My kid owes me. Big time. Not just a little bit. Not just for a little while. I’m talking owes me forever and ever and ever and will be constantly reminded of this for all the days. Why?
Let me tell you.
With school holidays coming to an end, on Thursday Jack and I took advantage of both my day off and the littlest mister being at kindy. We’d been thinking of something fun we could, just the two of us. The list was getting bigger and bigger – movies, putt putt, the beach, lunch, bowling, a picnic – and the choice was all his. Fun! I thought we had a good list to choose from, but no, Jack was still undecided.
Before I could work out what was happening, my little hoarder had busted out a local tourism brochure. He flicked through each page and I eagerly awaited his final choice. And it was not at all what I thought it would be.
“I’d love to go to Skywalk”.
Crap. Crappety crap crap.
Their website (that I really should have looked at beforehand)
lies tells us it’s a “unique and thrilling way to explore the beautiful rainforest canopies”. Sounds nice right?
What the website should actually say is “bring spare undies, say your final goodbyes to those you love and try and place one foot in front of the other as you ugly cry and scream obscenities at random tourists on the bridge built by people who hate people”.
I knew a bridge was involved. And the name “Skywalk” gave it a way a little. But I did not know how bad it would be.
We arrived and we were excited. Ok Jack was excited for the walk and I was excited because I saw a sign as I drove in for a gift shop and also scones. Anyway, we parked the car and then I sat and watched a family in a hired bus try and park said bus eleventy eight times, each time almost taking out the back of my car. They eventually gave up and moved further along. Good start.
We walked inside and the next thing I see is two young staff members with horrified looks on their faces. I followed their glances to the giant hairy spider running up the wall.
I should have left then. This was an omen.
Nope. Like an idiot I actually handed these people my money. They gave me no indication of what was to come, although I swear the young girl taking my money gave me a sympathetic smile as she wished us a good time.
We went through the turnstiles, turned the corner and there it was. The bridge. Jack was ahead of me straight away and as I fiddled with my keys and phone in my pockets, I took my first step onto the bridge. I immediately froze.
Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? Makes the decision to come here all the more stupid.
The bridge was see through. Ok, not like glass or perspex see through but like a big metal grate. You know those drain grate cover thingos that I always seem to park right next to and panic when I open my door and immediately feel like I’m going to all in or drop everything I own into it? Those things. Anyway, you could all the way down. All the way. Like hundreds and hundreds of meters. I don’t care if the website says 30 meters, we have already established that have lied.
Jack was way in front by this stage and I still only had one foot on the bridge. If I tried to call out to him now I knew my voice box would fail me and calling out “Jack come back” would have sounded a lot like that scene from Titanic. Oh what I would have given for a massive iceberg incident.
I could tell Jack was super excited. I could see he was looking at everything in every direction. Then he worked out I wasn’t next to him and turned around. He stood there looking at me and asked me what I was doing. I did this weirdly rapid, psychotic hand motioning thing to get him to come back.
He was looking at me. He opened his mouth to say something, most likely to tell me to hurry up, and surprisingly thought better of it.
I had to do this. I was beyond terrified and felt as though I couldn’t take another step. But I had to. A promise is a promise and all that shit. So I took another step. And another. As I clung to the handrails on both sides and took the smallest possible steps I stared at the tops of the trees. I’m sure the view was amazing but I was having none of it. Nature can just piss right off right now.
As elderly people and tiny children passed me, I could feel every step and every breath, the weight of it all was massive. Jack started talking about how far down the ground was. I told him if he didn’t be quiet I was going to push him over and leave him in the carpark.
After what felt like about 18 days, I rounded a bend and saw the end of the bridge. I wanted to cheer, cry, drink a whole cardboard box of the good stuff, high five a stranger and clap my hands. All of which would have meant letting go to the handrails, which by now was impossible as I’d held on so tightly to those little metal saviours that my hands had fused in a creepy claw-like position.
I was two steps away from the end and I got all brave, let go of the railings and despite not wearing the appropriate sports type bra I jumped like a freaking Olympian. At the same time I landed on the glorious gravel path I let out a weird scream. Or more like a yelp. Either way, the sound was embarrassingly loud and I did.not.care.
The rest of the walk through the forest (on gravel) was breathtaking (the good type). The scenery was spectacular and it was so incredibly peaceful. We loved it.
On the way back there was a shorter version of the asshole bridge with a viewing platform at the end. Jack wanted to look and I figured if I could survive the other one I could do this. I was halfway when I realised that the entire thing was swaying. SWAYING!!!!!
I swore, loudly, and took a lovely old lady by surprise. I quickly turned around and told Jack that the view would probably have been nice and he’d just have to take my word for it.
We got back to the main building and had some morning tea (scones 🙂 ) and I calmed down over a coffee. Jack had a smile from ear to ear and was telling me how much he’d loved it. He then told me he was proud of me for being scared and doing it anyway. “That’s what you tell me to do mum. You did good”. I reminded him that a promise is a promise and that I really would do anything for him.
Then he suggested we go and do it all again. I threw a plastic spoon at him.
Ps. Please note the small attempts at bravery (trying to convince Jack I was totally fine) by taking some of these pics. You have no idea how stressful it was taking these photos, or how slowly I moved for fear of dropping my phone all those hundreds of meters below….
*All photos are my own.