Written by Rachel
Note: This blog should have been completed a while ago, however the email got deleted despite the fact I forwarded it to myself but it got strangely lost in cyberspace! So sorry about the lateness, but I am going to write this again with renewed vigour.
It was the day for our canopy tour in the cloud forest in Monteverde. I got suited and booted up with my lightweight hiking boots, which Emily called so sexy they hurt, and even managed to look stylish with my jeggings- still sporting that look even in Costa Rica!
Anyway we paid for the cheapest canopy tour which included 16 zip wire cables, 3 suspension bridges and the legendary Tarzan swing! Michael, a typical traveler that you meet in most hostels, refused to tell me a single thing about the swing which only intensified the experience. So we hopped onto the bus that took us to the tour and got chatting to a pair of Americans with their kids around our age. When the bus pulled up to another hostel, Emily and I witnessed the sexiest sight so far- a crew of old, tubby German men cruising on into this bus and we referred to them from then on as the G-rent crew!
Eventually we got to the tour and just as we were about to get off this mental mental man that should have been a TV presenter for an over hyped children’s show greeted us and managed to summon up enthusiasm from this cool bus crew. After we got off the bus and paid for our ticket, it was time for Emily and I to put on our harnesses. It just felt like we were putting on over-sized nappies that weighed a ton! We just laughed at each other cos we looked so fly!
So me and Emily set out to our first bit of the tour. We arrived at the safety cable and were taught how to work the zip wire. Out of a group of around 25, I was first in line!! I preferred to go first and I was feeling pumped and sooo up for this cos it has been something I have wanted to do for a long long time. When I was a kid, if there was a zip wire at the park I would be simply overjoyed and I used to cry if we had to leave it! Lol loser kid :P
So off I went, and it was a relatively high platform with steps with the gaps, and that does give me the feeling of vertigo but I powered on through ignoring the vague sickness in my stomach and sweating and shaking in my legs and feet. He hooked me up to the wire, told me to lift up my body and legs, to ´sit´ and woooooooeeeehhhhh off I went!! It was off in 10secs but I screamed anyway, I was really enjoying the thrill of sailing through the trees! So I finished that and I recognized I was feeling a little too overconfident… The next cable was rather different…
As I was picking up speed from this slightly longer cable, I suddenly noticed something on the wire... next thing I knew I felt a blinding pain shoot across my thumb and I stopped dead, suspended and swinging limply on the cable, screaming. Once they got me to the platform I realised I must have panicked when I saw something on the line. Turns out it was just the brake part of the wire and I had put my hand in front of this to protect myself, and this caused all my weight and speed to crush my thumb. It turned a nasty shade of black and blue and it was painful and it greatly shook my confidence cos I just felt stupid. I didn’t mean to hurt myself like that! Idiotic times. But after a few mins, I still knew I wanted to do this more than ever, despite the hot throbbing pain in my thumb! It was really stupid and i felt like a prized prat, and emily was happily laughing along and speaking in spanish to the tour guides. Probably laughing at me aswell.
The next zip wire was easily the scariest of all of them. It was situated at a dizzying height above the treetops, whilst the first few were just under the shade of the canopy. From this view you could see for miles and it was very open and an unnerving sensation of vulnerability swept over me. To make things worse, this tiny platform was overcrowded and you could see all the way down underneath your feet due to the meshing floor. So intense!
When it was my turn, I noticed all to fast not only how this cable graduated rather steeply downwards, but to get attached to the cable you had to climb up to an extremely high up platform (the height of my own head) with no barriers surrounding it whatsoever. I was really feeling vertigo attack my nerves but I tried laughing to myself despite the mutliple odd looks from the rest of the group.
It was so worth it. You traveled twice as fast, and it lasted a good 4-5mins, such a satisfying rush! And you could just see the views blur past by you as you felt and heard the wind rushing past you, and there was this branch that came really close to your head and after you past that point the view opened up again and it just felt like I should have heard some cinematic film music! It’s difficult to describe… but the views and the speed combined I’ll just remember for ages after =)
That was the most difficult cable in terms of heights. The rest were just a blur of fun, adrenaline and speed. Me and Emily got talking to the couple and em loved this watch the guy was wearing, it was 3 block colours, - very 80´s! Some highlights were we saw a caterpillar, the guides were a bit mad, and we saw a tree that looked as if it was suffering from rabies, it was frothing from the trunk!
O gosh the final cable was so scary looking and the longest one in the entire place. I have a lot of pictures of it, but it was so huge you had to go with 2 people! So em and I went down together and Emily was gripping with all her might onto me and we just felt like monkeys and superman at the same time!! The views were again spectacular and we were even higher than most birds flying around! I kept wanting to let go and wave my arms around like a true spazz but of course, you couldn’t, unless you wanted to die, which i didn´t.
Once we got down and my legs regained there strength after involuntary shaking from adrenaline, we made our sweet way back to the station because it began to rain. We were told to wait for 15mins for the rain to die down, and he told us that if you don’t want to wait, you can’t do the best part, the Tarzan swing. So me and em obviously waited, but over 3/4 of the group funked off!! Just because they were hungry. How many times do you get an opportunity to swing around on an awesome swing, compared to eating which can be done at any time?? As you can probz tell, it well annoyed me. Actually in saying this, we were about to leave cos the guide was like, you cant do this due to rain, but the moment we started to remove our harness we got told we could do it! Fear and excitement followed these words.
The way up was fun, many suspension bridges to bounce up and down on, which lead to us singing that crimp, haha, and then we arrived.
I wont lie the thing was bigger than I expected, and there was this long rope with the centre part attached to a tree, and a metal platform perched at the top of the staircase. The fall was from my chimney height (chimney from my house, I don’t have my own personal chimney) to the ground. So a large fall! I’ll give you a link to the video to save me explaining, but when I got up there, and they attached me and showed me where to hold the rope, the scariest part was when the door swung open to reveal myself to the enclosed clearing and the ground far below… what made it more intense was the guy just said you go now and shoved me off the thing!! I just remember my stomach lurching and falling down for what felt like ages, and then suddenly swinging right up to the sky and screaming in that way I do on rollercoaster’s, and just having so much fun swinging around! I got a video of me on it so you will get to see that at some point. But whoa I was so pleased I did it! Emily was also pretty scared, but not wanting to irratate the guides she went ahead and loved every second!
Basically, the activities are highly recommended by both of us :D