I pride myself on being naturally adept at learning outdoor activities easily. Always an outdoorsy girl, I’ve picked up a multitude of hobbies and activities I love to do outside in the woods. I assumed zip lining would be the same. I just hop on the line and away we go! How hard could it be?
My first attempt swung me around the line and I slammed into my instructor on the other side. Thank God we were just on the practice line…
A few more tries and I started sliding smoothly from one end to the other. On to the real deal, I faced a 60 foot ravine and a long line to an end that I couldn’t see. My instructor informed me it was important to try and stay straight – there was a big tree on either side about half way through. Deep breath in, I threw on my glove and slid off the platform. My hair flew behind me and the vibration of the line in my palm was intimidating! I started turning a bit to the left, panicked, grabbed the line – MISTAKE! and released quickly before I started spinning around. UGH! I used my fingers and thumb to straighten back out and figured out how to slow down just in time to reach the platform. A few more platforms later, I was really getting the hang of it and started having some fun zipping through the forest.
One thing about zip lining that I found a little disappointing was that I really had to focus on the line in order to stay straight and slow down properly, etc so I wasn’t able to really look around me much. It’s exhilarating to fly through leaves and bushes but I would have loved to actually look down at the river or notice the trees around me. Overall, super fun and I loved the challenge of doing each line perfectly. My instructors were impressed with my quick learning ability and I had a blast learning how to zip line.
Being that there were no others on my trip, Jungle River gave me two guides that spoke mostly Spanish. I loved being able to learn about the plants and natural cures and ingredients that the Honduran people use from their backyard of Pico Bonito in the native language. I had a blast learning new things and new vocabulary and was really happy that my Spanish is more up to par than I gave myself credit for. Learning about the plants that Hondurans use for cooking and for natural aphrodisiacs, I realized just how disconnected we are from the medicines that we take. I wish that we taught our children where our medicines come from – and wish we were more responsible for seeking out our own in the woods.
We stopped at a local farm and walked through the plants and discussed their uses. A young girl (around 18 maybe?) and a little girl of about 3 joined us on the last leg of our trip. The little girl strapped in, hooked herself to the zip line instructor and swung down the line into the trees. I was thoroughly speechless. How cute and how unique! I asked the girl if she knew how special she was that she got to zip line to the other side of the river and her response was, “Yes!”
Back at the lodge, I took a cold shower (hot showers are commodities in Honduras), met up with my Slovenian friends again and waited anxiously for dinner.