Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zipline and canopy walk

This morning we took it easy and decided to go on ziplining through the cloud forest at 10:30PM. I was a bit excited and at same time little worry as I never done ziplining before, but it sounded fun. The package include a Tarzan swing and I heard from other people who have gone before that it included a big drop from a platform, knowing I don't like roller coaster stomach drop, this worried me the most.

Before the van came to pick us up, I went to walk around the town (Santa Elena) a little (to new street I had not walked before). I stumbled into a Saturday morning farmer's market. It was ok, and Diego and his band was there playing as well as Vanessa picking up few things for her dinner. I took some photos of the market and was approached by a girl asking if I can send her my photos so she can use to promote the market. I told her that I need to leave now as van is coming soon, and will send her what I got when I get back home.

There were couple from Germany from the hostal also going the same zipline company while some people from the hostal went to the most extreme version without the canopy walk. Once we arrived the place, we rented a locker to put our belonging into and put on rain jacket as the forest was total in the mist. There was no rain and wind was calm, and temperature just fine. There were people went a day before and they were soaked due to the wind and rain. We got our helmet, straps/clip/pulley, and gloves, and was on way to the instructional area where the instructor showed us the in and out of proper ziplining. He also asked if anyone want to have taxi ride: where an instructor zip tandem with the afraid person. 5 people wanted the taxi ride. In our group there was a big group of most old people (volunteers from a Methodist church from Minnesota), and another group of girls from NYC.

As we lined up for our first platform, the taxi riders get to go first, but couple of the girls from NYC who wanted taxi ride freaked out and said they don't want to do it anymore. So the rest of the group went ahead. Since we are in the mist, we can't see where end of line is, so we were all zipping into a blanket of white and trees. When it was my turn, I just hope the speed will not be too fast as I am not afraid of the height. The first line was a warm up, so it wasn't too fast and I was happy that I was not scared and shaking before and afterward :)

The next couple lines got a little fast, but nothing people can't handle. The two scared girls from NYC did show up eventually, and everyone gave them a cheer! For one of the line we zipped through the whiteness, and then suddenly below us the tree tops appeared, and we are zipping atop of the forest! It was an amazing feeling!

We were told there was a bottle neck on the lines where the two groups in front of us was causing a traffic jam, and were told the wait might an hour or so, so they had us went on a shorter route of 11 lines total instead of the 13. After the 8th line, we arrived at the Tarzan swing. Looking up the 8 meters or so platform (with more drop below the platform), I questioned myself if I wanted to do it. So I waited to see what it is like with other people go first. With most of the old people doing it as well Vanessa, I decided I should not embarrass myself in front of them and will go for it. Vanessa asked me to take a video of her jump with her camera, and I did. After that I asked Vanessa to do the same for me on my Canon 7D, it will be my first video of the trip. When it was my turn to jump off, I was a bit nervous, and jump off with my eyes closed. I was scared silence on the drop, then I realized it wasn't that bad, and opened my eyes and let out a small cheerful yell.

When we finished our last 3 lines, we dropped off our equipments and had a quick snack break and started our canopy bridges walk. With the calm and super foggy condition, the walk among and above the forest was serene! It took us about 50 minutes for the walk. We got back just in time to catch the 3PM shuttle back to town. Overall it was a great experience!

After we got back to town, I went across the street to have fast a food lunch. Vanessa and I agreed to meetup at 7:30 for dinner. After my late lunch I went for a shower. At 7:30 I met Vanessa at the lobby. We had want to goto the Japanese restaurant near by, but was told by couple people that it was deserted last night. Figure that is not a good sign and especially a sushi place, we decided to try some place else and luckily someone suggested a couple of places near by and we off to get a proper and none local meal.

The restaurant was called Morpho´s, name of a beautiful butterfly common in Costa Rica. The price is on par with US, but I figure it was ok to splurge one night. I had blackberry sauce pork chop with papaya juice for drink, and Vanessa had Dijon chicken with white wine. I paid for the dinner figure that Vanessa had kept me company for few days, it was time to show some appreciation and besides I could afford it easily :) After dinner we agree to meetup again at 10 to goto the restaurant/bar/club that has become common to us.

There was no live music this night, the music was nice though, and at urging of Vanessa and Diego, I got on the floor for 1 hr or so of dance. At midnight, I called it a night and said goodbye to Vanessa as she is leaving at 6AM for the beach, and I am sure won't be out the bed at that time, but probably will be awake though.

Leap of faith: stopping Leap of faith: I am jumping off Tarzan swing

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