Travel Article on St Lucia zip lining adventure

St Lucia Zip lining Pirates of the Caribbean

St Lucia zip lining adventure article written by Travel Writer Antony Barton

Ask anyone to describe St Lucia and they will soon mention the rainforest. The beautiful island is thick with vegetation. Botanical gardens allow you to inspect the flora at close quarters, but the most exhilarating way to enjoy the rainforest is by taking a St Lucia zip lining adventure through its canopy.

I had heard about the zip lining on various Caribbean islands, and St Lucia’s was often cited as the best. I was therefore very keen to take part and added my name to a burgeoning list of participants as soon as I arrived on the island.

When the day came, the tour guide met me with a smile in the hotel lobby and told me I would need some money, some sun-tan lotion and a baseball cap so that I wouldn’t have to wear an unbecoming shower cap under my helmet. Having retrieved these items, I found myself in a packed mini-bus heading for the rainforest interior.

Our guide talked for the whole of the hour-long journey. Surprisingly, he had enjoyable banter from start to end. He pointed out local wildlife and locations used for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean. A short distance from our destination, he ran through how to use zip lines effectively and briefed us on the best way to attach a camera to the straps so we could take photos as we zoomed along. I was anxious at first, and this wasn’t helped by the guide telling us that the highest line was 900 feet in the air.

We had some complimentary juice and were soon in our harnesses, with our guide directing us on how to pose for our souvenir photos. This was followed by a quick demonstration on a dummy line… and then the rain began. On the bus, our guide had said rain made the St Lucia zip lining adventure rides even faster, so I was now even more concerned.

After the staff zipped across, we were up. No sooner had I started speeding along the line than I was completely relaxed and captivated. Unhooked, I was raring for the next go. Some lines were short, some fast and others took us incredibly close to overhanging tree branches and through heavy leaves. The rain made it hard to distinguish the other side, so it was occasionally difficult to see the staff signalling for us to start braking, but this added to the enjoyment and the heavy shower made it a quintessentialrainforest St Lucia zip lining adventure experience.

At one point, we had to pause while a member of staff slid across with a machete and stopped halfway to hack down a branch obstructing the line, but the ride was worth the wait. Zooming above streams and through the leaves, we emerged from the dense canopy to a panorama of unbroken rainforest. I felt like Sean Connery in Medicine Man. This certainly beat the previous run, where I had stopped short of the end and had to pull myself a short distance across. The unpredictability helped make it a hugely enjoyable experience.

Afterwards, we returned our harnesses and browsed the small gift shop. One purchase of banana ketchup later, I was back on the bus. The guide entertained us on the return journey with a tasting session of some local and unusual fruits and vegetables. We stopped at one point for photos of picturesque scenery, where we shared a few jokes and marvelled at the dense, misty rainforest we had just left behind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Antony Barton is a freelance travel journalist and photographer who lives in inner London. After a period of time as a news editor, he combined his love of writing with his love of exploring the world and began specialising in backpacking and budget travel. He also has an in depth knowledge of south-east Asian temples and temple ruins.

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