“Don’t look down.” That was what I repeatedly told myself while I was pedaling slowly on a bike in mid-air. With a white-knuckled grip on the handlebars, I pondered if it was best to go faster while trying hard not to let my knees shake. Granted I was in a harness, and the bike is also secured, the 150-feet drop still scared the life out of me. Even more so when I realized that this 550-meter long bike zip was round-trip.
Chocolate Hills Adventure Park Bohol
CHAP is Bohol’s latest eco-tourism adventure park. The adventure park boasts of different challenging activities for its visitors. Located in Barangay Buenos Aires in Carmen, you will pass by CHAP even before you get to the old chocolate hills viewpoint. It is just right after the arch.
The entrance ticket counter is situated right after the parking area and visitors are to go on foot from here. We passed by a garden and a pond before we reached the main lobby. The staff greeted us warmly and explained the activities that the park offers. Luckily, when we visited, there was a Christmas promo ongoing.
We originally just wanted to do the Bike Zip, but because of the promo, we decided to also avail of the Snake Ladder Package (at 50% off!).
WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL: LOBOC RIVER RESORT
Tree Top Challenges
After payment, we were then guided to the orientation area to be briefed regarding the safety protocols. They also made us sign a waiver and leave all our things in a locker. We were then equipped with our harnesses and off we go to do the Snake Ladder Package. This consisted of two hanging bridges, Island in the Sky, Burma Loops and a zip line.
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By this time, my palms were already sweating and my heart skipping a beat. That’s how much of a scaredy-cat I am when confronted with the thought of heights. The hanging bridges were easy enough, albeit very wobbly.
Next up was Island in the Sky, which was a bit like a hanging bridge minus a lot of planks, and the ropes you can hold on to. Come to think of it, it looks more like a train track suspended in the air. Being vertically challenged, stepping on the 36 planks to get to the other side seemed like forever. Tall people definitely had it easy, I thought. They don’t have to exert much effort just to step on the next plank. I was already tired halfway through and wanted to just quit. But R was cheering me on, and of course, my pride couldn’t take it if I really did quit.
After begging the staff to let me rest for a few minutes, Burma Loops was up next. This time, the challenge is to balance on a single rope suspended from 2 cables by 2 ropes in V-formation. I actually thought this was easier than the Island in the Sky. But I quickly changed my mind after my right foot almost slipped. I took it slow from then on and told myself that there would probably be no more tightrope walking in my future, so I just have to make the most out of this.
I was sweaty and jelly legs by the time I finished and got to the Mini-zip line station. The sitting zip line was in fact quite short and was the most enjoyable of all the challenges I did so far. Haha. Thankfully there was no time limit for each challenge. And I was allowed to take my time because I was certainly no American Ninja Warrior.
Biking in mid-air
We were instructed to go back to the orientation area to collect our things and our harnesses removed. After a short break, we proceeded to walk to the path leading to the Bike Zip. Lo and behold, we were greeted by a sign that said: Fitness Test Starts Here. True enough, the cemented stairs leading to the Bike Zip area was one hell of a climb after all those activities earlier. Made me realize I should focus more on my cardio and leg days soon. Suffice it to say that I had a lot of stops before I made it to the top.
We were then rewarded with a view more beautiful than the one we saw earlier in the chocolate hills viewpoint. It was definitely less crowded and the cold breeze felt so good for my sweaty limbs. We were told at the orientation area that there will be another locker in the Bike Zip area. But to our surprise, there was only a table manned by two staff. I hope they improve on this soon, though. We were quite reluctant to leave our valuables exposed at the table.
By this time, I was already regretting not buying that action camera before this trip. Since they don’t allow any hand-held cameras. Only mounted action cameras are permitted. They do have an on-site photographer, though, who will take your picture on the way back. One printed picture costs Php 100.00 along with the soft copy of the rest of your shots.
I said a silent prayer as I was climbing those metal stairs to get to the bike zip platform above. I don’t want to be the first visitor to fall off the bike in the air. Hahaha. Took a lot of deep breaths to calm my nerves and slow down my heartbeat.
This was definitely another first for me. Too bad though that the combo bike was not available at that time. It would have been easier if I was just behind R and not seeing everything in front of me. Hahaha. Thank goodness I can focus on the fact that the bike is suspended in cables and that I was wearing a harness.
By the time I made myself relax a bit, I was already in the middle and had a little courage to take a peek below and sideways. Whoa! This is definitely one scenic ride. I didn’t know what my subconscious was thinking of that time that I began to sing Loving You by Minnie Ripperton. Those la la la la la definitely helped me relax, though. Hahaha. (Probably from watching too many Generation Kill episodes)
The way back was definitely faster and easier as I was now more used to the bike and because of the wind propelling me on. Having your photo taken while doing your best not to fall off the bike was definitely awkward, though. Definitely, no “smizing” to be found in my pictures.
The walk back to the lobby area used up all my adrenaline high. Too bad we were also too late for their buffet which only runs from 11 AM to 2 PM. So much for our fresh seafood craving!
We did enjoy our time in the park though. And I would definitely recommend this for visitors looking for thrill and adventure amidst the beauty of nature. There are lots of other activities that one can enjoy in the park aside from the Bike Zip and Tree Top Challenges. They also offer chicken and fish feeding, fishing, campsite, serpentarium, eco-trail, Zorb Ball, Body Ball, Sumo Wrestling, and wall climbing. Rates can be found on their website. Their effort to label the trees and plants found in the area is also admirable.
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Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP)
Entrance Fee: Php 60.00 per person
Bike Zip: Php 450.00 per person
Snake Ladder Package: Php 300.00
Have you done any height challenging activities lately? I would love to hear your stories!