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Kauai Backcountry Adventures (Kauai, USA)

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1 Review

Address: 3-4221 Kuhio Highway / Lihue / HI 96766-9235 / USA / Tel:(808) 245-2506 / Type: Ziplining

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      29.04.2010 15:55
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      A great afternoon adventure!

      Background Adventures are a company based in Kauai (Hawaii), they offer a canopy zipline adventure as an excursion. As we were on a cruise, the operator sorted this out for us but you can also book direct and choose from other tours too. (I would have loved to try the tubing)!

      The ziplining tour takes a few hours; you get a transfer from the office to the zipline course in a truck. The truck is a bit rickety but this just adds to the experience. The truck has seats lining the sides of the back with a roof but no windows to let the wind blow through your hair.

      The course itself is located on private land that used to be Lihue Plantation, a sugar plantation, this was Hawaii's last to close its doors in the late 1900's. This is where Background Adventures rent land to zipline, they have installed the course themselves and it consists of 7 ziplines that descend down the mountain side (one of the best courses in Hawaii).

      For those of you who don't know what ziplining is or have not done it, it is a long wire tied on two posts, one lower than the other, often above tree tops or water holes and rivers. You are then securely tied to the wire with your own roller contraption and harness. That was a really bad explanation and as you can probably tell I'm no expert, in fact this was my first time, but definitely not my last!

      Tours are daily and there are two departure times: 9.30 am and 2.00 pm.

      We went for the afternoon adventure, I think this was solely because I wanted to enjoy a lay in, and I'm glad we did. The weather throughout the Hawaiian Islands is very tropical and there are many weather systems, meaning weather can literally change within minutes. The morning was wet and the clouds were covering a lot of the mountains (or so our guide said). However in the afternoon we got to see a lot of beautiful scenery and it was breathtaking.

      When we arrived on location at the course, (all 11 of us in our group), we were given a safety brief, our equipment explained and the course and ziplines seen.

      We had to chose an order amongst ourselves in which we would have to stick to so both guides (one at each end of the zipline) would know who was next, (and the one on the end, would know who is coming). You are told you could possibly get stuck in the middle, this is very unlucky and they just tell you because it could happen, it happened to no-one on our course.

      Between each zipline is a walkway, the paths are muddy and in some places slippery and steep, this definitely isn't for people with walking issues and generally bad health. However saying this, don't think you can't be older to do this, out of 11 people the breakdown is as follows: 2 x under 30, 3 x in 40's, 5 x in 50's, and 1 x late 70's! The thing that made me laugh the most about the age groups was the oldest guy had done it the 3 consecutive years too! The setting is the great outdoors in all its glory.

      As long as you are physically fit (or there about - I am not at all fit) you will have a great time.

      I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, it was great to feel the wind in my hair and in my face, it was fun to learn how to steer (yes steer) and go really fast. The landings were the trickiest bit, it didn't matter how you came in, as long as you had your feet up.

      There is a wooden platform at each end and you run (or walk) off then head down the line to the end where the other platform is, my only issue was being such a shorty at 5'1, the guy had to pull the zipline down at the end in order for me to be able to touch the floor. This was ok though, if he hadn't I would have made it to the end of the line, where the post was and still not have been on the floor.

      If you come in facing front ways on you can run on the platform until you halt. They have a device that sits on the line to stops you running in to the pole; it just stops you going any further.

      I must say both the guides were great - they both knew their stuff and really made it fun. I felt like I was in safe hands and really enjoyed the day. Once down at the bottom of the course, you sit in a hut next to a gorgeous river and the largest bamboo I have ever seen! You get a drink, crisps and biscuits then head back, the scenic route to the main office.

      Both guides were happy to answer questions and told us a lot about the history of the area and what films they had filmed there - Jurassic Park, Tropic Thunder and so many more!

      The experience was overall 10/10! I will definitely do this again, I was worried I would be scared and not want to do it when it came to it. I like heights but even if you aren't keen because you look out at where you're going and what is around, you don't really see how high up you are. It is very exhilarating and I think even being scared of heights you could do this and enjoy it. You get a massive buzz and you will want to do it again.

      I think in all honesty, it is time consuming and after 7 lines that is enough, it's great and you feel like you can do more, but this is enough to keep your interest in it and keep you satisfied that you've got your monies worth.

      As for cost, like I said we did this through the cruise company, I wish we had not, this cost us approximately £100 per person. If you book direct with Backcountry you can get this tour for approximately £90 per person and depending on the exchange rate this can go down to work in your favour (Brits only).

      The company are an ecotourism attraction and I think it is a shame this is advertised more, we only found this out on the way back to the ship, had we known before I may well have bought something from the shop to support the local eco systems and lands.

      NB: You are told to wear long pants (us Brits thought this meant trousers not shorts) but you can wear shorts just not tiny hot pants because you may get friction burns on your legs from the harness. We wore trousers, they were fine.

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