On a hot humid day I decided to face my fear of heights in St Kitts, whilst on holiday, in a jungle whilst zip lining. It all started when we were deciding what activities we would do whilst on holiday there and Amit said he really wanted to go zip lining. I said that’s fine I will watch you and his response was don’t you want to try it? I immediately said no and I can’t deal with heights but then I thought what is the worst that can happen?
We paid for it and booked it in for the next day. It was the most stressful build up until then and the closer it got to it the more I freaked out.
On the dreaded day a car arrived at the hotel to pick us up and we made our journey to the venue, Wingfield Estate, deep inside the jungle. It was picturesque with lots of tall trees and greenery making a natural canopy which was welcome to shade us from the intense heat of the sun.
We had to sign a form before we could partake in the activity and then we were then shown how to wear the full body harness and had a trial run on a short, fast line with a tough landing. At this point there was no turning back and so I tried the practice run line and screamed as I went down the line but it was over so quickly! I had such an adrenalin rush and the guide accompanying us assured me that the main lines were longer and the landing more graceful.
The main thing to remember when zip lining is that when you are getting towards the end of your line, you have to bend your legs. stick them up and lean way back as the impact can be really tough as there is a spring at the end of the line that you crash into at full force so you go backwards and forwards until it slows down.
In terms of gear, you wear a full body harness and you don’t even have to hold on to anything if you don’t want to. You van wave your hands in the air!
After our practice run we drove up a bumpy track at the back of a truck to the top of the mountain where we started with the The Boss. This is the longest and highest zip line at 1000 feet above sea level and 1350 feet long and with a scary name. It has a little drop at the start of the line that takes your breath away with the scenery. The ride takes you across the green forest and it is just such an amazing view!
There are 5 lines in total and each one has varying lengths and offering different views of the jungle and St Kitts. My favourite was Brimstone Blast named after one of the most well preserved forts in all the Caribbean and you are treated to a clear view of it at the start of the Brimstone Blast run.
The final zip line is a quick 500 foot double line called River Rocket where you can race each other or take each other’s pictures or video in mid-air. This is where our photos were taken by our guide as there was no way I was going to attempt to take my iPhone out mid-zip lining in the fear that it would plunge down deep below in the depths of the jungle.
So before we knew it, our zip lining adventure was over, but I was filled with delight at having having finally accomplished facing my fear of heights. It is a great activity to do as a couple or even in a group.
I have to admit it took a lot for me to start the first big line as looking at the deep depth of the jungle below was totally shaking me with fear. Once I got on it though and got to the end, I was filled with an adrenalin rush but also a sense of calm that it wasn’t all that bad after all!
The only downside of this whole experience for me was that the practice line had been so short and the impact so bad that it actually slightly moved a bone in my back. I didn’t realise at the time and it was only when I got back to the UK and would feel this throbbing pain in my back whenever I sat at my chair at work.
At first I thought it was my posture but the pain was so intense and accompanied with half my back swelling up that a scan at the hospital later we realised that a bone had moved slightly but the resulting impact massive. Signed off work for 2 weeks with painkillers that made me dopey was the next adventure but it didn’t make me regret going zip lining at all.
It doesn’t happen to everyone it could just have been the way I set myself up for the impact at the end of the line so I would just say be careful but have fun. Amit was perfectly fine so it was most probably down to how I positioned myself.
For more information go to Sky Safaris. We booked through our hotel.