Friday 26th October 2012 dawned nice and sunny and as humid as ever. I was glad because it was Annie’s 50th birthday and we had big plans.
Zip lining was first on our list and we had arranged to be there before 8am. Funnily enough I wasn’t actually nervous which is strange considering I’m not a fan of heights, not phobic but not keen either. I think it was the thought that I was going to be doing this through the rain forest that excited me. When we arrived we were introduced to our guides, Eric and Victor, two very handsome Tico’s who teased us mercilessly throughout the experience. All in good fun, we played up to the “we throw English off the platforms” humour. We were strapped up to within an inch of our lives and shown how to zipline safely. Then we were off. The first couple of lines were great and eased us in gently, the breeze and the views were gorgeous. We had two other young men on our session they were a lovely couple called Geraldo and Roy and they were so excited to be doing this that their mood was infectious and we were all laughing and giggling at the silliest things. It was a heady experience. Between some of the lines we had a couple of quite steep walks up hills and between trees. Now if any of you have seen pictures of me you will notice that I am not the fittest person alive and I was huffing and puffing like an old steam roller. As I trundled along, holding everyone up I kept apologising but they were all so lovely and waited for the fat English chick. 😉
Half way along the route we came to the “Tarzan” swing. Now, I was not familiar with this, although had I given it any thought it would have been obvious. Roy and Geraldo threw themselves, almost literally into this with gusto and I stood back swallowing the lump that had suddenly appeared in my throat. Mmmm so I would be strapped to a single rope and thrown out over the tops of the trees. Easy. GULP! I looked around me at the happy faces and my unbelievably beautiful surroundings and decided that there was no way I was going to chicken out. So when my turn came I was strapped up and on the count of 3 thrown out into the blue. On my first swing, my breath was taken away and I realised that this was an amazing feeling. I swung back and the guides swung me out again (This was no mean feat considering the size of my rear but they did it with aplomb). This time I remembered to bend my legs and I actually soared above the treetops. On the third swing the lump left my throat and I completely enjoyed the feeling of flying above the rain forest. When I swung back for the last time and was unhooked I was shaking with the adrenalin and was so glad that I hadn’t backed out.
I was feeling pretty invincible by this point so when we came up to the “Superman” swing I was ready and raring to go. We had to be strapped into a new harness which meant we were hooked onto the line by our feet, bum and back. The line was the longest of the experience and I couldn’t wait to get out there. Annie went before me so that she could film me coming in at the other end and after everyone else had gone I was all harnessed in. I took some deep breaths determined to drink in every moment of this last line. As Eric let me go and I started down the line my breath was truly taken from me. The view was almost indescribable, I soared across and looking deep into the forest I could see a waterfall and the river it flowed into, I flew over the tops of the highest trees and if I had put out my hand I could have touched them. The spray from the waterfall bathed my face and the lump came back into my throat. My eyes teared up and my breath caught in my lungs. There was no greater experience of nature than this and I felt so blessed to be able to be taking part in it. I longed for a photographic memory so that I could recall every detail when I felt down as I knew that I could not feel any negativity when faced with landscape.
The experience was over and I readily hugged Eric and Victor and the other two zip liners. I felt so emotional and said to Annie at that moment I felt I had the courage to throw myself out of a plane. (I’m actually glad there wasn’t a convenient plane right there).
It is worth mentioning that almost as soon as we had finished the rains came. I feel that it waited just for me so that Mother Nature could show me the wonders that she had created in perfect light.
After the drive home, a shower and change of clothes we went to Marios (the scene of my earthquake experience for Annie’s birthday lunch. Everyone that I had met was there (with the exception of Any and Norman, as Any was ill) and we had a wonderful time celebrating with our lovely friend. We all had some to drink but Lily, Monroe and I left at a reasonable hour leaving Annie and a couple of others to party the night away. I didn’t think I could take any more excitement for one day and sank into my bed with dreams of trees, waterfalls, good friends and fantastic food.
My time in Costa Rica was not over yet. What else did this wonderful country have in store for me?
See you tomorrow