Tag Archives: Type 1

☀️ #49 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Antigua” 🇦🇬 (2018)

Antigua logo

 Good morning friends…Wow we’re in Antigua! 😀 ☀️  

Well the trip is still going ahead (i knew they wouldn’t cancel this one) but let’s remind ourselves what we’re doing today?!  

Antigua Zip Line Canopy Adventure:

Hear the distant sound of running water, exotic chirps and the whistling of birds flying over the canopy. This is an adventure playground with a difference. It all takes place 50 to 300 feet off the ground in Antigua’s rainforest canopy, including a series of 12 zip-lines – some stretching lengths of over 300 feet, a leap of faith, 3 aerial walkways and a suspension bridge. Not forgetting the hidden tree house where the world seems to stand still.

This thrilling journey includes 26 elements and 9 typical challenge course features, with water stations along the way. This really is an adventure in the sun! Don’t worry, you’re in safe hands, all the rangers here are trained to world challenge course standards and before you set off in your harness you’ll have a full safety briefing, to learn all about the equipment.

On the dock…

Yay we’re back in Antigua! If you remember the last time (our first time here) we did horse riding across the beach (click here for the post). We love that all of the assistance people on the dock wear bright yellow t-shirts too. After following our assistance person to the taxi place we got in a nice minibus that took us to the deadly zip lines. 😨

The safety harness…

Our small group went inside and had a short safety briefing and as they know i’m registered blind i got my own assistant. They let me hold the harness and the huge carabiners. I started to feel a little better after holding the super heavy duty harness. The assistant strapped it on really tight and i was ready. I checked that Sarah was still next to me and had everything sorted too. Sarah often gets neglected as the people see that i’m the blind one and then leave Sarah to carry on without help…But Sarah is also registered blind but not quite as severely as me (totally different eye problems). 

The ranger dude…

Walking out and onto the start of the wooden bridge with thousands of steps leading up and through the rain forest and above the canopy Sarah and i was greeted by the amazing ranger guide (forgot his name unfortunately). He was simply fantastic and guided me up every step by calling out when a step was coming etc. He said “I’ll clip onto the cable behind you and fly down with you” i said “Thanks as i won’t be able to see the end and when i need to brake, i’ll just fly straight into the tree at the end like a cartoon character”.

Here goes…

Me on the zip line with te zip line dude attached to me

He used really clear instructions and before long i was lifting my feet up and landing on the platform at the other end. “Wow that was cool” i said whilst laughing and trying to find the rail to lean against. I wonder where Sarah is…Sarah was last and all on her own to figure out how to do it all, she of course managed it somehow! 😀 The ranger asked if we were both ok and if we enjoyed the little zip line to start with.

I said “Little one? Yeah it was amazing, so is there longer and higher ones?” “Oh yes the longest one is called the screamer and i’ll let you know when we get there as it takes a video of you too”. 

I remember wishing i had a camera up here as it was beautiful, and i still can’t believe we only had 2 photos and 1 video of the day…But that’s better than nothing. 🤣  

We had much more fun on the longer zip lines, climbing higher and higher steps with the guide passing us cups of water at each water station, wow i needed that. 

And then…

We finally arrived at ‘The Screamer’…It’s the highest, fastest and longest zip-line in this place. It stretches 328 feet across a ravine and is 350 feet above the rain forest floor.

I stepped slowly to the edge of the platform, my heart was trying to pound its way out of my chest…Even though i’m on beta blockers and my heart rate cannot go over 120bpm no matter how hard i try. I reached above my head and clipped my carabiner onto the cable and took a deep breath as I sat my whole weight into my harness. “Are you ready to make some noise?” the ranger dude behind me said “Oh yeah” and we stepped of the incredibly high platform…

Yay!! We’ve done it!! Sarah flew down too and even did a couple of spins (nobody likes a show off, lol) we both laughed lots and with just a couple of zip lines left we could safely say ‘The Blind Sightseers’ have conquered another challenge! 💪🏼  😀  

Me on the zip line with the zip line dude attached to me and we are high above the rain forest

 The cafe, bar and gift shop…

Finishing the last zip line and then walking across rope bridges we ended up in the gift shop. I thanked the ranger profusely as he left to guide another group. 

