Newsflash: didn’t anyone tell you that Mother Nature can’t be mastered? Bocawina Falls still had its way with me, but from bouncing all the way down in 2012, I actually scaled and rappelled nearly 100ft in 2017. Go me!
Five years ago, I was a panicked, overweight 30-year old just looking to start her adventurous route. Five years ago, the enormity of the challenge led me to change my life, and focus on getting healthier and fitter. You see, what I never told you, dear reader, is that back then, despite making it down the falls, the actual problem was the short hike TO the top. Nothing tells you to get fit like shortened breathing and a racing heart.
But, that was then. Now feeling a lot fitter and energetic, I was excited to face the challenge once again.
Through the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), I, along with a group of media colleagues spent a weekend exploring Hopkins and trying new and exciting adventures. Out of the 19 of us, 9 decided to brave the falls. I watched as everyone calmly took to the ropes and began their slow descent. Our guides Victor, Victor and Israel were more than clear with the instructions, but even they had seen enough people panic at the first step and forget the rules completely.

The roar of splashing water as it gushed down the rockface reminded me that there was a 100-foot distance to the ground and pools below. When my turn came, I tried to remember the instructions. Slack on the left hand, pull with the right hand, wide-legged stance, lean back…back…LEAN BACK! The secret was really in leaning backwards. Well, that and better shoes, but halfway down roaring water there wasn’t much I could do. Okay, I stopped and took selfies and video but, who’s keeping score right?!
I slipped twice, but the time-tested ropes held, and this time, I picked myself up and kept going. The cold rushing waters actually felt refreshing, because trust me, I broke a sweat in those few minutes of effort!
It wasn’t until the last drop that my legs betrayed me. Victor II instructed me to lean as far back as possible to create an L shape against the sheer rock. The slippery moss, my terrible shoes and let’s face it, tired muscles, all combined for a spectacular NO. His patience and humor managed to help me eventually get down the last few feet, but it wasn’t pretty.
Of course, once on flat land, I was ready to try again! However, I am certain it will be many more attempts before I can even think of graduating to the 250-foot roaring Antelope Falls…I am already thinking about setting it as a goal for next year…and I’d love to drag some willing friends along, because it’s much more fun having company!

If you want to try your hands (and legs) at this exhilarating experience, you can book your tour via Bocawina Adventures’ website: www.bocawina.com. Located within 7100 lush acres of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Belize Adventures provides both lodging and fantastic choices for adventure. Spend your day exploring the beautiful grounds, ziplining, hiking, rappelling and so much more!

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About the Author: Mary Gonzalez

Mary Gonzalez writes under the pseudonym ‘Tia Chocolate’. Tia Chocolate enjoys writing short stories that focus on her life growing up in the small Maya village of San Antonio, Cayo District, Belize.

Tia loves (and we mean LOVE) eating and writing about her food experiences, often times trying out new recipes to try and recreate the foods of her memories. She also loves to travel, indulging in the culture wherever she is privy to visit.

She is slave to a giant cat named Kitty Boo Boo, and her cooking exploits are enjoyed by her significant other, Pookie.


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