Thursday, July 4, 2013

Part 1: Zip line and rock climbing at Papa Kit's Marina and Fishing Lagoon, Liloan, Cebu

If you're in Cebu City and looking for something really fun to do in the area, I'd highly recommend a short trip to Papa Kit's.  A few weeks ago my wife and daughter and I, along with my sister-in-law and her friend, left Cebu and drove to Papa Kit's Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan, Cebu, which is on Silot Bay probably about an hour or less northeast Cebu City depending on the traffic.  Papa Kit's is located just off the coast, is in an area that is starting to transition already toward a rural province area, and is on a large piece of land surrounding a salt water lagoon.   Their facilities and attractions feature an 800 meter long zip line (not sure if that is counting one way or round trip), fishing facilities (and a nice restaurant where you can have them cook or grill what you catch), and an (artificial) rock climbing wall.  The lagoon as well as the zip line towers, fish ponds, etc. can be seen quite easily on Google Maps if you zoom in on Liloan and find Papa Kit's in the satellite view mode. It appears that they also have several units of condominium-style lodging, but I didn't investigate that further.   We had a great time, and I found it to be a nice and peaceful place.  We went on a weekday, so the place was pretty quiet and not too many people were there, although I've heard it can get pretty busy on weekends. 

When we arrived in early to mid-afternoon, we paid 100 pesos (about $2.25 U.S.) per person to get in through the gate and park (50 pesos of which is refunded as a credit for their snack shack or in their restaurant), then we parked the car near the zip line and rock climbing wall.  Our daughter and I tried the rock climbing wall, which I truly thought I would be able to climb all the way to the top (maybe about 50 feet in height).  There is an enticement/incentive, that if you can climb to the top, you get a free zip line ticket.  We've done this type of thing numerous times before and really had fun with it, so I figured we'd do pretty well.    But we're not rock wall climbers or rock climbers by any means.  I thought I could make it to the top.  My daughter and I put on our safety harnesses and quickly went to the wall.  However, once I got on the wall, I noticed that the fake plastic rocks that you use as hand grips are very thin in terms of how far they protrude from the wall, not letting you get a very good grip with your hands... I think  the ones we've experienced back in the States are for the novice climbers, and the hand holds are made of a spongier material that is more forgiving and protrudes out from the wall a little further.  They're also pretty far apart -- and I am 6'1" with long legs and arms. Not to mention we didn't have on proper shoes (my daughter even went barefoot).  OK, enough with the excuses!  I tried and tried, but soon my hands started cramping up and getting weak... coupled with the heat and humidity (this was early in our Philippines trip and I was still getting acclimated), I gradually burned out and probably only got about 20 feet up the wall.  A humbling but slightly disappointing experience.  Same thing with our daughter - she thought that the rocks were too far apart from one another and she couldn't get a good grip on them either.   

So all in all we had some good sweaty fun and father-daughter bonding, even though I couldn't make it to the top of a tower I know I could have otherwise conquered with the "cushy"  version of handholds (sour grapes ha-ha!).  But don't let me discourage you!  You might be able to make it to the top and get a free zip line ticket.  Even if not, or if rock wall climbing is not your cup of tea, there's plenty of other fun stuff to do.

She's a chip off the old block!  No need for Daddy to coach her.

Making a fool of myself -- or maybe a monkey!

Father-daughter bonding
After our daughter and I gave it up and cooled off a bit from the rock climbing exertion, we were ready to have everyone else who hadn't suited up already to get their safety harnesses and put on their helmets for the zip line.  My wife was up for it, as well as her sister's friend.  My sister-in-law opted not to go and kindly served as our photographer.

Receiving the final blessings from the safety checker guy in our crotch-grabbing harnesses

Ready to rock and roll - my wife, me, our daughter, and my sister-in-law's friend
We next made the climb up the tower that would give us enough height and velocity to get across the big lagoon on the zip line cables - 800 meters.  I can't remember how many flights of stairs we went up the tower, but it had to be at least 60 feet tall. 

No turning back!

Once we got to the top, there were attendants whose job is to safely clip you onto the zip line and tell you when it's your turn to go.   Then you sit down on seats up at the top and wait your turn to go -- it's a great view. 

Papa Kit's 800 meter zip line!

View from the top looking at destination across lagoon
View from the top looking southwest.  If you click on the photo and enlarge and look very closely, you can see the skyscrapers of Cebu City about 1/4 of the picture in from the left at the base of the mountain
Ready to zip!

Zip line daredevil

What's the bucket for? Maybe I shouldn't ask.
Second thoughts???
Then just a little bit of time to get positioned and dangle... 

Getting ready to go down "dual"

Pre-flight checklist - wings "check"

Ready to roll

Then finally, liftoff!

Of course there was no screaming from our 9-year-old daughter

My wife's turn 

One thing I really regret is that I didn't take a camera with me to get some shots mid-flight... oh well.  It was a very smooth and relaxing ride, and the breeze from traveling so quickly down the zip line cable felt really refreshing on a hot and humid day.  Once we got over to the end of the zip line on lower platform on the island in the middle of the lagoon, we climbed another tower to board the next zip line that would take us back to the mainland from the island (it ends up at a platform a short distance away from the tower shown in the photos above).

Next, we took a little break at the snack shack to replenish some of those lost fluids and salts with some good cold water, chicharron (fried pork rinds), and siopao.  They do have a restaurant, too, but we didn't go there until it was time to eat dinner.

Snack shack seating area at Papa Kit's

My sister-in-law, our daughter, my wife, and I rehydrating at the snack shack
I asked them for their brochure/flyer, which I took a photo of and inserted below, and I realized after the fact that they also have some other activities I was unaware of, such as the aqua sports.  But we were there mainly for the zip line. 

My well-folded copy of the Papa Kit's rates brochure

So this is where I'll leave off until next post, where I'll cover fishing at Papa Kit's and dining (on those very same fish we caught) at their restaurant.  Until the next time... thanks for reading!



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