Thursday, February 20, 2020

Zip lining through a rain forest in Fiji

Sometimes when you find yourself making lemonade out of lemons, the new activity is even better than you might have had before. That’s sort of what happened on our recent cruise across the Pacific Ocean.

One of the islands we looked forward to visiting was American Samoa. But a measles outbreak there got serious enough that the island became off limits for Americans. As a result, our ship couldn’t dock at the intended ports. Instead we spent an extra day at Suva, Fiji. 

Larry is ready for the first zip line.
Larry and I had an excursion on tap to visit Colo-i-Suva Forest Park, a spectacular rain forest with clear river waters and a waterfall pool just right for a cool dip. With our bonus day, we booked a last-minute tour to go zip lining through a rain forest—and it was one of the best we’ve ever done.

We arrived at Wainadoi Zip Line after a brief delay to enable our emptied bus to navigate deep pot holes in the dirt road. But it was worth exiting the bus for. Soaring through the air over a lush, green rain forest proved to be a fantastic experience.

Guides helped guests strap on harnesses and helmets and gave quick instructions for stopping oneself when approaching the platforms. Unfortunately, some of those instructions didn’t stick for some of the guests!

Beverly comes in for a smooth landing.
Opened in 2008 as Fiji's first zip line, Wainadoi is set in a thick rain forest. Platforms for eight zip lines of varying lengths are attached to trees. Constructed of iron in an open design, the platforms allow water to drain in order not to rot the wood. Ferns, palms, and a variety of tree species seemed close enough that we might collide when whooshing on the cables. But, of course, that didn’t happen.

Except for the path between zip lines one and two, which required a steep uphill trek, the other platforms were easy to access. That is, if you braked yourself properly and landed upright on the platform. Several folks found out that braking too soon stopped their momentum, thus leaving them dangling mid-line, and requiring them to pull themselves hand over hand to the next platform. A more exciting experience than they anticipated!
Another zip for Larry

The last zip provided a spectacular finish.  Guests soared through the trees, over a ravine and above a glistening pond. Refreshed with cool bottled water at the end, we enjoyed watching as smiling, excited (maybe relieved!) guests cleared the final hurdle. 

Although we had previously zipped in numerous other countries, this was still a thrilling ride, a serendipitous excursion that made missing a desired port a little less annoying. 

Back on the ship a delicious surf and turf dinner at the specialty restaurant followed by a glorious sunset capped a perfectly fine day at sea.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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