“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – Costa Rica Adventure 7

The Zip Line

The next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, Eddie, Mike, Kaley and I pick up Lisa and Torrey and set off for our zip line adventure. A zip-line consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline, letting the user traverse the inclined cable propelled by gravity. They are used by biologists to access remote areas, such as a rainforest canopy.

The Ecoline structure (the operator we used) consists of fourteen platforms and a Tarzan swing. The equipment used was top notch and instruction was very detailed—much better than we had had on our Alaska experience. The zips were long and pretty high. There was hardly downtime at all—as soon as you reached one platform, you were off to the next! There were bailouts at the third platform and at the Tarzan swing to allow people to reconsider and descend to terra firma . And—oh boy! —that Tarzan swing!

While the zip lines were exhilarating, the Tarzan swing was scary and awesome! You stand on a platform about four feet square. They buckle you into a special harness and you lean against a gate. Then—all of a sudden—the gate opens and you fly off the platform on a bungee-like rope, dropping a long way down and swinging out and up into the trees, then back and forth 5 or 6 times. Like most people, I screamed the entire time! It scared me to death, but I loved it! To get you stopped, the employees on the ground have to grab your foot as you swing. It took them three tries to get me stopped. Then, while I was still dangling in my harness, they unhooked it and helped me down. My legs were shaking for a long time after that! But it was on to the next zip line! Wow !

As we climb to the platform for the next zip segment, it starts pouring rain! I thought they’d make us stop, but they said it was just more fun in the rain because you zip faster! Uh oh! Not sure I want that! And then, just before I launch, Eddie tells me you really can’t brake when the line is wet since your glove really doesn’t slow you down much. He didn’t tell the others because he didn’t want to scare them. Guess he thought I was a lot braver than I really am! And then I was off—zipping on the longest zip of the course, not able to see a thing because of the rain in my eyes! Yikes! I can’t see the platform until it’s about 10 feet away! But the guides make sure I stop safely and—man!—the adrenaline was flowing! I loved it!

After we calm down—chattering like crazy about our experience— we pile back into the van and head to our rooms to change our soaking wet clothes. Presentable again, we wander around the town of La Fortuna a while, eat lunch, and do some souvenir shopping. Then the thermal springs call us back. We had planned to hike the National Park so we could see the lava field created by the 1992 eruption, which was quite extensive, but the rain changed our plans. And besides, there were those thermal springs!

The springs relax me so much that I skip dinner that night. I just pour myself into bed to read and , very soon, drift off to sleep.