RAS AL KHAIMAH: It was seven degrees Celsius at noon last Thursday when I arrived at the Viewing Deck Park nearly halfway to the top of the Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khaimah. I had driven about 200 kilometres from Dubai to try the newly-launched world’s longest zipline.
To be honest, for most part of the two-hour drive my stomach was in knots. But once the instructor handed me gear which included harnesses, helmets, gloves and a GoPro camera, the fear turned into an indigestible ball of excitement.
“The zipline is about 2.83 kilometres long. You are 1.68 kilometres above ground level and you will cruise at an average speed of 140km/h,” said the instructor as he drove me to a vantage point from where I was supposed to take the leap of faith. As the jagged mountains loomed up large, I thought of my colleague who had volunteered for the experience. “It would have been so nice if you’d backed out and let her do this,” a little voice cried in my head.
There was no time to reflect. As the instructor set me up in a push up position and I tried to recall what I learnt about gravity in grade eight, I felt a nudge. The next instant I was cutting through the air – swerving, cruising and zipping through the Hajjar Mountains. They say victory lies beyond fear, and here I was – a personified version of the saying.
I had barely started enjoying the scenic views when my ride came to an abrupt stop. If anyone was at the viewing desk, they would have seen a human body suspended mid-air on a rope. All gravity lessons flashed across my mind in those 30 seconds. “Hang onto my feet and let go of your bodyweight,” said a voice. I looked up to see where it came from. As it turned out, it was my saviour who had zipped in from the other side. Following his instructions, I grabbed his feet and was escorted to the suspended air deck where the zip line ends, in a single piece.
While my heart pumped with a sense of achievement, I learnt I had to zip again -- this time across the mountain to a landing deck, a kilometre away. “This is the final ride,” said my instructor as he fastened weight bags on the harness to ensure I carry on with the momentum and stop midway. “You’re too light for our zipline, that’s why you got stuck,” he added. The comment about my weight made me felt a little better.
A minute later I was at the landing deck, welcomed by other thrilled faces of my media friends. We removed our harnesses and headed for a much deserved lunch.
The entire adventure took about three hours and is a bit of challenge for the upper body. The weight limit for ToroVerde’s Jebel Jais flight is 120 kilograms and is priced at Dh650 for one and Dh1,200 for two.
For more information visit: http://toroverdeuae.com/product/jebel-jais-flight/