Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It wasn't the fact that I was suspended 30 metres about the ground or that I was ripping through the air at an alarming rate, the most challenging aspect of my canopy tour was simply letting go of the platform. That moment of abandoning firm ground and launching yourself through the air was enough to turn me into a fervent tree hugger but once I had the courage to let go then the combination of weightlessness, speed and natural beauty was exhilarating.
We entered the pristine Tsitsikamma forest with our guides after being kitted up with harnesses and having a complete safety briefing. the canopy tour is a sophisticated series of 'fufi' slides with platforms build around giant Outeniqua yellowwoods. You are connected to the steel cable with three safety clamps and a pulley. The platforms are attached to the trees in a way that causes no damage and the pungent earthy fragrance of the forest, the rush of the nearby water and the calls of abundant bird life make this the a really breathtaking form of eco-tourism.
Like Peter Pan I was looking forward to the sensation of flying and the birds eye view of the forest that this would provide - the lesson in trust was an unexpected bonus! Sometimes you really do have to feel the fear and just let go - trusting that your lifelines will support you. I am keen to go to the woods again soon and see what else there is to learn - there is a waterfall canopy tour in the same area and I fancy branching out - this time over some rushing water.
this experience also offers the opportunity to reconnect with nature, take some unique photographs and the climb out of the forest is pretty good exercise - altogether great eco-fun!