One thing you should know about me is that I'm scared of heights. Terrified. Palms sweat, heart races, stomach turns scared of heights. So it was a little out of character for me to enthusiastically agree to go ziplining around on dental floss suspended above a coffee plantation on the side of an active volcano in Nicaragua, is what I'm saying here.
The best strategy for this kind of thing is to agree to it and then completely put it out of your mind until you're getting strapped in to the super flattering harnesses. That's about when I realized that sh*t was going to get real. Luckily, by that time it was too late.
Also, my helmet was crooked the entire time. We were under strict instruction, in both English and Spanish, not to touch a single piece of our equipment once they got it on us. D kept insisting that didn't mean the helmet but if there's one thing I know how to do, it's follow instructions. The helmet stayed put, crookedly put.
Moises, our guide, gave me some pointers and then had me sit in my harness while I was still on the platform so I could see what it would feel like. Then he said "Are you ready to go?" to which I replied "No!" He laughed, and then I told him that really, he should shove me off or I'd be there all day. After a big push from him I was off.
It turns out that ziplining is pretty fun! It's kind of like having your own little open-air gondola, if that gondola's seat is made up of the world's most uncomfortable harness. I zoomed along, looking at the beautiful view and trying to ignore the fact that I was really high up off the ground. I consoled myself with the thought that the coffee bushes at least looked like they'd be soft to land on.
We did 11 lines in all, including a tightrope, a tarzan swing, and something kind of awful where you drop 40 feet in about 3 seconds. That one was my least favorite. After those variations the last zipline, where you just sit in your harness and zoom along to the bottom, felt downright serene. I mean, look at the view! How could someone not feel relaxed in this tropical paradise?
We went with Mombotour through Cafe Las Flores and I could not recommend them enough if you're ever in Nicaragua and want to do something kind of dangerous that you have to sign a waiver in another language for, even as you're not sure how your health insurance works in a developing nation. I kid, they were wonderful.