The extraordinary adventure of Amazon zip lining was different from the normal zip lining experience. A zip line is a cable that you ride hanging from a pulley over the tree canopy of the jungle. Our zip line adventure took us to the longest cable in the Amazon. It contains four stops along the way, each at the top of trees, on platforms built like tree houses high above the jungle, all over murky swamp waters, probably infested by piranhas and crocs. Gravity powers the zip line with the first platform about 100 feet high and the last about 25. Along the way we stopped at platforms around 75 and 50 feet — four tree platforms in all.
Man versus nature. Visiting the Amazon isn’t so much about the extreme activities you do as it is about conquering your self-imposed fears and limitations. In reality, unless you specifically want to camp among dangerous animals, the activities partaken by most Amazon visitors aren’t particularly challenging or stressful. Tourist entrepreneurs have made an Amazon visit relatively comfortable, albeit still not a walk in the park.
So when I recently visited the Peruvian Amazon jungle with a Dallas group of mostly older travelers, we were all pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the experience was, despite the occasional sick tummies or congestion, and despite the lack of hot water and other amenities we only think we can’t live without.
I was deathly afraid I’d get stung by a disease carrying mosquito before I left for the Amazon. Given the much-publicized threat of the Zika virus, I didn’t want to get bitten, come home and get bitten in Dallas causing whatever disease I had unintentionally carried home to be spread locally. Of course, make sure where you go has window screens to keep away mosquitos; or if you pitch a tent, keep it closed to the elements. Wearing loose, light-colored clothing is best — and I did that — but I learned repellent is the key.