Adventures and Misadventures in the Cloud Forest
Trip Start Jan 09, 2007
7Trip End Mar 05, 2007
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As it turns out the only path to this mountain-based city is a mountain road. It is typical of mountain roads in this region, being unlevel, potholed and uncomfortably narrow. Add to that list of nerve-racking conditions, we travelled under the cover of night. On a final note, after pouring a capful of bottled water on Dīs contact lenses, we realized that dust from the road was also an issue.
We arrived in Monteverde at around 7:30pm and, still trying to get our earth legs back, we tumbled across the street to Camino Verde, a budget lodging in the middle of town.
Yesterday, our first day here, was spent checking out the little mountain town, visiting the orchid garden, and being conned into buying express tickets to death via a forest zipline (individually sliding from platforms through the forest by a cable). Ironically, we bought the tickets at the serpentarium where we got to see some scary venomous snakes for free.
Today we woke up at the crack of 8am to get ready for our big canopy-touring adventure:
9am - bus boarding (doink, doink). 9:30am - suiting up into harnesses by quasi-professional zipline guides (doink, doink). 9:35am - begin ascent up super-small spiral staircase to unknown destination (doink, doink). 9:37am - arrival on suspension bridge of death. Extreme winds are very present (doink, doink). 9:38am - Dina takes two steps onto bridge, feels the gale force winds, and panics. 9:38:15am - Bob looks back with an expression of utter fear and sees Dina crouching in a fetal position on the bridge (doink, doink). 9:38:45am - Sharing a glance of terror, Bob and Dina announce in unison that we are terminating our zipline adventure. Guide and Holland chick (the other victim in our group) attempt to dissuade us but we are already backing down the staircase back to normality.
We are roundly laughed at back in the reception area as we return our harnesses. A Skytrek clerk points us in the direction of the suspension bridges as an alternative option, but she sceptically points out that they are also high up from the forest floor. As it turns out, this was the superior selection for us and we recounted our terror while bouncing along rusty bridges 120 feet above the ground.
As a sidenote, we did get our money back, after negotiating with the corporate office like only budget-savvy backpackers can do.