Laguna Dudu, Dominican Republic: Not For Cowards. 

Planning my trip to the Dominican Republic saw me creating an adventurous itinerary, with Laguna Dudu at the very top. Very courageous for someone who is such a punk. But those videos I saw others posted from their time at the lagoon made me want to join that party. So I make the journey with my friends Michelle and Elías who I met in the Dominican Republic two weeks earlier. 

Traveling from Las Terrenas, we get to the lagoon after two hours. My excitement becomes uncontainable and I’m thinking that I just need to get on that damn zip line. We pay the entry fee to the park (RD 150) and are given wristbands, and a slip of paper? “Oh they give receipts too, how decent of them?” I thought. Well the slip of paper was actually a release form outlining that I am responsible for my own injury or death. Shrugging it off, I take the lead as if I’m one of the guides. We approach the lagoon, and I’m perturbed by how silent the entire park is, only to realize we are the first guests. What a great day to visit the lagoon; the only hang ups were the zip line and the dark skies. 

So I enter the picket-fenced jumping area and my excitement intensifies. In no time my shirt is off and I’m changed into my swimming shorts, now ready to go. Well, after Elías. (I never go first, sorry). He goes and makes it looks so easy and fun, I mean it is, but my experience was about to tell a different story. I put on my life jacket and I’m ready to go. 

Two deep breaths followed and I’m moving, even trying to be cool with it, kicking my legs outwards. But the show came to sudden halt when I looked down on the moving zip line over the lagoon. I start having second thoughts mid-air, thinking there’s no way I’m letting go off this zip line and there must be a way avoid jumping. The submerged tree’s I remember, and by the time I could entertain another thought, it’s now time to jump. Elías’ voice is now distracting me and gassing me “are you scared? Relax” he shouts. Cheerful colours please I say to myself cause I’m sure I’m about to jump to my death. I close my eyes tightly, the “foot-first” rule is now out the window and I land like… I don’t even know. I resurface with a racing heart, and the sound of another plunge behind me. I’m doubly frightened. Where did Elías come from to jump again? So quickly? 

I get a little less scared seeing that I have company, but Elías wastes no time and swims by me. What a friend? Leaving me stranded and shaken, trying to dog paddle my way out after being gassed. I eventually make it out and start questioning my life choices. What was that? I asked myself. But myself, me and I settled our differences in the moment in time to catch Elías jumping again from the zip line. 

So Elías comes knocking again straight from the pit of hell, gassing me up to jump from the cliff while he jumps from the zip line for the 100th time. I agree. I go to the cliff and watch Elías gripping the zip line. He’s going over the lagoon and I’m looking on. Oh it’s my turn to jump now, as Elías is about to let go. At the count of three I tell myself…. one…. two… thr… I end up back inside the park away from the cliff and not inside the lagoon. There was no way I could have done that after being so shaken from that zip line. I punk out. 

I’m gassed again! This time to jump from the zip line. I go as far as gripping the zip line and again I punk out. Well actually a slight drizzle began. (People will make an excuse out of anything when they’re chickens). Laguna Dudu you were a great reminder that I’m a full time punk. (Well at least I did it once). 

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