“Wow it would be fantastic if we could buy something from here to remind us of this monumental day. Sarah found a beautiful Antigua bauble for our Christmas tree and she bought a really cool t-shirt (Sarah modelling it below) that says “For a good attitude, change your latitude”.

Photo of the back of Sarah's t-shirt

Returning to the dock…

We had a quiet ride back as we both were reflecting on managing zip lining as blindies and the relief that i didn’t die today. 😀 The minibus pulled in and we started walking back towards the ship for our iced coffee refresh when…

Sarah said “My hat” “What do you men?” i said “I’ve lost my hat?!” “What your really cool one that you’ve had for years” “Yes that one, i think i’ve left it at the zip lining place or on the minibus. I lost my sunglasses yesterday and now my hat today”. We walked back to the taxi rank and asked the man who then phoned one of his drivers. About half an hour later another minibus arrived with the second group from our tour and the driver had Sarah’s hat! Sarah must have left it in the cafe after all of the excitement! Phew! 😀  

Back on the ship…

“Aww now that’s a  nice cold coffee” i said whilst sitting back in the lovely big arm chair in the coffee place “I can’t believe we’ve done it, a blind man (and woman) have done zip lining!” “I knew we would do it and i still get to keep one of my fave hats”. 😀  

We’ve booked a photo session tomorrow like the one we had last year when we were at ‘Olympia’, it’s a colour shoot this time instead of black and white. And of course as it’s another lovely new island we have another shore excursion booked too. 

Did you enjoy your time in Antigua? Have you ever done zip lining before?

To be continued…  

⬅ Previous Day 🌴 Next Day  ➡

☀️ Start From #1 🏝 Or join the adventure at:

Update #2 On ‘Join Me In Prayer For Sarah’

Update Logo

Hi, sorry it’s been a little over two week since the last update, but we’ve been waiting for this mornings appointment before we could bring you more news.

Sarah’s had a few complications in the last couple of weeks, so we’ve been back and forward to the hospital to try and narrow down whats causing them. Sarah’s cornea developed a scratch and an infection which was causing her a lot of pain and irritation. (understatement!)  They first gave her more eye drops and said to come back in a couple of days.

We returned with more irritation, sleep depravation (the pain has been keeping Sarah awake) and Sarah’s eyesight had become very poor, Sarah said “it’s like trying to look through a frosted glass window”. Another doctor said that Sarah maybe allergic to the preservatives in the eye drops, and prescribed “preservative free” eye drops. We then had to wait 10 day’s before this mornings appointment.

The doctor said that he could see no sign of infection, and the scratch had healed and disappeared. Yay! But the reason that the eye is healing so slowly and continues to be very sensitive is the Diabetes. The nuropathy is slowing the healing, making the eye feel like it’s about to burst and maintaing the extremely itchy painful irritation that’s driving Sarah crazy, which, is making her really fed up. 😦

We have another appointment in two weeks time and i’ll keep you lovely friends updated. Sarah was really hoping to be back at work this week and is trying her best not to feel too inpatient! 

We both thank you all so much for the love, kindness, prayers and support as you journey through this with us. Can’t thank you enough! 🙂

See also:

Update #1 On ‘Join Me In Prayer For Sarah’

Riding The Wave Of Prayers

 First i have to thank all of you amazing loving people for the show of extravagant love to me and Sarah. We’ve been simply overwhelmed with your prayers, kindness and love through this journey.

