Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jungle Flying

I finally took the plunge and decided to book a  in Chiang Mai.
I was picked up in a car at the horrendous time of 06:40, then the driver went round in circles for a bit till he found another couple of people. Then drove to the highway and swapped from car to van. We proceed quickly down past Doi Saket and beyond, then turn right onto a narrow road. A long winding road uphill, twists and turns, guess this is part of the adventure!

We arrive at the office and grab a helmet, harness and a "hi-tec nanotechnology braking device" (a stick). Once everybody is harnessed up, we march through the village to the first station. Not much hanging about, there are 34 stations to travel through. From the small platform, you are quickly hooked onto the zipline, and safety attach. Told to lean back and sit down, and then "Go!", you zip down the line and the other guide at the receiving end helps you, unhooks you and attaches the safety to a line running round the tree trunk. Then you shuffle round the trunk ready for the next one.

Takes a bit of getting used to, I keep spinning round and arriving backwards which is awkward, not too much you can do, try and wave your arms or legs was the suggestion, but I think I'll just keep my white knuckles clenching the rope.

Then comes the longer ones! We need to use the stick by pulling down on the line using the friction too slow down. Somehow I ended up first, but spun round going backwards, so can't see the platform. Then guy shouted "BRAKE" as previously instructed, then something else, which turned out to be "HARDER!", so I kinda bounced off him. Just as well for the helmets. Later he was saying you need to use your brake, I'm not ABS! There is only 2 sections were you need to use the brake, the second one went much better, easier when you are going forward.

Just before a quick snack break, we slide along another zipline, this one had the best view I would say, as you are in a break in the jungle, the photo on the jungle flight website shows it well, it does actually look like this!

On one of the section we got hooked on the back for a superman style ride, nothing to hang on with your hands, and the worst part is you need to lean into the void to leave the platform.

Another 12 more or so zipline and 1 more abseil, hooked on the back. Then back on terra firma! The guide at the end decided to go head first.

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