I managed to eat breakfast and then it was time to gather on the dock to board the bus which would take us out to the rain forest. Our guide was a college student earning money for the summer by enabling people to do these crazy things. Once there we hiked up a rugged trail on the side of a summit, stopping at a station where more college kids joined us to fit us with waist and chest harnesses. We checked out the other travelers in our group and shared some friendly banter about our anxieties. It was somewhat reassuring to discover only one person in the group of ten or so, had zip lined before.
Moving on, now suited up with the right gear, we again stopped at a higher elevation. In front of us hung three suspension bridges that would have to be crossed before any zipping would take place. What?! I didn't know this was on the agenda! The bridges straddled a ravine below us and were hooked between tree tops. I watched our first group member step onto the planks of the first bridge. There were no sides to hold on to; just a strap connected from his chest to the cable above. The guides had demonstrated how if someone were to 'fall' off the planks, you would hang there in mid air until balancing back on the bridge. No chance of really falling down. Right! The group watching the first brave soul crossing slowly, began to break the tenseness by shouting out words of encouragement and support. After three or four had crossed, the guides helped them begin to cross the next bridge while the rest of the group continued across the first one. That was our pattern for the rest of the adventure. We crossed the bridges and later zipped between tree stands, with five minute waits between zips to the next tree.
I made it across the first bridge, then the second, which had rope loops to step into, and finally the third, a 2x4 beam to foot across. The last two did have a thin cable on either side to hold onto which made it a bit less intimidating. When we finally hung and glided across the zip lines, I began to relax and even enjoy the sensation. The rides were only moderately fast and the guides were always on either end of the zip to send us off and then to apply the brakes as we approached the next stop. Not near the scary, risky endangerment I had imagined. Whew!
Our group was quite fun and international- from Australia, Japan, Asians living in New Jersey, and Serbia. Would I do it again? Perhaps, but having done it once, I'm perfectly satisfied not to. Kevin had a great time. Cross that one off the list, my dear.
|All geared up!|
|The first bridge! That's our guide making it look easy.|
|Me crossing the 3rd bridge|
We boarded back on the ship Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday would be at sea with a stop in Vancouver, Canada Saturday evening and from there, the Ruby would sail back to Seattle, arriving Sunday morning. We had only a few more days to enjoy this kind of relaxing schedule and the pleasant amenities onboard.
Daylight hours to view Vancouver were few as we didn't dock until 7 pm. Our scheduled walk through the Butterfly Museum was in a greenhouse of beautiful plants and butterflies that landed easily on our shoulders or hair. Next was a stroll through the Butchart Gardens. It was too dark to enjoy the full beauty of the flowers, even though the grounds featured special night lighting just for evening tours. Besides nature's attractions we discovered the lines for popcorn and ice cream. Cruise ships don't specialize in hard dipped ice creams or popcorn. The evening ended with a fireworks show in the Gardens. Crowds kept us from comfortably watching the show and exiting the gardens was a slow process as we weaved towards the exit among a river of people all bottlenecked together. There were many lighted buildings and venues in the city to enjoy as we were bused back to the ship. Another city I'd like to return to some day.
And thank you, God, for your good gifts. For 20 years of marriage to a man who is kind, compassionate and always faithful. We have much to be thankful for.
A few more pictures if you've lasted with me this far:
|One of the two formal nights on the cruise|
|One of the rare warm-enough-to-eat-outside breakfasts|