Now I have signed up for some crazy things over the years many of them on our travels. So the adventure package didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. I don’t know if I skipped over the explanation on the website, let my eyes skip straight to the words zip line or if it just wasn’t listed out but the first words that crossed my mind as we emerged off the trail into a clearing in the jungle was, ‘You have got to be kidding me…’
Part of our stay at the Wasai Tambopata Lodge involved a visit to their adventure activity area on our second day. This area is a 30 minute hike from the main lodge near the river. Half of the adventure is hiking through the jungle and taking the opportunity to see the wildlife you come across and learn about the various flora that thrives in the jungle environment.
Our visit to the Amazon ended up coinciding with the beginning of rainy season. The first day that we arrived we participated in an afternoon hike that left us in the middle of an intense thunderstorm. I have never seen rain like we did that day. The rain fell so hard and fast that the ground stood no chance of absorbing it, resulting in standing water and flooding. Good thing we were given mud boots as we needed them daily. As a result of this rain on our first day, our hike on the second day was mixed with deep mud, mini lakes and standing water on the trails as we made our way through the jungle to the activity area.
We are used to mud at home, it gets pretty bad in the Spring and Fall in Northern Wisconsin, so this wasn’t a huge setback for us. However, when we arrived at the adventure spot we were shown a completely flooded complex. You can only imagine what was going through our heads as we proceeded to put on our harnesses and climb the wood steps, that had been simply nailed into the tree, up to the platform for the first part of the adventure activities. The zip line. Now as far as zip lines go, this one was lousy. It was one line connected between two trees. Granted, you had to climb up makeshift stairs to a platform that was fairly high in the air, so jumping off that platform onto the line was a pretty good thrill, however it was short lived.
David was ahead of me, so he went down the line first. I was so busy thinking about the climb up the tree then how short the line was that I didn’t really look ahead at the next activity. When I reached the second platform after the zip line, I looked up to see David starting the next part. I didn’t get it at first, but it turned out to be a tight rope. The harness was hooked to the top line that you could grab with your hands and use for balance, while your feet balanced on a tight rope below. The goal was to make your way across this tight rope to the next platform.
Now I’ll preface the rest of this by saying we all made it across. I think that had to do with the motivation of not wanting to fall. We were attached to the top line, but falling would mean that we would be suspended and hanging over a very large pond awaiting retrieval from the staff. That wasn’t exactly my idea of a good time. So I clenched onto the top rope and concentrated on placing my feet correctly and it took forever but we both made it.
After that experience, the other obstacles didn’t seem too extreme. From the next platform we had to navigate across the standing water by climbing and walking across a rope type bridge. The ropes were hung in U shapes and spaced about a foot apart. To make it across you had to balance your hands on the wires that were strung between the platforms and then place your feet into the rope U’s. When we arrived on the platform, we had one obstacle left.
If you can envision a rope ladder, similar to the ones you used in high school gym class, this is what was hanging from the last platform. Climbing down this ladder would get you to the ground. The first step was a doozy, I had to lie down on my stomach to reach the ladder from the platform and the ladder did swing and twist freely because it was anchored only at the top and bottom. However, once I got my feet on the ropes, it was smooth sailing.
After completing the adventure activities we spent the next 2 hours hiking around the jungle and exploring the various flora and fauna. It was one of the most interesting series of adventure activities I have ever done and I am happy to have put a couple of the stranger ones under my belt.
Have you ever participated in any of these adventure activities?