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Life: past, present and future

In an earlier life, I was a human sacrifice tossed to my death off a precipice.
Nothing else explains the irrational fear I have of heights. While I can stand on a thick rug without getting dizzy, vertigo sets in about half way up a 6-foot ladder. Seriously, the room starts spinning, my heart and lungs race and my legs wobble.
Over the years, I’ve fought through the fear for brief periods of time but I’ve never extinguished it. Once, while in the National Guard, I even rappelled off a 60-foot tall tower. (I forgot to move my feet and ended up dangling upside down being lowered to the ground using a pulley.) But at the age of 65 it occurs to me, a sudden death isn’t the worst of all fates.
What am I saving it for?
So that’s why I agreed to temporarily leave our resort, The Reef Playacar.
Besides the endless buffet, the Reef features a courtyard lush with native flora and fauna. The greenery and shade provides a perfect respite from the endless sun, sand, ocean and sky waiting only a few steps away. Toss in spotless house cleaning, friendly staff and an endless supply of big, fluffy beach towels, a pickup game of sand volleyball and what else could you ask for?
“Why are we leaving this?” I asked.
“To go zip lining,” Sabra responded. “And snorkeling.”
So that’s how we found ourselves in a van heading south on Hwy. 307.
Unlike my fear of heights, my fear of Mexican traffic is rational. Danger is built into the four-lane, divided highway along the coast by the placement of the off-ramps, only offered to motorists going north. Cars travelling south must make a U-turn into the closely-spaced traffic racing to the north. It’s sort of like parallel parking into a tight spot moving 70 mph.
On the other hand, passengers are encouraged to drink beer.
The snorkeling/swimming came first, in a cenote, a deep natural hole found in limestone, especially in the Yucatan. Ours came with a 15-foot cliff to jump into the constantly mild turquoise water.
“No diving,” the guide said, “but the water’s deep enough if you want to jump like, how do you say in English, a cannonball.”
While I’m scared of heights, I love water and making big splashes. So splash we did and we got photos to prove it. The water is probably still rippling.
From there, we traveled to the zip-lining station.
The first ride was the longest and through the jungle. It all went pretty fast which I appreciated. In short order, we were fitted in harness and helmet and lined up at the bottom of a rickety, three-story tower. There were seven of us, arranged from smallest to largest, so I was last. I noticed as each one of the people ahead of me stepped off, they floated away slowly. But when I stepped off, I shot down the line like, how do you say, a cannonball.
It’s an ill wind that blows no good, and I can say this about my ride: it was over fast. There was one tense moment at the end, however. It’s not the fall that gets you, after all, but the sudden stop at the bottom. The guy catching the flying tourists became complacent with the first six lightweights, and wasn’t ready for this 250-pound, orange-hatted sausage of a man coming in screeching hot.
Everything slowed down. I heard one person yell, “What’s that noise?” And another scream, “Look out, look out!”
But like the kamikaze U-turns on the highway, everything worked out.
The second ride proved easier as it was into a cenote: no one to catch you; just a big splash at the bottom.
All in all it was a fun adventure. I do have one suggestion however; offer the zip liner a beer.
PS: You can see our photo at Orange Hat Enterprises on Facebook. People who have seen it asked, why did you feel the need to say in the caption you were the one on the right? Answer: So I can identify myself in a future life.