Now Watch me Zip!
To zip or not to zip? That was the question that we had to answer on a sweltering day in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We had gone there with a group of other travel professionals to familiarize ourselves with what that island paradise has to offer. We drove around the island touring many of the beautiful resorts, dining on sumptuous Jamaican cuisine, and enjoying many of the activities like Green Grotto Caves and Dunn’s River Falls. One morning we split into smaller groups and our group leader suggested going up to zipline after lunch. I had never done it before, so I had some serious reservations. But I figured what the heck, how rough could it be? I soon found out. Our merry band of 10 loaded into a van and began the trek up the hill, into the rain forest to begin our zipline canopy tour. Even the ride up the hill was a bit of an off-road adventure and we kept climbing, and climbing and climbing. Once we arrived at the destination we were ushered to a covered platform where we met our tour guides/canopy specialists.
They gave us a thorough safety briefing and instruction on how to stop and where hands should (and should not) go. It was a lot of information to absorb, but I did my best. Then they outfitted each of us with a helmet, leather work gloves and the safety harness that attached to the overhead lines.
I was getting more apprehensive (actually I was downright scared), but there was no turning back at that point. I wondered how fast I’d go, zipping along at the speed of my own body weight. I soon found out.
Our guides led us out of the open shack and I figured that it was time to zip….not quite. First we had a LONG trek through the rainforest. There were more than 300 uneven wooden steps to traverse, some uphill, some downhill, and all slippery from the humidity. That was quite a workout, to say the least.
By the time we finally reached the first of 10 platforms/launchpads, I’d kind of lost my notion to zip. Then, the adventure began. They attached the first person’s harness to the line and off he went. I was number 6 in line, right behind my husband.
I figured I could watch him and see how he fared. Or maybe he could catch me if I got into trouble. He took off like a champ and before I knew it, it was my turn.
Actually, my harness got reversed around and I couldn’t figure out how to turn back around. Let me tell you, zipping backwards is a serious rush.
Just about the time I was really getting the hang of it they “upped the ante” with a vertical drop. Yep, straight down for ~40 feet. That was a real surprise. There was always a slight feeling of danger since I was so close to the trees on both sides; at most 2-3 feet on either side.
It kept getting better. The grand finale was a 1,265 foot long traverse where it’s possible to travel at over 35 mph – and I did. What a kick!
When the last of our group finished our guides led us on a nice stroll back to the van. It was along a smooth path lined with lush flora and fauna.
It really was a wonderful, exhilarating experience that I recommend highly. Here’s a tip though. If you plan to go, take some latex gloves of your own to go inside of the leather gloves. Here’s why. Those leather gloves are used again and again by dozens of perspiring people everyday. The perspiration and the humid climate combine to make them quite mildewed and sour smelling. Even after washing our hands repeatedly with soap and hot water we couldn’t get rid of that pungent aroma.
But it was well worth it and I’m really glad we did it.
Looks fun, fellow glt! That is part of the itinerary for when I go, whenever that is. Costa Rica is not on my immediate bucketlist. I'm on wordpress: www.yventure.wordpress.com/blog
Soraya @ Hello Raya
Wow! I have always been so scared to Zip because of my fear of heights. It looks like you had a lot of fun.
Kate Carter Hickey
I'm glad it was worth all the fear! I find that if I can channel all that fear into an adrenaline rush it's an even better experience. Thanks so much for sharing!
Yes I loved zip lining too when I tried it. :)
Tara @ shataratravel
I love zip lining! Glad you gave it a shot ??
How cool is this? The rainforest reminds me of Daintree in Australia. Greetings from Germany Sabine www.fratuschi.com
Ohhh Jamaica - one of my favourite places in the world!! I usually go to Negril, but next time I'm heading to Montego Bay and ziplining! (PS nice title of your post! Hehe).
I'd probably be terrified to do this, but ultimately it looks really safe! That jungle landscape looks so amazing...
HOw fun..I would love to visit Jamaica and do zipline..such a beautiful place, thanks for sharing!
Really great post with lovely pictures. I've never done anything like zip wiring and I'd be really scared to do so, but there are some locations where I'd probably not be able to resist, and now I'll add this one to the list.
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