EXPLORING – airy adventures

I spent the last two weeks in Mazatlan crashing my Mom and Step-Dad’s Mexican holiday. Relaxing was the name of my game, as my last post can attest to. I let it all go and lounged about in the sand and surf, lazed by the pool drinking Pina Coladas and slept in extra long in my comfy bed every morning. It was wonderful.

Amid my laziness, I did manage to sneak in a couple of aerial adventures thanks to my parents who are trying hard to help me cross off various items on my Life’s To-Do List. Towards the beginning of the trip the three of us went flying through the air on a Canopy Zipline Tour and on the last day of my trip I went up, up and away on a Parasailing trip.

Forgive the cheesy movie trailer mock ups. I am still playing around with my new Mac and these iMovie creations were just too fun to leave out.

So… without further ado. On with the show!

As you can see, both adventures held high flying fun and stunning views. They were exhilarating experiences that I will not soon forget.

Ziplining through the Canopy

The zipline tour was all planned before I even arrived. I was so excited that both my stepdad and my mom were going on the trip too. My stepdad’s company was expected, he enjoys these kind of adventures. But my mother was a surprise, a very welcomed surprise.

We were picked up at the hotel in the morning and my mom’s nerves were already showing themselves. She was nauseous and apprehensive. We kept trying to reassure her. “It’s going to be great! Don’t worry.” We drove out of the city and made our way into the the surrounding hills. The landscape was beautiful with lush forests full of flowering trees and enormous cacti.

We arrived at the tour operators, Huana Coa, departure location. They were a very professional outfit, with uniforms and everything. Joining us on our zip-line trip were a group of three people who were relatives of one of the tour operators. The staff helped us into our harnesses and we were fitted with our helmets and gloves. We all climbed into the vehicle and ventured out to the forest.

Our first obstacle was a very long stairway going up and up into the hills. We huffed and puffed our way up and finally got to rest at the top while we sat for our orientation. The guide instructed us in the proper techniques of zip lining – when to break, how to break, where to put your hands and where not, don’t do this, do this, yadda yadda yadda. Okay, lets go!

I volunteered to be first and they hooked me onto the line. I sat down in the harness and let gravity do the rest. Away I went. Flying through the air and the trees. Zinging along the line, faster and faster. I saw the platform ahead coming closer, it was time to slow down a bit. Then touchdown. It was so easy and so fun. I couldn’t wait for the next one.

My mom followed me. Her first landing was a little rough, but she made it and she didn’t throw up once. Then came my step dad just like a pro. The rest of the group followed and we all made it successfully through the first line of nine.

On and on we went, line by line. Some were longer, some were faster. Some were high over the canopy and hillside, and some went right through the trees, like a tunnel of green. It was beautiful and freeing and utterly fun.

The last two lines ended in platforms in the trees. On the last platform we had to repel down to the ground. One of the other guests freaked out a little at this prospect and refused to go down. The staff set her aside and let the rest of us go first. It was exhilarating. A split second of freefall and then I was on the ground. They eventually go Claudia down with much cajoling and words of encouragement.

We were done. We had zipped along nine lines through, over, and under the canopy. It was so fun and exciting, but also incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

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Parasailing over the Pacific

I was much more apprehensive about the parasailing. Not that I had very much time to worry or become anxious – I went from sipping my drink on the beach to flying high in the sky in less than 10 minutes.

Most of the week had been cloudy and windy. We hadn’t seen any parasailing all week because of the nearby hurricane that was passing by the tip of Baha. But on Thursday, my last day in Mexico, the skies were blue and winds had calmed. As we were lounging by the pool, I had seen a couple of parasailers off in the distance.

In the afternoon we journeyed down to the beach to check out our parasailing prospects. There was one parasailer we could see going way down the on beach, but none close to where we were sitting. After a couple of hours, I had almost resigned myself to the possibility that parasailing might not happen this trip. Then my stepfather spied a couple of guys that had been operating the parasailing the week before. Words were exchanged, there was some pointing in my direction, nods of heads, and apparently it was all set.

I was going parasailing!

These guys on the beach just seemingly pulled the equipment out of a hole in the rocks and went to work harnessing me in. There were no carabeeners this time, just a well worn life vest and harness and a somewhat suspect looking knot anchoring me to the boat and keeping me from flying off into the wild blue yonder. No fancy uniforms here, just a couple of guys wandering the beach. A teenage boy who swam out the the awaiting boat to get the rope to tie me to. I received a very short tutorial in broken english. Here is the gist of it  – pull the cords with the blue sash when I see the guy waving the green flag. Then I was off – quick as that.

Before I knew it, the ground was slipping from beneath my feet and I was flying higher and higher. Such a freeing feeling. Weightless, tossed to and fro at the whim of the wind. Every once in a while the wind shifted a bit and there was the briefest of sudden plunging drops, where you can feel your stomach in your throat, and the slight tremble in your fingertips.

The boat drove out a ways, coming close to the nearby island and then circling back to the start point. I was really high. I mean really, really high. Much higher than the parasailers I had seen earlier in the week. I could see for miles and miles in every direction. It was absolutely stunning.

As the boat approached the shore and I quickly followed, my anxiety ratcheted up a notch. I wasn’t sure if landing was going to be quite as easy as the take off. I kept watching for the man on the shore to wave is flag and give me the signal to do the one thing I had control over. We kept going and going, further down the beach. We went way past my departure point. When was he going to wave the flag? And then he did.

Green Flag. I yanked on the cords above my head and down I went. Slowly, gently, closer and closer to the ground. Somehow I ended up right where I was supposed to, even when it looked like I was way to far down the coast for this to be possible. With the final pull of the cord I drifted down into the waiting arms of the helping men.

It was finished. I was back on dry land. My legs were a little wobbly. I was a little giddy. What a fantastic experience. Truly exhilarating.

I really cannot thank my parents enough for a fantastic two weeks and for their help in crossing off two more items from my list.

Thanks for reading!

-Rene

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7 responses to “EXPLORING – airy adventures

  1. Only had time for a quick peek this morning but I loved your cheesy videos, what fun. Glad you are still with us after such daring 🙂 Gotta go cut some wood. So nice to keep up with your adventures, thanks

  2. Pingback: LEARNING – a year of blogging | Repurposed Redhead·

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