Flight of the Gibbon
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
142Trip End Jun 18, 2011
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There was another tour group just ahead of us which had three young children in: as long as you are big enough to fit in the harness then you can have a go at zip-lining. We got to watch the people in front go first and when I saw the kids laughing and having fun whizzing through the trees I figured that it couldn't be that scary. Pretty soon it was our turn and Tom opted to go first. The first zip-line was really short and was a good introduction to see if we liked it or not, although once you have started the zip-line you are kind of stuck up in the trees until you reach platform number 8 where there is a ladder to take you back down to ground level. We had two guides for the day who clipped Tom onto the zip-line and before I knew it he was off swinging through the trees! Next it was my turn and now that the time had come I wasn’t actually nervous at all. Once I was clipped in I lifted my feet up and started to fly through the canopy. I was an amazing experience and I could tell I was going to have the time of my life during the rest of our day! Once I had safely landed on the next platform I was clipped into the safety line and we all queued up for our second go. Before too long we had done about 5 zip-lines and I absolutely loved every second of it! In order to get to our next line we had to trek through the forest and climb higher into the jungle: it took us about 10 minutes to reach the top and when we got there we were met with some ice-cold bottles of water which were a blessed relief. The reason this trip is called Flight of the Gibbon is because the zip-lines take you through the middle of some jungle which is home to wild gibbons: the tour company even has a promise that if you don’t see a gibbon during your tour they will give you a full refund. As we were resting and enjoying our drinks one of our tour guides called us all over to him to see a family of gibbons swinging between the trees
The next zip-line was a biggie! In fact it was the biggest one of the day and measured at over 850 meters (2788 feet, just over half a mile). It was so long that when I was clipped in and ready to go I still couldn’t see the end of it. The zip-line just seemed to disappear into the jungle and I had no idea of how long it actually was. It was also the highest line of the day and we were teetering in the very tops of the trees. I decided to go first out of Tom and I. Coming away on this trip must have had a massive impact on me because as I stood there, clipped into my harness and zip-line, looking out over the jungle valley below me and straining to see how long this line actually was, I didn’t feel an ounce of nerves…. I was just so excited! Then I lifted my feet and whoosh... I was off. This line was mammoth! I was spinning in circles and I could see was a blur of green going round and round. Finally I straightened out and stopping spinning, it felt like I was flying through the trees forever! I couldn’t believe how long I was going for: the views out over the valley and canopy were incredible, just mile after mile of green palm trees and the whooping of monkeys in the distance. Once I landed I quickly got my camera out to get a photo of Tom, but he was flying so fast that by the time I had taken the photo he had already landed on the platform too. I could tell by the look of his face that he had enjoyed it and we both agreed that it had been the best part of the day so far. From here we ended up doing about 10 more lines: we were getting more confident now and were even doing silly poses as we were zipping along
Once we were back down on solid earth again we enjoyed a really nice buffet lunch with our tour group and then got taken back to Chiang Mai. On the way we drove through the middle of the Songkran celebrations, which were still going strong, and we got to take some excellent photos of the water-fights from the safety of our minibus. Oh and funnily enough the couple from America never emailed us our photos despite the guide saying he had taken loads of us on their camera… even though it was over a month ago now I am still smarting about it, moody buggers!