Monday, December 21, 2009

Jungle antics in Bokeo

‘Place your hand over the roller, the other on the strap and go’. In this case go meant launching myself along a zip wire 100 metres above the Bokeo jungle forest in northwest Laos. Despite the safety harness and the knowledge that the wire can hold 3000 kg, it’s anti-survivalist to step into the air.
Nothing prepared me for the thrill of it. The forest unfolded beneath me: a basin of greenery opened out and as I whizzed at high speed along the cable, great undulating hills of trees and bamboo rolled towards the distant horizon.
The first few times I zip lined, I was aware of the high-pitched screech of the cable close to my ear and, when on the lower cables, the tips of bamboo branches poking my feet, the proximity of the occasional tree trunk, the rush of blue sky, the depth of the foliage, the speed of the run... and my inability to prevent a crash landing! I blame the platforms: some of them were not designed to be hit at high speed by a clumsy zip liner. As we continued to zip line from platform to platform or platform to treehouse across the valley, our confidence grew: no hands, one hand, co-ordinated moves across two parallel lines and filming. Flight of the humans was addictive stuff...

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