastic and friendly. I volunteer to go last, mostly so that I can watch how it's done to gain confidence.  

I'm fascinated by the dance of the clips. 

There is a sequence to clip us before we fly down the line, a sequence to un-clip us from the line, a sequence to clip us to the line that keeps us from plummeting to our death as we walked across the suspension bridge, etc...  Click-click-clickity-click is the sound of the morning.

It is an intricate metal ballet. 

When it's my turn, I take a deep breath,and against my practical inclinations,I walk off of the edge of the platform until nothing is under me but air. A breeze plays across my face. I'm flying. I feel gloriously free. This is amazing! 

Since our group is not under a time constraint (unlike those coming from cruise ships) we are able to do all of the runs. 

Final Run 
We didn't get a lot of pictures. We only brought our phones because we could button them into our cargo pants pockets. Things move surprisingly quick. It's sort of go-go-go, so there isn't a lot of time to get the phone out and snap a picture before you are moving on to the next run. You don't really want to trust holding onto your phone or camera, because you are very high up, with dense forest underneath you. If you drop your phone or camera, you are not going to see it again. 

Ziplining is fantastic! 

I loved every minute of it. I would recommend that everyone try it once, provided you aren't super afraid of heights. It was so freeing flying through the air. It wasn't scary at all. The only thing that took a minute for me to get, was keeping my hand that hovers over the wire relaxed. My instinct was to grip the wire above me, but this will slow you down, or cause you to spin around, or even cause you to come to a stop, so I just repeated in my head,

keep your hand relaxed.

If you are in Belize, I highly recommend ziplining with Cavetubing.bz. They were fun, kept things entertaining, but were also extremely professional. Safety was their top priority. 

Now that we have been ziplining, we will definitely look for more opportunities to zipline in our future travels. 

1 comment:

  1. No kidding, Sarah, you do the most exciting things! My daughter zipped lined. The rest of us have not. Your photos are wonderful. Resting in a hammock, with or without wafers, sounds wonderful. What a world traveler you are. All the best, my dear!