TAK­ING TO THE SKIES

When asked about the one su­per­power that I would like to have, my an­swer has al­ways been the abil­ity to fly. Some­thing about chal­leng­ing grav­i­ta­tional force and the feel­ing of sweet free­dom while feel­ing the swift breeze has al­ways lured me to­wards do­ing

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - STORY SHRUTHI NAIR • PHO­TOG­RA­PHY SALIM AL AFIFI —shruthi@time­so­fo­man.com

So I was (fig­u­ra­tively) on cloud nine when I got to know that the na­tion’s first zi­pline was com­ing to Oman. And the cherry on the cake was that it was in a beau­ti­ful ho­tel set against a breath­tak­ing back­drop. So one week­end I de­cided to drive to Mus­sanah, which con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, isn’t too far from Mus­cat. On reach­ing and be­ing thor­oughly im­pressed by the Mil­len­nium Re­sort Mus­sanah, I walked straight to­wards the vast ma­rina that the en­tire com­plex was built on. Fran­ti­cally search­ing for the zi­pline due to my un­con­tain­able ex­cite­ment, I fi­nally spot­ted the tall tower that re­as­sur­ingly held the 175m long zi­pline ca­ble. I had to wait for the sun to go down be­fore get­ting to ex­pe­ri­ence it, though, while the gen­eral man­ager of the re­sort ea­gerly shared his pas­sion for ad­ven­ture sports and his keen­ness to bring dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties to Oman, con­sid­er­ing the po­ten­tial of this gor­geous coun­try.

The zi­pline was the first of his many am­bi­tious ad­ven­ture en­deav­ours, hav­ing given the ut­most im­por­tance to tech­ni­cal and safety de­tails. The re­sort’s team are fully trained and cer­ti­fied to the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards by Ar­rampica, a UK based ad­ven­ture sport ser­vice provider.

As the sun turned lit­tle less harsh, I climbed the tower, adren­a­line al­ready gush­ing through my sys­tem. I was greeted warmly by the staff, who gave me a few quick in­struc­tions be­fore se­cur­ing me in the har­ness, safety belts, and hel­met. I climbed an­other flight of stairs, which was where the start­ing point of the zi­pline was. Con­sid­er­ing I had put on a few pounds in the last few months, I was a lit­tle wor­ried if the ca­ble would be able to take my weight. But that turned out to be a point­less con­cern as, ap­par­ently, this ca­ble could hold a 10 ton truck.

I was at the very edge of the tower, knees bent, with the widest grin on my face, when I sud­denly felt a gen­tle push from be­hind me and there I was, mid air, arms wide open and fly­ing free. I could feel the warm wind brush against my skin and the thrilling speed ramped up my adren­a­line. I zoomed over the huge swim­ming pool, across the park, watch­ing the gor­geous ma­rina on my right. But just be­fore I was helped out of this joy ride by the team that was wait­ing for me, there was a sud­den jerky brake that made me squeal and then laugh, putting a great stop to my 10 se­cond thrill that felt like at least a few min­utes of ab­so­lute fun. And that is how this zi­pline gets ticked off my bucket list of ad­ven­ture sports that I was for­tu­nate to try in beau­ti­ful Oman.

ZI­PLINE, MIL­LEN­NIUM RE­SORT MUS­SANAH OMR 5 +968 2687 1555

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