I’ll quote Chelito on his conclusion of how I reacted to my adventure day: “You had a good time, but you also had a hard time;you liked it, but you also didn’t liked it.”
Adventure day is by far, one of the hardest things (real, physical, palpable things) I’ve done in my life.
It was nothing like I imagined it would be.I mean, I knew we were in for a good one, but I never expected to be received by a monkey bridge over 75’ drop FIRST THING in the tour.We practiced ONCE how to connect our safety clips to the cables and that was it.Go hang yourself from a rock wall over a deathly river drop, HAVE FUN!
We did these activities:
- Via Ferrata:we were told that is the Italian phrase for ‘through rocks’.It consist of a path already prepared on the rock wall with construction cables about 5 inches long for your hands and two inches long for your feet.There is a safety cable going all through and you connect yourself to it as you are rappelling perpendicularly through the wall.
- Monkey bridges:it’s two cables far apart from each other, you stand in the bottom one and hold on to the highest one with your hands.We did two of these, one over a 75’ drop the other one over about 50’.Not as fun as seen in pictures.
- Rappelling:the one we did didn’t required previous experience so we didn’t had to control the break cable, our secure line was also our break cable and a guide was controlling it.Not as reassuring as it sounds.
- Zip lines:It’s basically a cable going from one side of the river (in this case a river) to the other, where they strap you and you just ride from point a to point b.The highest one (and longest one) was over more than 100’ above the river.A guide receives you on point b, because landing was done in a patch of rock about two feet wide and four feet long and believe me there was no way one could just stand there after riding.
- Free drops:they call them ‘free’ drops but in reality they go “throw yourself from here to there, NOW.”So where is the freedom? I asked.It’s fun! Was the answer given to me.Well, when it was 10 feet, it was fun.When it was 25 feet, not that much fun, but I can roll with it.When it was 25’ a second time, you are just torturing me slowly.You land in the river water, which is cold, dirty looking and tastes horribly.
- Rock climbing:it’s the last thing we did, after eating.They had an easy path, a medium skill one, and a hard one.All the boys did the hard one and no one fell.Except Rod, he did the easy one because he’s a pussy.
All these was accomplished thanks to four guides, leaded by one CRAZY dude who made jokes all day, including some bad ones about giving hot chocolate with red meat to the couple of Hindu people that were with us.They had a portable radio playing the Indiana Jones theme and some special effects, but mostly every time I hear that tune now I expect to see a 120’ drop in front of me.
My fear of heights made me do all the parts of the tour with a focus on getting it over with.I took time to enjoy the place and the views only when my feet were not 5’ apart, standing on two inches of cable, but hey, I think that can be understood.I don’t spend every weekend searching for tall rocks to dangle from.
My favorite thing was the zip lines.I think it was the only time when I was moving from point a to b laughing and whooping.The rest of the times I was too busy trying to keep myself alive to even smile.
I loved the experience because it was unique and extremely challenging, I felt VERY satisfied and proud of myself and my friends when we completed it.But it was hard, it hurt, it was tough and also very weird because we couldn’t share as much as we are used to in terms of group interaction.We had our moments, swimming in the river and sitting in the rocks, where we could talk and tease each other, and mostly be supportive (cause it was needed, tons of support, TONS) but in general it was mostly a very individual thing.When we were doing the via ferrata we were way far away from each other and I was very busy trying not to die, so every time someone screamed at me I was all “WAIT A MINUTE!”
The part I’m proudest to accomplish was the rock climbing.I honestly thought I was not going to be able to do it.My legs were dead and my hands were cut and scraped and I just thought I was going to panic in the middle of it, close my eyes and scream all the words I could combine with fuck. I did had a panic moment because I accidentally looked down and it was in a moment when I was trying to find possibilities for my legs to push from, not a good moment to see how far away you are from solid floor. Still, I think that is exactly what helped me pull through, I wanted so badly to be at the top that I killed that thing in about three minutes. No shit.I was all spider woman, focusing on where to put my hands and feet and NOT LOOKING down, except for that one time when I did and I had to chant “no panic, not panicking, NO PANIC” until I got up.
It was all cheering and feeling like Hulk, until, we had to hike out of the river.And it was not like any other hike we had done EVER.It was the steepest bitchiest hike in the history of our lives.I honestly thought I was going to pass out, and Oscar who was in front of me thought so too, so he kept looking back all worried asking if I was ok.I had been answering ‘no’ to that question ALL DAY, so I was all like ‘Oscar, have I been ok today, once?’.His answer was ‘please don’t die now, we can’t get our money back now!’Diz thought she was going to die, and since that is much worse than passing out I kept looking back even in my dizziness in case she hit the ground first.
When we got to the road,I felt like super woman.They had a huge finish line sign, the Indiana Jones theme was playing and one of the guides was spraying water as you crossed it.It was insane.And it was only then when I felt that if I had to wear that wet, dirty clothes ONE MORE SECOND I would freak out right there.
Luckily after handing in the equipment we were able to change (in the bus, all girls inside, imagine a huge freaking MESS), eat, and then get going.
So, what did we learned about via ferratas?When you want to torture someone, that’s the way.Zip lines?If it wasn’t so hard to get to them, that would be my favorite ride in the world.Rock climbing?Have a little more faith, because when you feel like you can not do it, it takes just one more step to be over the rock.It’s impressive how you go from “Oh my God, how do I get out of here, there’s no way, where can I push from, I can’t reach…” to “oh look I did it, I’m over, I’m the master!”
Actually, it’s like pretty much anything else in life, when you think you just can’t keep going anymore, it takes just one more push of effort, just a little bit more faith to get there.
It was pretty awesome to feel it so boldly.