Monday, May 14, 2007

So where to begin?

I dunno. There were lots of preliminaries but the real stuff started on about the third zip line. I was in the rain forest with the guides, a climbing harness, a safety strap and the buckle thing. I am afraid of heights; always cry a little bit when I have to get on the step ladder to hang pictures at the office so I do it after everyone's gone. Never been much of a downhill skier; get cold and scared. So how did I find myself on the canopy tour zipping around the rain forest on thick wire cables high above the giant trees? This I don't know. I just really, really wanted to do it.

The first few lines really made me doubt the decision that had me get up early, go into town, transfer at the terminal place and head up the mountain with all these other American tourists. Although once we got into the truck and headed up the mountain, things started looking up. It was a big diesel, construction-dump type truck. They welded racks on it for sideboards, lashed a canopy on top, and put seats in the back. It was a completely open air ride. Cool! I liked this. Much, much better than some bus. The ocean air was in your nose and ears and the sun on your face and as this truck careened around the corners of the ocean cliffs, you thought, okay a motorcyle. I'm getting it. This is why they do it.

So we get to the place and the guides are quite impressive. The requisite charming, handsome, competent guides but this time quite, quite strong and funny--funny, funny, funny with kinky, self-deprecating humor these Jorges, Juans, Joses, Jesses and Jesuses. Very smart, fully in charge of the physics of the whole feat and making me easy, easy, easy from the moment they smiled and said, hooola.

Jesus was actually the photographer but his t-shirt did not have his name printed on it. He told me his name when I came 1/4 mile across the river gorge, the wind picking me up mid-cable and throwing me about a bit as I zoomed into the platform, shreiking JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH! I explained to my new best friends that it was an old Irish saying, when Jesus spoke up and said, you knooooooow, thas ma nay-aim.... That particular run was 560 feet above the river and yes, was really, really scarey. Serious rush. We crossed the river back and forth several times at that point to be sure that we were getting the real essence of having the living crap scared out of us. It all went very fast for me--I went fast, tucked my knees up, leaned waaay into the wind and let the sun fondle my face. Didn't want to see a thing, only feel it. So I slammed into platforms before I even had a good dread going on and the boys would say WHOA! And unbuckle me with pats and send me on.

whoa indeed. Going over the tree tops was fun and invigorating but you climb and climb up the side of the mountain, on a series of carefully carved paths, for the Main Event. By the time you get to that big one that goes across the river, there are no trees. It's too high up. It's you, the sun, the wind and the rocks below. And Jorge waits for you a quarter mile down the line. So they say to you are you ready? and you answer are you ready?! and push off before they let you go. Did not take the time to fully ponder the event and did not back out of being scared. Did not break my fall as I fell all the way into all of it. I can't wait to do it again. I may even downhill this winter.

On Location
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco


mamaJD said...

pictures, JBelle - pictures, please!

BTW- How did you guess? Do I know you?

The Fool said...

Awesome! Oh, you're definitely ready for a motorcycle, Cheech. Hoola!


MarmiteToasty said...

Oh cripes - you jammy sod LOL


JBelle said...

MamaJ: We do not know each other. :)

Ford: Every day presents a new opportunity; just gotta stay open, right?

Melsie: oh what? where's your nerve? you don't need two good knees to do the zip lines....

MarmiteToasty said...

(((JBelle))) thats NOT what I meant lol

oh cripes ya jammy sod = YOU LUCKY DEVIL HOW BLEEDIN COOL......... :)


ps... it was all I could manage to walk round the school today, and its just around the corner LOL..... not good :)

Carla said...

Okay, when are you posting the pics? This sounds fabulous. Nothing like living on the edge...all within reason, of course.

toadman said...

This sounds incredibly fun! I'd love to do it! Too bad there's not a zip line out there that'll hold my incredible weight.

JBelle said...

The Canopy Tour aka the Zip Lines was incredibly fun. just absolutely wild!