Ziplines have never been on the top of my ‘to do’ list. For starters, I’m terrified of heights (you will never catch me skydiving) and roller coaster rides have left me woozy and unable to stand up straight for hours. The idea of strapping myself into a chair attached to a wire suspended hundreds of feet above ground and literally zipping through the air at speeds up to 95 mph hasn’t excited me in a good way. LOL.
However, being a nature enthusiast at heart, and a sucker for outdoor adventures, I’ve tossed my fear into the wind on occasion, and have braved ziplines in both Costa Rica and Hawaii for a birds eye view of Mother Nature and an adrenaline rush like no other. There’s a sense of freedom and exhilaration in literally letting go and getting zipped! And the beautiful views I experienced along those rides are some I will never forget.
A Thrilling Adventure on the Carambola Zipline
So when I learned about the Carambola zipline tour being offered on my home island of St. Croix, I knew I had to try it out. If nothing else, I suspected the experience would give me a new perspective on island life and some photo bomb worthy pics to share with everyone. Little did I know it would actually do that and more. Riding the Carambola zipline gave me a new perspective on myself!
The Carambola Zipline Experience on St. Croix
Upon arrival at the Carambola zipline, I was greeted by a top notch team of tour guides and outfitted with safety gear, including a harness and helmet, which we were required to wear during the 30 minute open air bus ride to the first zipline zipping point. My palms were sweaty and my heart was pounding loud and fast in my chest just anticipating what was ahead of me. I looked around at the other passengers on the bus for reassurance….families, kids, other adults..and everyone seemed to be perfectly relaxed and excited. Why was I so nervous?! I had done this before but it had been several years ago. One of the tour guides sitting behind me, aptly named ‘Airborne’, struck up a friendly conversation with me to ease my nerves as the bus ascended into the hills of the Carambola Valley. I gripped my water bottle and exhaled deeply, taking in the gorgeous views and listening to the tour guide’s brief on historical and local points of interest along the way.
When we reached the first of the three ziplines on the course our guides ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Airborne’ gave us a comprehensive safety demo with different positions to use in order to ride the line faster, slower, and most importantly for me, how to stop and come into froggy style (legs up knees apart!) at the end of each line! It was time to buckle up and get zipped and I was NOT ready! I let every single person go before me…..and then it was my turn. WHEE! I could not believe the glee I felt as I rode the first line…..soaring through the rainforest like the wind through the trees! I felt AMAZING! And It was so much fun and absolutely stunning!
Legs shaking as I was dismounted onto the landing platform, I steadied myself and took a deep breath. Two more lines to go, with the second being the longest and fastest, and the third being the shortest! I could do this! My confidence was restored and I even found myself smiling. Here I was on a beautiful sunny tropical day, surrounded by nature, having an adventure of a lifetime right here at home on St. Croix. The rush I felt as I zipped through the second line, the Gauntlet, a vertical drop of 205 feet, definitely took me out of my comfort zone, but let me tell you, the views were bar none ASTOUNDING! I kept pinching myself once on the second landing platform….do I really live here? Is this really my life today? How lucky am I to have the opportunity to experience trying new things and sharing them with the world? Gratitude is all I can say!
A Perspective Shift and a New Sense of Freedom
By the time I rode the third and last line, I was feeling like a pro and ready to keep going again and again! Until I hit the landing platform and was bounced back out onto the zipline! The guys had to reel me in …(apparently this happens once in a while!) and I actually wasn’t scared at all. I could have spent the rest of the afternoon just lounging on that line hanging high above the rainforest and chilling out. I felt so free and like a kid at heart. ‘Why don’t we adults do these things more often?!’…. I thought to myself.
Overall the 2473 foot journey across the Carambola Valley was absolutely beautiful and the professionalism of the Carambola zipline team made the experience safe, comfortable, and fun. The Carambola zipline provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, take a ride on the wild side, and witness all the breathtaking beauty St. Croix has to offer.
At the end of the day back on solid ground, I took off my helmet, opened a package of peanuts, and enjoyed a cold drink in the shade of a mahogany tree at the zipline office. I was proud of myself and I realized that I had also learned something about myself too. I learned that it’s actually easy and ok to just LET GO and be free once in a while, even if only for a few moments. Zipping through the St. Croix rainforest that afternoon changed my perspective and gave me a new view, not only of my beloved home island, but also of life. I now want to zip all the time! And I want to include more moments of fun and flying and being one with the wind, the trees, the sunshine, the sky, and nature.
Who knows, maybe I WILL try skydiving one day! LOL. Probably not…..but that’s ok too. What’s most important is keeping the option open, embracing a sense of adventure and fun, and learning to exhale and breathe through your fears. I thoroughly enjoyed getting ‘zipped’ on the Carambola zipline and am ready to go again soon.
For more information on how to book your own zipline adventure check out: www.carambolazipline.com and the full video story of my Carambola zipline adventure on my YouTube channel Stacia’s Island Life.
Thanks for reading, following, and tuning into Stacia’s Island Life.
Until next time, Cheers Dears!
And all the best,