Travel day means pack up, load up the van drive for an hour and half and meet a boat on Lake Arenal. The 45 minute trip across the lake was gorgeous with only a little rain. Then climb the hill and load a van with luggage and drive another 2 hours on what we would call "green roads"
On the Caribbean side the fields are full of ornamental plants grown for export which creates some beautiful views.
We're up in the cloud forest here so it's much cooler and there's a constant mist when it's not raining so we put our ponchos to good use.
Some went on a coffee tour and Mike and I tried to find some things for the kids in town. Prices sure have gone up and the trinkets look the same as they did 3 years ago.
Next we met some of the others and set off on a night hike through the Santa Elena reserve with our guide, Martin. He could spot sleeping birds in trees from far way with a flash light. Impressive! He coaxed two different tarantulas out of their nests. Awesome! After 2 hours we were ready to meet the others for dinner. I managed to have fish again.
Breakfast done and we were on the road at 7:30 for a 3 hour hike through another park of the Santa Elena reserve. It seemed hard and then I realized we're at almost 2,000 metres so that could have something to do with it. We didn't see much but enjoyed the good hike up and down hills. We heard a quetzal but didn't manage to actually see him.
I had finally decided I was NOT going zip lining. What 49 year old woman afraid of heights would do such a stupid thing anyway? When Marion heard, she was offended as I was the one who convinced HER to go so again, I changed my mind.
I WAS TERRIFIED!
Suited up and safety lesson done we got to the first line. It wasn't too bad. I managed to do everything right and got to the platform okay. The next few got longer and longer till we came to the 450 m one that we had to ride tandem. That was fun as Mike had the hard part, making sure he braked enough but not so much that we got stuck in the middle. Between some of them were good hikes, all up hill and altogether we hiked 3 km as well as climbing lots of stairs. The 600 m one was really scary as you pick up some good speed and struggle to avoid spinning. At that point I decided I was not doing the 1,000 meter (1 km) superwoman line. Mike did the Tarzan swing but that certainly didn't call me. Rappelling down 30 metres was enough!
A couple lines later and we're at the super(wo)man line. That's where they hitch you to the line at your back so you feel like you're flying. Marion and I both said we weren't doing it solo so they said we'd get a guide. We waited and watched as everyone else went zooming across the huge canyon. Then he called us up and hitched us to the line together! NO GUIDE! Both of us were shocked as he told me "brake at the end". WHAT? Then he let go and we screamed the entire way. I could feel the heat of the cable through my leather padded glove and was afraid that if I braked it would slice the thing and cut my fingers off we were going so fast. The rain was stinging our faces and I didn't see much I was so scared. Finally the platform came in sight and I'm thinking I'VE got to BRAKE but it's so HOT. Thankfully they had a way to slow us down so we didn't smash into a tree. My legs were like jelly by the time we got off. Then Mike came barreling down the line flying like a crazy man.
Back at the hotel we stripped off filthy clothes and thoroughly enjoyed a hot shower. We met the others and went to a local family's home for a Costa Rican barbecue. Our great host gave us all a shot of rum to warm the tummies. Just what I needed to calm me down! Dinner was delicious with many different foods I hadn't had before. Next the daughter treated us to some traditional Costa Rican dance and invited us to join in. After much frivolity about half of us left to go home to bed while the young folks stayed to party. I'm sure they'll sleep all the way to Manuel Antonio tomorrow.