Zipping through the clouds

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
Trip End Jan 25, 2014

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Where I stayed
Monteverde Backpackers Santa Elena
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monteverde is very much a tourist town and set up around the wide variety of tours on offer. The lush cloud forest surrounding the town and the adrenaline of the ziplining tours draw in the crowds, even in low season.

I checked in at my hostel and as luck would have it, my roommates had all just arrived and booked up for the Extremo Canopy Tour the following day. Quick decision made, I booked up and then we set about the evenings activities, which concluded in the nearest (and only) bar in town. Bar Amigos is not the classiest joint, but with my roommates, the hostelier and his friends from the US who were volunteering locally, it turned into a fun night of dancing.

The next day, with sore heads all round, we set off for our adventure. As I'd just impulsively booked the canopy tour, I hadn't really looked into what it entailed. Seeing a room full of harnesses and hats got the butterflies going quite a lot, though that might have been the hangover too! Once trussed up we were given our instructions - stay safe and don't die! The first line was very short and a nice introduction to what we had in store. Once over the initial shock of the strange sensation of gliding through the air, hundreds of feet off the ground, I really started to enjoy it. A few lines in, we came to a really long one and we paired up for a tandem flight across. The views around were awesome and the call of howler monkeys just added to the atmosphere.

When we reached the 30 metre Tarzan swing, even though I felt like my stomach was going to fall out, I decided to go for it. The first couple of seconds were the scariest, as with no tension in the line it just felt like falling, but once taut the line swung high and wide which was thoroughly nerve racking and exhilerating in equal measure. By now we were all feeling quite tired and the walks between lines seemed to be getting both longer and harder, however we were soon rappelling down 30 metres and heading to our last and most exciting ride of the lot. The Superman is similar to the other lines, except you don't sit vertically, but instead lie face down with your legs held up high. As I was first across, I had little chance to be afraid and was soon soaring across the landscape and it truly felt like flying. A full kilometre long and 180 metres high it's a journey I'll never forget!

After these fun and games, my original plan was to visit the nearby Arenal volcano and hot springs. After a chance encounter with a turtle loving Raleigh friend and a day of dithering however, I decided to skip it and head to Samara in the hope of catching the reportedly amazing sight of the olive ridley sea turtle arribadas, where they synchronize and come in to nest in large numbers. There's no guarantees though, so it may just be a couple at the beach...
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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