The Rope Torture

One of the excursions we signed up for was a Canopy Adventure Park featuring a rope obstacle course. We have done zip lining before and one excursion also included rappelling down waterfalls and climbing rope ladders. Heck we did it when our kids were around 10 and 16 years of age.

We got this. Easy right? Thing is, there is a reason they call it a rain forest and it had poured rain the night before with some wonderful thunderstorms. In the interest of safety and not getting their asses sued, they said it would be cancelled if it rained, and it didn’t rain all day. Out of 14 tour guests only one other person had signed up for the adventure and she then backed out as we were literally walking to the transport. Four other guests from the Other Gate 1 tour had signed up.

We were to be in our dorky rubber boots again and tote our running shoes with us. The trucks drove a short distance of maybe two miles from the hotel and pulled over to the side of a hill. The hike up the hill was more strenuous than our Amazon hike that morning, it was within the same ecological preserve but it was covered in leaves and not as well maintained. It did have the occasional steps cut into the bank and handrails but, BUT, it was steeper, longer, the steps were higher and the leaves hid the roots out of view. To make it worse, the four other guests were these sickeningly fit and agile 50 year olds. Kids! Needless to say the Browns were the slow seniors bringing up the rear. The guides were carrying heavy gear, helmets and harnesses, and had to wait for us several times only to take off as soon as we caught up. Bastards!

The summit appeared and then we walked along the ridge line until we got to the staging hut. As we put on our running shoes while resting and drinking water the guide was telling us how to wear the harness and use the hooks to secure us to the safety cable. We were all ears, but I saw only one zip line and several obstacles made with ropes and ladders. The rain started to come down and there was a murmur among the guides.

We were beat from our second slippery and strenuous hike of the day, but here we were with our boots off and a harness on. The four fitness fanatics clearly suffering from eating and body dysmorphic disorders were started on a different section so we would not crowd and heckle each other.

Short story, it was very physically hard. It was fun balancing on logs, swinging ropes and climbing these obstacles but the rain had made several of the steps and logs slippery. Picture a swing set at a playground and stand up on one swing, and then hold the rope to step onto the swing next to it. Just as you step onto the second swing your foot slips on the wet plank and your legs start to do the splits, your arms pull tighter while you fight to pull yourself to the second swing, and it’s 12-20 feet off the ground, but you are clipped into a safety cable.

We will tell you the long version if asked.

Marla was in rope hell. Many of the cables to clip into were a reach for me and my long monkey arms. Many of the foot and hand holds were a stretch for me and I was pulling, reaching and hanging on with all of my strength..

And then, there is Marla. She was handicapped in every category except she was superior in the brain department as she was clever enough to have the guide follow her and show her the correct hand holds or combination to use. My fireball of a wife, a warrior woman, a do’er got it done. Not in the style and grace that I did but with a few more colorful words that added to the guide’s vocabulary. Many of the adjectives rhymed with “ truck” in various combinations unheard of outside the military.

She was sore all over for a few days. We would have regretted not doing this more than doing it.

The cherry on top was that we didn’t zip line down to the bottom, we had to hike back down in the now wet conditions.

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