I have to say that I would never in a million years have thought that we would be ziplining through the trees of a rain forest in Costa Rica. Roy recommended that we travel to Monteverde, a rain forest where they have zip lining, hanging bridges, horse back riding and a slew of other things to do and we said to heck with it….let’s try it… or maybe it was the tequila that was saying yes.
On day two, we met Roy in the restaurant for breakfast…..beans, rice, eggs, tortillas and good cafe which is grown locally and chip as chips. We then head out on the same crazy roads toward the forest which is about 3 hours away. At this time of the morning there are a number of buses and cars on the road ands trying to pass them on the windy roads can be an scary adventure but Roy has obviously done this many times and we feel safe in his hands. The scenery along is the way is exceptional and the mountains just keep climbing up and up and you see a number of cows and horses crazing on the steep hills. There is a joke in Costa Rica that cows eat a lot of grass here but they are actually holding onto the grass to keep from falling down the hill.
So after a number of hours driving what feels like a cross country road race and going up into the mountains where it is considerably cooler we arrive at our destination and Roy signs us up for the zip lining. While we are waiting for the next group to leave we visit the Hummingbird garden where there are numbers of different coloured birds. There are 51 different species here including the scarlet one that migrates here from Canada. Guess they are doing the same we are….looking for the warm weather.
Then it’s time for the zip lining. We go and get our gear on, harness, belts, steel tracks, helmets…..and we’re off. We have no idea what we are in for and the panic is starting to creep in. We get a brief lesson on what to do and especially what not to do…..that is stop in the middle or you have to pull yourself back to the platform and start all over again. That doesn’t sound like much fun. There is a mixture of folks from Quebec, Ontario, Germany etc, some as young as six and old as sixty five. Roy says he even took a couple once who were 81…..not sure what they were thinking. While we are waiting there is a girl about 25 who tells us her parents have done this before and if they could do it, she could too…..and if they could do it……so could we. Not sure what she meant by that.
Off we go….there are 13 lines and they tell us that we will do the first 3 and if you don’t want to finish you can stop there and walk back but after that you have to keep going.
The guys hook you up to the cable, you sit in the harness, cross your legs to keep your profile lined with the wind, your strong hand making a circle around the cable to help brake if needed and away you go. We do the first 3 lines which consist of 2 short and one longer ride and then before you can think about saying no more you’re onto the 4th and there’s no turning back. On some of the lines you feel like you are traveling at the speed of light and some of those trees seem sooooo close and you are sooooo far up but there’s still no turning back.
Roy has talked to one of the guys on the platform and arranges a “taxi” for me where the guy does all the steering and braking and has me turn around to wave at Roy.
This guy is so cute, all the way along he is singing at the top of his lungs and pointing out the hanging bridges and the trees and all the way my knees are shaking. There are guys at all the platforms who will stop you, grab you onto the platform, unhook you and send you onto the next line. They are all young guys in good shape and really good at keeping you focused and making sure you are having fun and they do the circuit three or four times a day, rain or shine. They follow the group along the circuit and will occasionally cut in to get ahead and help, all the time singing, laughing, spinning on the cable. They are absolutely “loco”.
In between some of the lines there is a hike to the next platform and I mean hike…..always upwards. One of the guys in our group has a sprained ankle and needs crutches to hike in between the lines and one of the guys will chauffeur the crutches ahead of him. Seems to me something wrong with this guys thinking but he is there with his wife and kids and guess he can’t say no.
At last we get to the last line which is the longest one of them all and you need to go into doubles to have the weight to go all the way. The gals are in front and the guy is in the back to do the steering and braking as required. John, the “wonderful” guy that he is, starts screaming all the way down and I am just about ready to bop him one except my hands are gripping the line so tight they are turning white. John says this next picture looks like we’re humping…..oh Doyle.
Thankfully we made it to the end and I am really happy to say that neither of us stopped in the middle or had to get hauled back by one of the guys unlike the girl who at the beginning of the circuit said if her parents could do it, we could too. Hah to her !!
Roy, who is single, has his eye on a cutie (a blond with an English accent) in our group and “kindly” offered to double up with her on this last line. Such chivalry…lol. So when John and I get to the end, John waits to see how Roy makes out and I head down to hand in my gear. What I didn’t realize was that there was one more trick you can do, the Tarzan swing, which John is going to write about. I didn’t see it and even if I did there was no way in hell you were going to get me on it.
I can now cross this off my “bucket list” (not that it was ever there in the first place) and say that I have been zip lining in Costa Rica….not sure I would ever do it again but there you go.
Check out John’s post about the Tarzan swing and the Ceviche in the shadow of the volcano. We are having a blast.