By Denise Mattia
As if there weren’t sufficient enjoyable activities to do in St. Kitts, the thrill of zipping across the rain forest was added in 2009 to the list of hiking, golfing, tennis, ATVs and the variety of watersports the island offers.
Sky Safaris is set in a mountain range 400 feet above sea level at the Wingfield Estate, which, from the early 17th century through the early part of the 20th century, produced tobacco, indigo,sugar and rum.[nggallery id=26]
The activity consists of dual Skylines, with the longest zip ride at 1350 feet and the highest point at 250 feet. Colleagues and I scheduled a visit while we were on the island and signed up for the full tour – a three-hour, five zip line excursion.
Once helmets and harnesses were dispensed we were taken on a bumpy ride up the mountain to the Monkey Trainer where a complete orientation followed. I’d been on zip lines many times before, but was a little apprehensive when I saw the spring-action brake system at the end of the cables. Holding on to the bar with both hands, I’d have to remember to put my head down and tuck my knees into my chest upon reaching the platform at the other end. Our guide called it a fetal position and told us we could zip as fast as 60 miles an hour. I almost wished I hadn’t left the comfort of the Ocean Terrace Resort.
All I can remember of the Monkey Trainer zip line was sliding off the platform, seeing the other side looming up and tucking in. The series of breaks actually work. I was brought to a smooth halt.
The next three zip lines (De Boss, Mango Tango and Brimstone Blast) were successively longer, and with each, I “spread eagle” to soar like a bird 250 feet above the ground. There was time to look down at Wingfield River and the valley below and feel the joy of flying.
The last line called the River Rocker was the longest and most fun. Parallel to each other Stephanie, a colleague and I slid off the dual lines and raced to the finish. It was a tie, but winning wasn’t the point. I’d had the time of my life in St. Kitts and would go back in a heartbeat.
About Denise Mattia
A writer and photographer, Denise Mattia’s works are published nationally and internationally and include all aspects of leisure travel: art , culture, resorts, spas, food and wine and sports’ activities. She's the founder of the soon to be launched Yum-Yum-Traveler, a site devoted to reviewing restaurants in addition to her travel articles from around the world. She lives and works in Manhattan, where she was born.