Many people assume you need to be brave to be a journalist.
That is absolutely not true.
To be a journalist, you need to be a professional.
If you are put into a potentially scary or dangerous situation you do not think about how potentially scary or dangerous it is.
No. You think about the rollicking you will get if you don’t get the job done.
As a result, I have done many potentially scary, dangerous and slightly stupid things for my job, without a second thought.
In real life, I am an absolute chicken. I hate rollercoasters. I would never bungee jump. The thought of jumping out of a plane fills me with horror.
So when we decided to visit the lovely town of Mindo this weekend, which sits right on the edge of the rainforest, I will admit the words “zip” and “wire” were not the most enticing.
I assumed we would complete some sort of ropes course through the canopy and at the end there would be a zip wire which I could gracefully decline.
For those uniniated in the joys of unnecessary adrelanine, a zip wire is a 450m long wire suspended 100m above the rainforest. You are attached by a harness, you fling your legs out in front of you and you, er, enjoy.
I didn’t have a choice. We were on the first zip wire platform before I’d even realised what was happening. It turned out the entire course was 10 zip wires of varying lengths and speeds. Great.
I managed with all the grace of an extremely disgruntled person, but I managed and even I have to admit the view was incredible.
Still, I was pretty tense, mostly because you have to trust the guides to stop you at the end and I could not shake the feeling I was constantly about to smash into a tree.
At least six zip wires passed without incident.
But then it all started to go a bit wrong.
The guide on one zip wire was merrily bouncing around. I mean literally hanging from the wire. This meant that not only were you whizzing along, 100m above the floor of a rainforest, you were also bouncing around uncontrollably.
The others loved it – particularly Pippa and Alex, who are both adrenaline junkies and admirably scared of nothing.
“No bouncing,” I insisted firmly.
“Si, si,” replied the guide.
“Just normal,” I said again, trying to imply that I was a graceful and delicate person for whom bouncing uncontrollably was simply not an option.
“Okay,” he replied.
And he did get the message. The first half of the zip wire was entirely smooth.
Unfortunately there had been a communication breakdown with the er, gentleman on the other end of the wire.
Suddenly I was flung upwards, then downwards. The shock knocked the breath from my body.
“I said NO BOUNCING,” I tried to scream but it came out as: “I saaaaai, I saaaai… I SAAAAAAIIIIIII…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”
God, it was terrible. By the time I made it to the other end I was half laughing, half crying. A teeny bit furious.
But I was so deranged with joy at the fact I’d survived I failed to notice Pippa colluding with one of the guides.
Now, the others had quickly become bored of the ‘normal’ zip wire. Oh yes.
They were flying across upside down and ‘super chica’ – where you hook your legs around the guide’s waist behind you and zoom across with your arms outstretched out like superman.
We climbed through the rainforest to the next platform.
“Come on,” Pippa said firmly, grabbing my arm.
“The guy said it was okay for you do super chica with me.”
“What?” I spluttered.
“You can do super chica and I can be the guide,” she grinned.
“How cool is that?”
Distinctly uncool, actually. So far beyond cool, I think my heart just stopped and slid somewhere towards my shoes.
Annoyingly, it is almost impossible to convey the sheer level of mischief Pippa can carry in one expression.
Let’s just say I did the damned super chica. Legs behind me, around Pippa’s waist. No hands. The whole shebang.
If you want to know how it went, I guess you’re going to have to see the video. I can tell you there was screaming.