Tarzan and Jane

29 May

We’d been told by the girl at Paddy Palin in Sydney to watch the safety video carefully…

Arriving in the border town of Huay Xai, we stopped in at the office of the Gibbon Experience and handed over our 1.5 million kip.

We watched the safety video… The guides only speak Laos. OK. You are responsible for your own safety. Fine.

We read the disclaimer… Due to wet weather, you may be required to trek an extra 4-7 hours in and out of the forest. OK.

You’ll need some tiger balm. OK. For the leaches. OK.

But we were very lucky with the weather, and for three days, we got to pretend to be Gibbons, swinging through the trees hundreds of metres above the jungle floor, sweeping at speed through canopy of thick bamboo, tall “banyan” trees and misty valleys swamped in vines and creepers.

The Gibbon Experioence runs treks on the edge of a nature resver in Bokeo, Northern Loas. For about 5 years they’ve been sending fearless Farang into the jungle to stay in treehouses bulit high in the jungle canopy. The only way to reach these tree houses is along “zip” lines – long stretches of what my childhppd recollects as “flying foxes”, although the scale of these lines are very much for grown ups.

While my foolhardy decision to take Crocs along instead of buying sneakers meant that I spent a lot of the trek in sliding down muddy banks on my arse, eventually we arrived at this point: the first Zip:


Oops, out of time – stay tuned for the next installment: when we got to our tree house…

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