I like think that I’m a fairly adventurous person, but I just don’t do zip lines. Remember that girl who got a bunch of stuff amputated after a zip lining accident in Georgia? No thank you. There are certain places in the world, however, where zip lines aren’t thought of as forms of entertainment but as legitimate modes of transportation, which makes getting on a human clothesline kind of unavoidable if you want to pay a visit on your travels. One such place is the Yushan village in China’s Hubei Province, also known as that place I’ll never visit.
As you can see by the pictures below, the people of Yushan must ride in a little metal box along a pair of cables to reach the next town over. To make matters worse, the terrifyingly slack-looking cables hang 400 meters (about a quarter of a mile) above the bottom of a steep gorge. I suppose it’s better than walking for several days around the valley to get there (which is what villagers had to do before the zip line was installed in 1997) but I feel like one slide along those ropes would have me yearning for a nice long walk. On solid, dependable ground.
While it must suck for the folks who have to hop on this lever-and-pulley system on a regular basis to get their groceries, I feel the worst for Zhang Xinjian (pictured below) who has been the maintenance man on the zip line for the past 15 years and must shimmy along the cables once a week to lube them up. Who knew a sentence including the words “shimmy” and “lube” could be so terrifying?
I won’t be zipping over to Yushan any time soon, but what about you? Would you take the Yushan village zip line to commend the people on their daily aerial feats? Let us know in the comments!
images via The Daily Mail