Costa Rica: Day 8 Monteverde

For a day that was going to be adrenaline packed, it definitely started slow enough. We drove out into the cloud forest and started the day with a hike. It was cold and a little bit rainy. After the party of the nigh before, none of us were really keen on the walk about–far more excited about our stop at the canteen for empanadas and coffee.

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Our walk in the cloud forest

Onward to the center where we were going to be kitted out for our zip-lining experience. I thought because I had survived the rappelling, just sitting down and sliding down a wire would be easy for me. I was wrong. I think it may have been when they explained that if you hold on too hard you could get stuck out on the middle of the line that I truly started to freak out. I was well and truly scared by the time I got to the top of the first platform. I was letting people go in front of me while I, once again, tried to work up the nerve to do this when the guide finally caught on to how scared I was. He said he’d do the run with me if it would make it easier. I was so grateful for this! It meant that I didn’t have to worry about stopping in the middle or spinning out.

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Amy, Newton, and one of the guides on our zip-line route. Photo Credit: Gustavo Mora

Despite my fear I tried to keep my eyes open as much as I could. We weren’t going between trees, we were more moving between valleys! Long stretches out above the tree tops, way above the ground. I clung to the safety line with white knuckles. When it would get too much for me, the guide would spin me around so I could face him, it made it easier to focus on something at my own eye level rather than than out into open space. The other girls on the trip teased me that I was faking being afraid just to have the attention of a cute guide. Honestly though, I couldn’t have been more thankful for the zip-line team who, same as with the rappelling team, were patient and funny and never treated me like I was an inconvenience or annoyance.

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The group post zip-line run. Photo credit: Gustavo Mora

I kind of skipped lunch, after all that anxiety in the morning I really wasn’t hungry. Though maybe just having coffee was not the best idea. Everyone else ate, and apparently the food was pretty good. It looked good at least. The other reason I didn’t eat was I knew we were going to be doing a canopy walk in the afternoon and I wasn’t sure how up to it my nerves were going to be. At least we had a relaxing walk through the butterfly and hummingbird gardens before taking off to the tree tops once more.

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I really wish I could take credit for this photo, but that goes once again to Gustavo Mora. He was our trip manager and when he’s not doing that he is also an incredible professional photographer. Seriously, was amazing and my trip to Costa Rica would not have been as awesome without him. 

The bridges that connect the platforms in the canopy are the same as we did at the chocolate plantation–a suspension bridge  with wire sides and metal grating floor. My fear of heights doesn’t kick in when I fly in planes, and it’s manageable on roller coasters because I at least have a solid floor under my feet. Metal grating that I can see through to the tree tops below, that just doesn’t cut it for me to feel secure. However, I never turned back or gave up on the walk. I just kept an eye on solid ground at the other end of the bridge and tried not to stop walking. Though you could say that I missed out by not taking the time to look around and enjoy it, I would say that I’m proud of myself for accomplishing something despite being afraid of it!

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Photo credit to Sarah Wolf. I was too busy trying to keep what little food I had down and make it across the bridges with my dignity intact. 

Fun fact about Sarah, she has an allergy to gluten and refined sugar which makes picking a restaurant sometimes a bit difficult. But one of the things she can eat, and loves to eat, is sushi. On our way into town she had noticed a sushi restaurant on the main street–the first we had seen since arriving–and since dinner was on our own that night, we decided it was time for a little Japanese! After a really wonderful nap (the stress of the day and a lot of late nights finally caught up with me), a small group of us headed out for something a little different. Sarah indulged in her sushi love, I had noodles, and we all had a really good laugh over a menu item named “Love Boat for One,” which has been rechristened “The Forever Alone Boat.”

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All aboard the Love Boat for One. Top left Joelle, top right Sarah, bottom left Shamil, bottom right Shamil and Aussie Nick (we had two, the other was Arizona Nick)

An early night–I actually read a bit of the book I brought!–and then a bit of sleep before we have to move on to our last city of the trip.

 

 

 

 

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