Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Me:Jane, You:Tarzan

OK, climbing a waterfall is HAAAAARD, ya'll.

Ten years ago when we went on our first cruise...whoa, I just realized when I typed that, that means it was a decade ago. I was in my forties. Man, I am so old.

When I began planning the trip and examining all the choices for shore excursions at the different tropical locales we would be visiting, I noticed there was an option to climb a waterfall in Jamaica. Could anything possibly sound any cooler? I envisioned us holding hands, stepping gently up the broad, flat rocks over the trickling stream to the top of the waterfall where we would sit in a bed of tropical flowers drinking a frozen Margarita and gazing over the azure waters of the coast. Sigh. How romantic. How lovely. How stupid I was.

We took the bus (or motor coach as they call it in the brochures - much classier. Still a bus.) to Dunn's River Falls where we were decanted along with dozens of other tourists with sunburns and cameras slung around their fat, American necks. (We were also sunburned but without the fat necks.) When we walked out on the beach and actually saw the waterfall, my heart almost stopped. This was no small, gently strooooll up through the trickling water, waterfall. This sucker was huge. Man, when they said CLIMB, they meant CLIMB. At this point, of course, we were much too proud to say, shove this and just give me my Margarita now. I'll drink it on the beach and watch these other fools climb that thing. Oh, no. Much too proud.

The guide instructed us on to climb the waterfall. We would all hold hands and snake up the rocks together, holding on and supporting each other. We all had worn sneakers, per instructions. So we began climbing. The first thing I noticed was that the rocks were really slippery. The next thing I noticed was that the water, when you fell on your butt, was extremely cold. Not that I did that. Oh, of course I did.

At one point, I was between Tom and another big, husky guy. Both were holding my hands tightly. That was the most comfortable I felt all day. I was afraid to look down to the beach. If there was a tourist down there, dead and spread-eagled on the beach from the climb, I didn't want to know about it. Blissful ignorance, that's my motto.

We climbed for days. OK, it may not have been that long. And, honestly, most of the climb was not that bad. The view was incredible. Everything was lush and absolutely gorgeous. There were flowers in splendid colors as big as my head. When we got to the top, there was a lovely, green pool that stretched across the top of the waterfall. The tradition, apparently, was to fall backwards in it when you completed the climb. We held hands. We stood on the side. We fell backwards into the cool, refreshing water. We laughed like maniacs. We kissed. We had survived.

I recommend it.

Tom insisted I add an addendum to this blog post which told everyone that I did not actually CLIMB a waterfall at all, but was dragged up by my noble, self-sacrificing husband. Picture me gazing down shame-faced, admitting this. It's so true.


Anonymous said...

How cool. If I ever have the chance to climb a waterfall, I will. I will think back on your story and it will get me thru.
Thanks for sharing since a lovely story.
Raggedy Ann

Nikky said...

Oh, this sounds just wonderful, a great reward at the end, too!
Thanks for sharing!

utenzi said...

The waterfall adventure does sound like a lot of fun--mixed in with a little fear--and it makes me want to scoot right over to Jamaica and try it myself. I looked at their website and I see that it costs only $15 to do it now.