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Flight of the gibbons

The day we flew through the jungle canopy!

sunny 27 °C
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.

We woke this morning feeling a little sick with nerves..... in some crazy moment of fearlessness a week ago Tam and I, who are both pretty scared of heights, signed up for a day of ziplinning through the forest canopy. Since booking the trip I have been ignoring the fact that it was going to happen, but there was no escaping it this morning! We got on our tour bus and spent an hour driving around Chiang Mai picking up other crazy people. By the time we got on the road to the forest our minibus was full, and eerily quiet - it turns out that we weren't the only ones a little nervous.

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Things to endure before we hit the canopy - an hour long ride into the jungle, a visit to a nearby waterfall, including a gruelling trek up to the top, a lot of faffing at base and finally harness fitting. By the time that was all completed and we were heading to our start point with our guide, jovially chatting about how this was his second day on the job (it wasn't!), we were all feeling on the verge of terrified!

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A short walk down to a wooden platform gave us our first views of one of the 33 ziplines strung up between trees 100m above the forest floor..... Why are we doing this again?! A very brief (but as it turns out, thorough) run through the safety rules and I'm being attached to the wire, the first to glide out into the canopy.

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Totally terrifying but AMAZING!! By the end of the day we felt like pros, gliding through the trees without a care in the world, completely (or almost!) unbothered by the fact that we're all precariously gathered on a small wooden platform 100m above the ground! Some highlights/some of the most terrifying moments:
1. The fifth zipline in and the longest at 800m - you can really gather some speed on that! Cue some screaming as you plunge into the canopy at high speed! One of the guys was going so fast that he actually shot through the brake at the end of the line and went careening into the safety net!
2. The Indiana Jones style bridge - strung between two trees, the slats of the bridge have big gaps between them, allowing you a good view of the dizzying drop below.... utterly horrific!
3. Superman - we had the option of ziplining this one but clearly our adrenaline levels were too high at this point, as we decided instead that we would get hooked up to the line by our back and dive out into air, hoping that we were in fact attached to something! There were a tense few seconds as we dropped into the canopy before the line finally became taut!
4. The last zipline - not the longest or the fastest, but this line was at the edge of the forest and was the only one where you could clearly see the forest floor with tiny little ant like people wandering around below. And then the instructor tells you to plunge off into air - crazy!

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What a fantastic day though! We loved every second of it! We even got to see a family of gibbons in the jungle! And you girls will be glad to hear that the guys screamed way more than us!! We looked positively brave by comparison ;-)

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In summary - Tam and I think we'd make good gibbons... perhaps we'll go and build ourselves a tree hut somewhere with some ziplines...

Jo xxx

Posted by Tam-Jo 03:57 Archived in Thailand Tagged and thailand chiang mai

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Sounds like your trip is amazing! Sorry for lack of comments we are all keeping up with the blogs. Those poor elephants, so sad:-(. The zip lining looks fun (although I would hate it- Huw would love it). Thanks so much for the lovely gifts at Christmas and also the charm for birthday, love them! Enjoy the rest of trip and stay safe xxx

by Sophie

Oh my goodness!!! Well done and so pleased you enjoyed the day. Carry on having fun xxxxxxx

by Mom and Trtev

Wow! That looks so fun, It's just like go ape!! Well done you brave pair :o) xx

by Bobbington

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