We bumped along a dusty road in a car outfitted with lots of ropes and pulleys. My brother was carsick as usual, but I was excited. We were on our way to zipline, deep in the forest outside of Chiang Mai. I’d gone ziplining before a couple of times, but this was a whole new scale.
The longest zipline was 600 meters. On the 400 meter-long track, I timed it, and I was in the air for 20.53 seconds. That is about 44 miles per hour, flying a couple of hundred feet above the jungle floor. For the three longest lines, I had to be attached to a guide so I wouldn’t stop or get stuck in the middle of the line. I still got stuck on one of the shorter lines, and when this happened, one of the guides would zipline out, attach our harnesses together, and then climb upside down back to the platform. It looked very funny to see the guides climbing upside down like monkeys on a branch.
From some platforms we hiked to the next. On one we rode a bicycle (yes, it was attached to four ziplines) across a one-foot-wide bridge. When we got to the last attraction, I was sad to leave all the wires stretching across the jungle. The feeling of ziplining is like leaving your stomach on the last platform while your body flies through the air to the next one. And the scenery was amazing.
We took a bumpy songtaew (a pickup truck fitted with seats in the back) back to a hot building where we had lunch. Lunch for me consisted of 11 slices of watermelon (my favorite fruit), 1 glass of water, and 2 servings of chicken fried rice with vegetables. I guess I was a little hungry after all that ziplining.
Since then, we’ve taken two more flights with a short layover in between (sounds like a familiar situation, doesn’t it?) to Cambodia. This was similar to our first two flights except that it was shorter, and this time, none of our bags got lost. In Cambodia we are staying in a city called Siem Reap, the closest town to the famous temple Angkor Wat which we will visit tomorrow. We are staying at a little guest house with a swimming pool. Since a heat wave is hitting here and it is about 90 degrees, we chose to spend the first day exploring the dusty city by tuk tuk.
After we came back to the hotel drenched in sweat and breathing heavily we went to our room and then to the pool where we stayed for 3 hours. Then back to the room and then to this restaurant where I am situated behind (you guessed it) a watermelon shake. The last couple of days have been almost problem-free. For this I am trying to be as thankful as possible, and for the minibar stocked with sodas we call our fridge.
Until next time, Miles (who would love a cold shower).