Friday, January 30, 2009

Thailand: Ziplining and other adventures

This was the first time I'd ever done the ziplining thing. Fortunately, just before I left I was rewatching season 5 of The Office, where Toby reveals that he went ziplining his 3rd day in Costa Rica, broke his neck, and has spent the last 5 weeks in a god-forsaken hospital. "I never even saw the beach."

Actually, it's very safe; much safer, I'd guess, than the elephant riding and hiking I was to experience the next day. Also, much much safer than the riding standing up on the tailgate of a truck for an hour down the freeway... but we'll get to that. You're clipped on at all times. Either to the cable itself, or other cables around each tree that holds a platform. I mean, that doesn't stop you from freaking out a lil bit the first time you look down off the platform into open jungle and resolve to actually step off the platform into nothingness... but honestly, you'd be surprised how quickly it gets to feel ok, even normal. By the 3rd or 4th one, I was getting a running start, launching myself with wild abandon out over the trees and rivers beneath, trying my damndest to turn upside down and ride inverted down the cable like our guide. Whose name, by the way, is Leo Jr. As in, Leonard Dicaprio Jr. He was kinda cute, I guess... but still. The other guy was called "No-name," maybe because he wasn't fortunate enough to have a family member in the biz. Who knows? So Leo Jr. had a habit of flipping his body upside down and riding completely vertically down the zipline, legs in the air and screaming like a banshee, until the last possible moment whereupon he'd flip expertly over in the air and land gently on the platform, his body hovering over the edge for a moment until he'd shout "Oh my Buddha!" and then step effortlessly out and he'd balance teetering, on the edge until we all gasped or laughed, and then he'd start yelling at us for taking too long.

So this continued on for a coupla hours, more or less unhindered. I was with this Thai fella who owns a guesthouse; he was checking it out to see whether his house will start booking the tour for his guests. Also, a French guy named Eddie who was cool as shit; a British girl, Laura; and an Israeli couple whose names I can't remember. I do know, however, that they were on their honeymoon, and that I'd run into them again later on. That, my friends, is a story for another time. The pictures can be found here. =) Enjoy. See you tomorrow; same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.


emily said...

Fun!!! I'm jealous. I did not do that in Costa Rica. I'll have to find another rainforest somewhere.

did you ever succeed in getting vertical?

Sean said...

doh... did i break off the story before i got there? um, not really. leo jr. was wearing a half harness, just around the waist. ours were full harnesses and clipped on at the chest. sadly, that made it impossible.