One day, I’ll be consistent with this blog thing. TIll then, here’s an article for work this week. Enjoy
I’ve never been scared of heights. At least, that’s what I thought before Tuesday. Strapped into a harness and hooked into a zip-line on a two-storey-high platform overlooking Johnsons Ghut, I saw things differently.
“Can I just go back down? I’ll watch you guys zip through,” I told Jeana James, one of the tour guides of Original Virgin Canopy Tours.
Starting in a few weeks, the company, which has been five years in the making, will offertours through the tops of trees via zip-lines.
“Family members saw some business prospects there,” said Managing Director John Shirley. “We decided to have something green without having to disturb too much of the environment.”
For Ms. James who recently underwent a five-week intensive training, my hesitation was not new. She assured me I would be okay.
Besides, I had met the requirements to go on the tour: I am significantly less than 270 pounds; I’m able to walk and run for more than five miles; and I had “sufficient mobility” to climb up the 10-foot ladder to the starting platform. Plus, I was not intoxicated, as
I stated on the waiver I signed in advance.
So I took a deep breath and stepped off the platform.
Soon, I was zipping through the hills at the level of the treetops.
Amidst the excitement, somewhere in my mind, I could hear part of the territorial song playing: “Oh, beautiful Virgin Islands, your qualities can never be denied.” For a little under a minute, I felt like a bird.
On another platform about 200 feet away, another guide, Mario Reyes, was waiting to make sure I landed safely.
Mr. Reyes unhooked me from the line and guided me to another platform. After each platform, we climbed down a ladder and walked to another along a trail bordered with guavaberries, which we picked and ate.
After three zip-line rides and about an hour, the tour was over.
Throughout the day, Mr. Reyes, who became a zip-line tour guide 15 years ago in his native Costa Rica, zipped along with ease. He rotated with such easy command that he was able to snap a few photos of me as I approached each stop. The territory’s green vegetation and hills make the tour different from similar projects in other countries, Mr. Reyes explained.
Mr. Shirley said the tour is an activity that allows family and friends to spend time together. “A lot of this is about overcoming some of your fears,” he said.
I could relate.