Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zip Zap Zop

I need a bike to avoid insanity: J'ai besoin d'un vélo pour eviter la folie.

This past Saturday was a momentous occasion. It was, wands at the ready, officially the most fun I've had in Nice since I arrived. That's high praise, I know.

Okay so technically we weren't in Nice, but a 30 minute bus ride doesn't really count as traveling, so, for our purposes here, yes, the fun was had in Nice.

Let's take a look back, shall we?

For le mood

The day was April 7th. A Saturday morning. Early. I awoke, in a daze, unsure of my surroundings, as I had spent the night on Adrien's couch after a Canadian get-together the night before had stretched into the wee hours of the morning, inciting concern in my lovely Canadians' hearts and preventing them from thrusting a poor, defenseless, incredibly vulnerable American out into the merciless night where danger literally lurks in every shadowy alleyway lit only by a blinking "No Vacancy" sign and the heartbeat of a hooker's cigarette.

After we said our good mornings and good byes, I returned to my domicile. If only for a moment.

I received a text message that afternoon, "Zipline at 315. Come over asap." 8 minutes later, another message, "And when I mean asap, I mean in less than 20 minutes (last bus leaves then)."

What this message fails to mention is that I was, at that moment, sprawled haphazardly on my bed in my comfiest home clothes, no closer to the promenade than the train creeping out of the station, destination Ventimiglia.

I threw on my sportiest clothes. Then turned to leave. But my key. She was gone. I knew I hadn't much time. I began thrashing about my room. Panic stricken. Heaving the clutter left and right, flailing my arms, bed sheets, and foodstuffs.
7 minutes later, I was in the hall, door locked firmly behind me.

And I ran.

I ran all the way down to the promenade.


Okay, I'm film-noired out. You? Let us continue.

So we took the bus about 30-40 minutes outside the "city," but, after some confusion, we got off 2 stops too late. Some were annoyed. I just found it hilarious. So we formed a single-file line, and backtracked our path, hugging the barrier to avoid oncoming traffic. This song was rightfully stuck in my head.

As was this one.

But we finally got to our destination.

After a 2 kilometer bike ride down a dirt path, over the river and through the woods that reminded me nostalgically of Radnor Lake, through some giant mud puddles that reminded me of the Kilimanjaro Safari, we arrived.

The ropes course.

We dismounted our bikes and beheld the wondrous sight of rope ladders, cables, and carabiners, stretched across the canopy of trees looming overhead. It was glorious.

After a brief instructional demonstration, we were left to our own devices and began ascending one by one up the rope ladder, for a level-2 difficulty day of fun.

It was SO MUCH FUN. I can't even express it enough. I felt like a spider monkey, zipping through the trees, dangling from vines, swinging from platform to platform without a sense that we were a lot of meters above the ground.

And it was great because it actually required that I use every ounce of strength I could muster and then a little bit more. I was challenged, but in a good way. A fun way.

Chas, this is a great picture of you, and Imma let you finish,
but I don't know if you noticed us in the background.
We're literally hanging out on the side of the wall.

On one of the zip lines, the longest one that went over the river, Niks missed the landing platform and flew back down the line like a sad little pendulum. Nikita: the only one who had to get rescued by a professional.

Speaking of rescuing people, I totally saved someone's life.

There was one level where you had to go across a chasm using only vertical logs suspended by cables.

Danger, Will Robinson

Steph was in front of me. And her harness got tangled on the logs, and she couldn't move forward. So she tried returning to the platform, but her strength gave out. So you know what I did? I sprang into action, relocating my carabiner, and, crouching down, I literally lifted her to safety. Out of the air. I lifted her out of the air.

But I'm no hero. All in a day's work, my friends. All in a day's work.

When we were done, the exhaustion was palpable.

My muscles were Jello, my arms like spaghetti, and my extremities covered with bruises like a 2 week old banana. I looked like I had been physically assaulted. But I didn't care. I was in my happy place. And the bike ride back to the camp was so wonderful, I would have ridden all the way back to Nice if stealing other people's things wasn't a felony.

I think Adrien summed it up best, on the ride back: "You know in French movies when they bike through the countryside? That's what this feels like."

Yes, Adrien. It feels exactly like that.

Amitiés :)

UPDATE: Photos courtesy of Nikita.

1 comment:

  1. 1. the music was such a good addition.
    2. that course looks like so much fun!
    3. BABAM!


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