Honeymoon Blog Day #5: I didn’t know trees could grow beards

Today is out last “full” day on this beautiful island.  This really has been a trip of a lifetime.  I will never forget this trip; one because it is our honeymoon, and two because of the great moments Steph and I have shared here.

Today we are going zip lining.  This is going to be the shortest event of our trip, but I feel like it might be the most exciting.  Steph can’t help but get all giddy at breakfast today.  She continuously asks me if I am as excited as she is.  The truth is I am, but I am also scared out of my freaking mind man.  I am deathly afraid of heights.  Just flying over here was a feat in itself.  Usually when we fly I grip the arms on the chairs so hard my fingers hurt when we land.  I realize this is not a plane 40,000 feet in the air, but still.

Breakfast was good this morning (as it always is), but it was missing a little something.  Atticus, that’s what was missing.  Aw damn it all, today and tomorrow are his days off.  I enjoyed meeting Atticus; he was fun to talk to.

We eventually caught our ride up to the site where we would be zip lining from.  The whole ride I was a wreck on the inside, I tell you.  The driver was pretty cool.  We spent most of the drive with him trying to explain the sport of Cricket to me.  He asked me if I had ever seen Cricket.  I said yes, but admitted that I actually had no idea how it was even played.  I am pretty fascinated by the sport, but to tell you the truth, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.  All I heard was things like wickets, bowlers and batsman.  Other than that I was lost.

It’s kind of funny; the site where we are zipping from is really small looking.  I didn’t even see the lines or the trees for that matter where we would be zipping from.  All the Cricket talk helped calm me down a bit in the car, but as I am being strapped in to my harness; it all comes rushing back, and brings a little more with it.

The tour guide is giving me some kind of instructions about what certain things on my harness do, but I’m not really listening.  I am just focusing on the sound of my heart beating like it is going to come out of my freaking chest man.  The last thing I heard as I snap back to reality was the guy say”….and that’s why you don’t want to touch this, ever. Ok?”  I was like “Wait!!  I wasn’t listening”, but it was too late; everyone is already walking towards the path to our first zip.

When we finally got to the trees I couldn’t help but feel in awe by the beautiful nature all around me, and still scared to death.  The guides gave us another quick run through of how things were going to go.  This time I listened intently.  When all was said and done, it was time to go.  They asked who wanted to go first, and I immediately shot up and said “Me!!”  This was the only way I was going to get up the nerve to make this happen.

I did the very thing everyone always warns against before doing anything high up; I looked down.  I think we were like 100 or 150 feet in the air.  I don’t really know, but it was really high to me.  The first zip was only like 20 or 30 feet across, but it looked like a mile away.  Once I was set, and the guides were set (one on each side) I just said to hell with it, and jumped.

Oh man what a rush!!!  That was awesome!!!  Sorry to be gross here, but I thought I was going to shit myself, that’s how nervous I was.  But from the second I shot off that platform I felt amazing.  Once my feet hit the other side the fear was gone.  I was hooked.  I turned around to watch Steph take her first run and she looked like she was in the same state of mind as I was.

The tour was only an hour long, and we only zipped from 8 areas.  The cool thing was that the zips got progressively longer, and at each stop there was some sort of history lesson, as well as lessons about the surrounding nature.

The first thing we learned, besides how to not fall to our deaths, was about the area we were in and how it came to be.  If you looked around and were not educated about the island, you would think that you were in some sort of small rainforest.  But, in reality we were in a gully.  It was actually the biggest gully on the island.  I guess the short of it is gullies were once caves.  The guide told us that the expansive area we were sitting in was at one time (thousands of years ago) enclosed in a cave.  But because the island is made of mostly limestone, after time and many rainstorms, the sediments eventually dissolved away and the roof caved in.  The next step was for more rain to come and wash dirt and seeds and debris into the gully, and eventually create plant life.  Over time the trees grew, and walla; you have a gully now.

On our next platform stop we learned a little about the history of Barbados, and how it got its name.  The British found and claimed Barbados for England in the early 1600’s.  Barbados spent much time under British rule.  It wasn’t until around 1627 that the first British settlement would be founded in Barbados in what is now known as Holetown (formally Jamestown).  But it was the Portuguese that would give Barbados its name.  The Portuguese originally referred to Barbados as Os Barbados, meaning the bearded one because of all the bearded fig trees that used to cover the island.  The British kept the name, dropping the Os and keeping Barbados.

We learned about some other pretty cool trees on the island as well.  One tree was a Silk Cotton Tree.  They had these large pods on them, which were the silk cotton.  The guide told us that this was the stuff they use to put into life vests, like on the Titanic.  That worked out well.

The Bearded Fig Tree was probably the coolest tree around though.  The best way I can describe the tree is it’s like the ones you see in all the Tarzan movies.  You know the one I’m talking about.  The tree that has the vines that looks like long ass dreadlocks.  That’s the one.  But those aren’t even vines.  They are really like trunks that have split off from the original trunk.  They start out as like little stems that are very soft and bendable, but eventually become just as strong, if not stronger than the original.  The crazy thing is, over time the tree splits so many times, you may never find the original.  The guide also told us that over time the trees travel.  Not like they get up and walk away, but they split so many times and the new branches eventually create roots, that they just move across the land.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson.  We finally got to the last zip of the tour.  It was over 500 ft across.  It was insane once you got out there.  It felt like you were in the air forever.  I just looked all over the place while I was zipping across.  Though the trip was short, it was very cool.  This was probably my most favorite thing on the trip (If we happen to be friends on Facebook please check out the photos of our trip).

The rest of the day was spent just kind of lounging around.  Steph got in more quality pool time.  I read more of my book, and spent the afternoon watching Troy on tv.  Why, I have no idea, but I just felt like lounging on the couch…..and it was on, so there you go.

For our last night on the island we decided to hit up the place we had the best time at, and that was Cariba.  We enjoyed the first time there so much.  And they remembered us too.  That’s always nice.  The evening was once again lovely and relaxing.

Getting ready to head off to bed.  Though we are so happy, you can’t help but feel a little disappointment in the room between the two of us.  Not in each other, but in the fact that this trip is coming to an end tomorrow.  We had so much fun.  We definitely have to make this a regular trip every few years or something.  We had a blast.

Well, I guess I will be stateside soon.  So I will catch you all on the flip side.  Peace!

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  1. #1 by chris on May 1, 2010 - 7:14 pm

    Sounds like the zipline was a great time…good to learn a little while flying around in the trees

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