I arrived at Bali Treetop Adventure Park in Bedugul on a cloudy morning, and since they were not opened yet, I took a drive along the road that runs through the Eka Karya Botanic Garden, stopping here and there to marvel at the amazing vegetation. I was so taken in by the lush and vast environment that time just flew, and by the time I was back at Bali Treetop Adventure Park, a few people were already queuing to purchase their ticket.
I took a few pictures of the facilities in the area: tall, and I mean tall, straight trees with ropes tied up to them so tense most do not move a millimeter when touched. I noticed a good selection of obstacles, some looking quite easy and straightforward, others trickier, and long zip-lines, the fun bit after the physical activity exerted when tackling the obstacles.
It was time for me to get down to task! I filled up the consensus card at the reception, placed my belongings in the locker provided, and followed my Patrol Guide to the fitting area where I got to wear the safety harness.
The Patrol Guide explained in perfect English how to use the carabiners, he made sure I understood that one carabineer is to be hooked at all times, I got familiar with the pulley, and we were ready for the Demonstration Circuit. First the Patrol Guide showed me how to go by, after which I tried the Demonstration Circuit myself, with the Patrol Guide ensuring I understood how to use the equipment. This sorted, I was free to go on any of the circuits of Bali Treetop Adventure Park, and for as many times as I wanted or could… My first experience at a treetop park had started!
There are seven different courses arranged according to age and skill level at Bali Treetop, with yellow and green being mainly for kids and for starters, progressing into medium difficulty blue and orange, and finally the mighty red, already a serious high-fly, and the adrenaline black circuit, the one with the biggest of thrills and the top height of 20mt.
I started off from the blue circuit. The courses are spread out in an area of considerable size, most overlapping as being at different heights. As I was climbing, I could see and hear other people swinging and sliding above me, which created a bit of a distraction. I realized straight away that the key to perform all tasks without slipping and ‘falling’ is both a good coordination of the four limbs together with the mental exercise of being concentrated on your task without getting distracted by your surroundings. Of course, nobody really ‘falls’ since the two powerful carabiners keeping us secured can hold the weight of an elephant, or more!
I saw kids up there having great unworried fun, as they come with not so much fear of consequences. I completed the orange and blue circuits, negotiating, with a mix of fun and fear, various challenges like suspended bridges, parrot ladders, railway bridges, duck footpaths, rolling swings, monkey tracks, plank footbridges, rocking steps, downhill nets and flying fox lines. I then ventured along the red circuit, with its serious fun in a Tarzan jump and spider net followed by a rewarding 160 mt long flying fox line. I sweated it up, worked each and every task out with all muscles in my body – at least it felt that way – and got higher and higher.
I took a rest, I drunk water, I took a few more pictures and after a while, when one of the Patrol Guides invited me to proceed to the final challenge, the Adrenaline black, I hesitated… I repeatedly looked up: how high the black circuit climbs, I thought. My arms ached, the palms of my hands were all red from the grabbing, my joints complained, my heart was beating fast. The whole of my body told me to stop. But my eyes were seeing people of different ages going for the black circuit with a smile, and my brain decided to go for it.
What a mistake, I thought after only 3 obstacles. I managed to reach the Tarzan jump point, pulled the heavy rope in the center towards me, secured it to my harness with the two carabiners, and sat on the bench, looking down. That morning I had already seen a few people jumping and failing to grab the net at the end of the swing. Lots of people down there were now looking at me: I had to succeed. The Patrol Guide went 3, 2, 1… and I jumped! I leaped out, caught an amazing speed, swung so close to earth and woooooosh, back up again, and upon reaching the net I grabbed it with both hands (with both hands, the Patrol Guide kept shouting from below, with both hands).
But the heavy rope dragged me back out, and in what must have been a matter of a few seconds, the left hand lost grip, and people down there went ooooooh. I did not want to let go, so I used every inch of my body to help the right hand keep its hook to the net, I pulled my body back and finally the left hand found the grab again. I was there, but that did not mean I was through. Unhooking two carabiners from a huge and heavy rope that pulls you away and at the same time staying attached to a vertical net is not an easy task, neither is spidering along the vertical net to the left hedge. It took me ages.
Once I reached the platform I was a wreck. My body was numb from the enormous effort, my head span and my heart pounded. I looked down: I was high. I looked forward: the next three obstacles were going to take me higher and higher, to the highest platform, which looked so far up and away. Each of these tasks took away the very last energy that was left on my body and mind. At the penultimate platform I seriously thought about asking the guys to take me down. They sure have a way to take people down, since these circuits are not designed to be backtracked..?
I just rested for what felt like ages, perched up at an height of 20 meters and enjoying the amazing views nonetheless. The wind blew, making the huge tree trunks sway. A gentle sway, mind you, but one that can feel worrying when you are perched up one of these trunks. A young guy was approaching the small platform I was resting on. I am very tired, he said. So am I, I replied. Hope to see you down there, he continued, as he tackled the last task before jumping on his last and longest zip-line reward. This did it: I was recharged, and I deserved to go on that slide too so I set off to conquer it. How rewarding and liberating it was in the end, you can only imagine.
Bali Treetop Adventure Park is both a physical and mental challenge not to be underestimated, but one that can make you feel amazingly good about yourself and what you can achieve. A nice boost to your self-confidence. The danger, you realize soon after starting, is only a feeling, the feeling that gives you the adrenaline which is part of the fun. My body ached for a couple of hours and so did my hands. After that, I felt like a lion, as if I had achieved the impossible.
A highly advised experience for all ages.
To contact Bali Treetop Adventure Park or make a booking, follow this link: http://asianitinerary.com/bali-treetop-adventure-park/
Asian Itinerary stay was kindly sponsored by Handara Golf & Resort Bali !