Zip-lining…and conquering my fear of heights

Some of you may already know this, but over the past few years I have developed a very real fear of heights.  I still do not understand why it started so late in life, but it has affected many things I do…I was too scared to look out over the city of Florence from the top of Duomo, I struggled on the bridge in Kanchaburi, and I had a difficult time having drinks at the Lebua Bar.  But I have always wanted to zip-line through a rainforest, and I was determined not to let my fear ruin this chance.

Getting ready to head out...please disregard the hair nets! Not sure why but they made us all put them on under the helmets...lice concerns maybe???
Getting ready to head out…please disregard the hair nets! Not sure why but they made us all put them on under the helmets…lice concerns maybe???

RG and I planned a day in Chiang Mai to zip-line through Thailand’s northern mountains.  It’s not quite the rain-forest, but it is the closest we will probably get for a while.  There are many different companies to choose from, after looking through tons of brochures we went with Dragon Flight.  They offered the most platforms and best pick-up times.  I would highly recommend this company!  We  were picked up at our hotel around 10am in the morning, driven in a van about an hour into the hills with the rest of our group, strapped into harnesses and taken straight into the mountains.  The first few zip-lines are low to the ground and not too scary.  I was having a blast and thought “I can do this!”  And to be honest for the next couple of hours I did and had no problems!  I think part of it is mental…with my harness and all of the extra cords I was safely strapped in and nothing could happen to me…

Me holding on tight but cruising through the trees
Me holding on tight but cruising through the trees

…that is until we came to the rappelling portion of the adventure.  Apparently abseiling is the same as repelling, which I did not know before this trip!  So when I read three abseils I had no idea what I was in for. Basically we were 100 ft. in the air on a small platform, and directly below us, about another 40 feet down is a second platform.  We have to drop down, or “abseil” or repel, to the second platform.  This sounds ok and all, but the first one we arrived at the pulley was broken so the only thing keeping us alive were the guides hands and a small hook.  I was terrified.  TERRIFIED.  I started tearing up, I didn’t know what to do.  I asked to zip-line the course backwards to the beginning.  But there was nowhere to go but down and I had to do it.  And I did!  When my feet hit that second platform I was so relieved…until I was told there were still two more to go!  They got easier as we went through them, maybe I even conquered my fear of heights…I”m not sure, but overall it was an amazing adventure.

Rappelling down...I did it!
Rappelling down…I did it!

In the end we all made it back in one piece! We were even served a very authentic lunch and given a free t-shirt when we finished.  What a nice surprise.  Next up…our cooking class…

No hands...Ready.Set.Go!
No hands…Ready.Set.Go!
Our group
Our group for the day
We even got to zip-line one let together!
We even got to zip-line one leg together!
Me contemplating my next move...I had no idea this picture was being taken!
Me contemplating my next move…I had no idea this picture was being taken!
One of our many tree-top platforms
One of our many tree-top platforms

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