When I started this little blog over a year ago I had the idea that it was going to be a bucket list blog, chronicling all of my exciting adventures and pushing me to try new things…
Of course, nothing ever goes quite to plan – I realised pretty sharpish that my life is more Bridget Jones than David Attenborough and, whilst it does constantly push me into trying new things and looking at the world in a different way, (the fight in the gay bar was certainly new) it’s gradually turned more and more into a list of my many misdemeanors with the occasional rant thrown in.
Anyway, as I was saying… when the whole Bucket List idea was on the agenda, I just so happened to be travelling around Australia, putting myself in all kinds of ridiculous situations under the pretence of good journalism. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the world of Bucket List writing, I should tell you that you pretty much HAVE to write a post about the time you went Zipwiring through some sort of forest/jungle. If you don’t do this you’re not a bucket list writer. You’re a shithouse.
So, naturally, as soon as I saw a leaflet for jungle surfing in Cape Tribulation, I was on it. Honestly I’d already written the post in my head before I’d even got harnessed up; “It was amazing; the feeling of flying through the trees is a weightlessness you can’t get anywhere else – you felt free, one with nature…“ etc etc, you know the stuff.
The reality of my experience, however, was a little different…
After plonking a “Barbie” helmet on my head, the guides, (‘Guides’? ‘Instructors’? ‘People what learned us zipwiring’? What would you call them?) … the guides pushed me to the front and told me I was the first to give it a go. You should know that I hate doing things first, mainly because I invariably do something wrong and fuck up the whole experience for the rest of the group.
This was one of those occasions.
They harnessed me up and sat me on the edge of the platform ready to whizz through the treetops like a bird in flight. As I sat there, the guide at the destination platform on the other side of the forest shouted something to me…
“What? Go?? Did she just tell me to go??”
“NO!! Don’t go yet, we’re not ready this en-”
I’d already pushed off the platform and, as the guide hadn’t had a chance to tighten the wire properly, I was now dangling mid air like a sack of potatoes… the warm Australian breeze blowing me just enough so that I continuously bumped into the tree holding up the platform.
(I actually took this photo by accident, mid-dangle – at least I had a good view. Of the rainforest, not my knees… I don’t know why I felt the need to clear that up.)
Realistically I was only dangling for a couple of minutes before the rest of the team hoisted me back up like a cannonball… but it was still sufficient enough time for me to panic and for the rest of the group to laugh and take pictures of my humiliation.
Once I’d finally managed to master the art of listening to instructions, things went a lot more smoothly. I did in fact “glide through the glade”, “whip around the treetops like a bird” …and all of those other key phrases I’d pre-written about the event.
Sure, I left with a bump on my head from bashing into the tree and a cut from when I panicked and started to windmill my arms frantically… but whizzing through one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful rain forests like ninja barbie was totally worth it!