So on the third day of my vacation in Belize, I wanted to go zip lining and swim/explore an underground cave. I debated taking my camera along (it's pretty sturdy) but in the end, I opted against it. And of course, it's the one thing I really should have brought. Oh well, I'll do my level best to describe the day.
The day starts, as usual, at 6am. I love Belize because they get almost 12 solid hours of daylight and nighttime. At 6am, the weather is warm and sunny, and will stay that way until nightfall, when it will be slightly less warm, and dark. So when I step out of my hotel room, I know just how the day will be.
The hotel has a tour van waiting for me, with a few other tourists from Taiwan, who turned out to be very nice. The ride was about 90 minutes, or 1 hour in Belize time (every long ride in Belize is said to take 1 hour), way out to the countryside. Plenty of typical Belize-esque houses, and quite a few abandoned in mid-build.
The roads typically have "sleeping policemen" every mile or so, which is a Belize term for a speed bump. And a serious speed bump at that. Something that would tear off the suspension of a car if you hit it doing more than, say, 10mph. It's cheaper than running speed traps, and allows the police to do more important things. Beside every sleeping poliemen are people and small stalls selling things, typically fresh fruits. But once we got out well past any towns, the sleeping policemen went away.
Belize, as you have seen from my other pics, is very flat, and the mountains jut up rather suddenly, and then go flat again, unlike places like the Blue Ridge mountains, which gradually creep up on you. It was a set of the pop-up mountains that our tour group was going to.
The zip lining area was really nicely set up, tons of tourists there so they had an efficient assembly line process down pretty well. I was pleased to see the equipment was both reasonably new and in good condition. Our group was led by two nice guides, up some very steep stairs. Higher and higher we climbed, all the while the guides were running a detailed conversation on the local flora and fauna, history of the area, and what to expect on the zip line event itself.
Somehow I found myself in the front of the tour group, which meant that I was going to be the first on the zip line.
Did I mention I'm afraid of both heights? Well, no turning back now. I get a solid instruction on how to brake, and twist should I get turned around, and how to land (hint, it wasn't into a tree) and pointed off the edge of a cliff, towards the great beyond on the other side.
So, taking a deep breath and trying not to look down, I step off the edge.
Did I survive? Tune in later to find out!