Monteverde has lots to do and see, but is mainly known for it’s amazing cloudforests. If you want to zipline over the cloudforest canopy, this is the place. There are numerous adventure tours offering to take you zipling, tarzan swinging, bungee jumping, suspension bridge walking, etc. We shacked up at Hotel Bellbird to treat ourselves to a nice comfy bed and some ziplining the next day. The owner of the hotel, Alexis, was super helpful in picking out a good canopy tour and made a phone call to set up our reservation and free ride there as well!
Nate and I have both been zipling before- Nate actually came to Monteverde ten years ago and zipped his way through the forest and I ziplined over the ocean in Haiti while on a cruise a couple of years ago. So, you would think we wouldn’t be nervous because we have been before, right? Wrong! I think it’s true that as you get older, you get wiser, therefore you are more afraid of things that didn’t used to scare you. When the van came to pick us up, we piled in, leaving Brady tied to the truck in the parking lot of the hotel.
As the van clunked it’s way up the hill to the tour office, we both looked at each other in an “are you sure you want to do this?” way. We marched into the office, paid for our tickets and got suited up. The kids (yes, kids) helped us into our harnesses, plopped a helmet on our heads and threw us a pair of gloves telling us that the “thicker one” will be used as our brake. Wait, what? I’m going to stop myself, going about 30 mph and 250 feet in the air, with a glove?!
We started off on a very short line to get used to the feel of hanging in the air all by ourselves. The lines proceeded to get longer and longer and, by the end, I started to feel like a professional! Nate on the other hand, was having a hard time making it all the way to the end of some of the lines. At one point, he came to a dead stop about halfway across and had to turn around and pull himself to the platform!
Flying over the top of the canopy was mind blowing. The view was amazing! We got to go on a few of them together which made the ride that much more fun. It was a bit nerve-wracking, though, because Nate was in charge of our speed as well as stopping us when we reached the platform. After seeing his performance on the earlier obstacles, I wasn’t convinced it was such a good idea but, the guides insisted. I’m pretty sure all of Costa Rica could hear us screaming together as we flew down the lines, legs swinging every which way.
After fourteen total “zips” we came to the end where the guides informed us that it was time for the “Tarzan Swing.” We walked up to our other group members, chests puffed out, heads held high, feeling in the clear because we had only paid to fly over the canopy not swing from a random branch in the jungle. Silly tourists falling for the upgraded package! We will not be a part of you teenagers pushing us gringos off the edge of a sketchy platform, hanging by a thread over 100 feet in the air! Ha!
Well, we were wrong. Supposedly, it was all a part of the deal. Which meant that in order to join the rest of our group and get home, we had to take the giant leap to our death. Or that’s what it felt like anyways.
Everyone in our group had already finished the swing when it was time for Nate and I to grow some cajones and take the plunge. Naturally, I made Nate go first. They hook your harness to some climbing rope that is “securely” tied to a branch above you. Then, they push you off the edge of the platform where you swing freely back and forth, back and forth until they toss a rubber tube out to catch you. Kind of like how a cowboy lassos a bull. They strapped Nate in, we said our goodbyes, and they shoved him off the edge. What came out of his mouth was like nothing I have ever heard before. Kind of like a cat crying… or a baby screaming…. Anyways, who am I to talk. When it was my turn, I started sweating profusely. I don’t know what happened exactly, but the kid grabbed my camera, shoved me off the edge, yelled “No, no, no wait!” and I let out a blood curdling scream which reminded me much of when the raccoon bit me and was stuck to my hand. I was just a scared too. After coming pretty close to soiling myself, I was lassoed in and sent on my merry way.
We only had about one week to get from Monteverde, through the Nicoya Peninsula to Dominical where we decided to rent a house for a month so we hit the road the next day. Once again, the back roads of Central America never seize to amaze us with some of the best views and beautiful scenery. We made it to Samara on the central coast of the Nicoya. We heard of a place to camp and went to check it out. It was a beautiful spot right on the beach! We stayed there for three nights, going for morning runs, soaking up the sun, and simply enjoying the simple lives we live.
We spent our last few nights in Mal Pais and Montezuma enjoying our travels, surfing and people we would meet. While parked on the side of the road in Mal Pais one day, a man walked up to the truck with a puzzled look on his face. He stuck his head in the window and asked “You guys are from Maine?” We shook our heads yes. “How in the hell did you get this thing down here??” (Pointing to the truck) “We drove!” He was completely astonished, shaking his head back and forth with a huge grin across his face. “Wow! Good for you! I’ve always wanted to do that!” he said. And as much as we love our truck and love being in new places all the time, we were ready to have a roof over our heads and relax for a bit. After taking the ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya, we booked it to Domincal where our beautiful house awaited our arrival.