The Plan…

The plan was set. Go to the chemist to get pain killers (Sarah is not allowed d to leave the house for a few days), nip into the doctors to sort out a sick note for the next two weeks, then go for a [Cortado’ coffee at Costa at the train station with half an hour to enjoy our new fave coffee (mainly keep Sarah as relaxed as possible), then Sarah can put her last eye drops in before we catch the 11:04 train that will get us to Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London ready for the operation. 

The Hypo…

This was all going well up until Sarah had locked herself in the toilet by passing out with a hypo. The idea was that she went in to put in her eye drops as we still had 15 minutes until the train arrives (the platform is about 1 minute away from the coffee shop. As i was stood outside the door while staff kept walking past suspicious of the weird man lurking around the toilets. With 5 minutes left i knocked on the door, with the sound of the music and the coffee machines i could just make out what i thought was Sarah. Then as i realised too much time had passed and we’d missed our train i asked one of the passing staff if they could open the door as i think my wife is having a hypo. Sarah had know her blood was creeping down and she had a biscuit and sugar in her coffee but she felt and seemed ok.

I opened the door to find Sarah in a zombie like state (the only description i can find that closely resembles a hypo) not knowing where she was, what she was doing or where we were going! I’d like to state at this point that we only really had one must do for this morning, and that was to try and keep Sarah’s blood sugar stable as they won’t operate if it’s too high, low or on the move. I prayed:

“Jesus, There is no way they can operate now, i did my best but i don’t know if there’s another train, if Sarah can even stand up, never mind walk,  and Sarah’s blood sugar always ends up too high after a hypo and we always have a long struggle getting it back down. i hand it all to you, please help”.

I got Sarah to her feet and she could just about stand up without her knees giving way. We managed to leave the coffee shop and after catching Sarah from behind as she started to fall back down the platform steps (i was behind trying to push her up) we finally got to the platform. This is where Sarah normally guides me as she knows the trains. Usually the trains are announced, but today there were none, but a train arrived straight away and we got on anyway. I told Sarah to just sleep on my shoulder and hope that this train is going the right way! The inside train announcement only said which station it was pulling up to and not the stations of the full journey. 

Sarah woke and asked “where are we?” “I’m not sure, but i hope it stops at Clapham Junction”. Then a few minutes later we arrived at Clapham Junction. We then walked to the other platform and a train was waiting there too. We finally arrived at the day surgery unit a couple of minutes before the 12:30 appointment.

Sarah did a blood test and it was 8.6 which is really good for her, but we knew that it often goes into the 20’s after a hypo and there’s no way they’ll operate if it goes any higher or continues to rise. Sarah went in around 13:00 but there were 4 people before her, I stayed in the waiting room.

The Waiting Room

I wanted to update everyone but i’d never used the mobile WordPress app to post before, so i kept the post “Praying in waiting room for Sarah” short so i could begin praying. I started with my voiceover reading all of your prayers, i prayed through each comment individually about 2 times each from the 1st post “Please Join Me In Prayer For Sarah” then i had about an hour of personal prayer before loving sister Janet would arrive to drive us home.

The Operation

Sarah’s op happened around 16:30, her blood sugar stayed perfectly stable at 6.8 the whole time! (Amazing!) Her main worry was the really painful needle that she sees going into her eye and it feels like her eyeball is bursting out of her face! I need to quote Sarah at this point:

“I felt a real peace i’d not felt before, i knew everyone was praying for me and i knew God was with me the whole time. I felt no pain at all with the needle and the surgeon was surprised how well the operation went. I also heard him say:

‘There are always bubbles in this (not sure what he was talking about) always bubbles, but there aren’t any at all, i can’t explain it?!’ 

The Next Morning

I’m typing this post Saturday morning  at 11am while Sarah is sleeping. I’d like to thank you all once again for giving time in prayer and the loving encouraging comments that helped us through this amazing journey (and still help us as we read back through them). I’ll update again soon.

Sarah said to me this morning:

I felt like the whole day you had your arms around me, and God had his arms around both of us!


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