Six, seven, maybe even eight meters. Somewhere there is the ground; the scrub. I’m here, high above on a little platform in this enormous tree. In front of me is nothing. A big gap. Thirty meters in front of me is another platform. The only way to get from this side to the others, is this rope in front of me. The rope is named Tarzan. I’m suppose to go swinging like Tarzan on it, but if I feel like a Tarzan?
There are twelve of us here. We all have to go to the others side. One first. I look around? The guide looks around. Everybody looks around. “Who goes first?”, the guide asks. Suddenly everybody looks at me. And they are not only looking at me, they are calling my name as well.
The biggest part of this trip I’ve been in the back. I’m mostly; just looking after other people, making sure nobody stays behind. And now suddenly I’m number one?
I take a deep breath. If it’s so, it’s so and step up to the edge of the platform. The guide checks my belt, secures the rope to my belt and shows where to put my hands on the rope. I look up. High in the sky, high in the canopy the rope is attached to another few ropes. The piece of rope on my belt is tied so short, I almost fall forward. I hang back in it, look one more time to the platform in front of me, take another deep breath and jump….
I go down pretty fast, closer to the tops of the trees underneath me, then I swing up again, My legs high above the platform on the other side without planting my feet on it. One more time I swing forward, almost touch the platform I just came from and back forward again. This time the guides on this platform catch my legs, hook me on a safety rope and lower me down. With both feet stable on the ground I look over my shoulder, look at all the nervous faces on the platform I just came from. The adrenaline is still raging through my veins. Maybe I do feel like Tarzan.
Getting to the platform in the first place, was a little adrenaline rush anyway. Zip lining through the canopy with crossings of more than hundred meters, crossing rope bridges, abseiling through waterfalls, hiking through rivers and rainforest full of venomous little black and minty green frogs, hiking up hills and almost flooding down, because of the constant pouring rain, soaking us and soaking the ground.
And I’m not there yet, because as soon as everybody had made the big swing to the other side – with or without a lot of yelling of fear or happiness – there is one more big adventure waiting. This one is called Superman. This time we’ll be flying. Okay, attached on rope, but still. This time no chin up, no looking to the other side, this time it’s eyes down. Tight up in a kind of straight jacket, we’re hooked on the zip line. What’s at the end, is a big guess. It looks like the line is ending somewhere in the trees, somewhere, between a lot of branches end leaves. If it’s ending.
When it’s my turn, I get stripped in and hooked up as well. I place my hands in plank pose. My legs are lifted and hooked to the line. In front of me is hundred meters of nothing: of trees, of canopy of bushes. I open my arms, the pulley on the zip line is picking up more and more speed. Branches fly by, I see the ground underneath me. Look at it, My high anxiety looks gone. For some reason it looks gone all day. Maybe all the yoga I did. More branches almost hitting my face. I start to move a little from the left to the right, avoiding them. Then I pass through one more big cloud of leaves. After it, I see the end of the line: a big tree waiting to brake my fall, maybe even my bones, because it’s coming very fast closer and closer. Twenty meters, fifteen meters, ten meters….
The guide on the other platforms pulls hard on a rope that’s attached to a breaker on the cable, I’m slowing down, more and more. Just before the platform my pulley comes to a halt. The guide grabs my straight jacket and pulls me in. Two minutes later I’m standing tall, with both feet on the ground: my flying adventures are over. For the day…