Jungle Surfing in Costa Rica - Longest Zip-line in Latin America... woo hoo!
Well what can I say, when someone says "do you want to go on the longest zip line in Latin America" you can expect a response like 'hell yeh, I'll race you to the bus!' and to be left standing in a cloud of my dust.
There is nothing quite like the exquisite feeling of complete freedom as you fly through the jungle canopy with trees whizzing past... ah sigh... It's awesome. I love zip lining aka 'jungle surfing' as we call it back home, so was having a hard time containing my excitement.
There is something about that treetop boardwalk high in the canopy along suspended bridges that just makes everything seem more vivid. The greens seem greener, the air feels fresher and the bird song that fills your ears is divine.
Now of course, as you make your way along there is always that one person who thinks it's funny to sway the bridge and make other people nervous or scared, because they're an inconsiderate $&#$#!!! I am happy to say that 'that guy' wasn't with my group so I was looking forward to an amazing experience.
So, let me set the scene. You arrive at 100% Adventure (yes, that's actually what it's called) and try not to elbow others out of the way in your excitement running to the front desk to start the check in process... no I'm kidding... nobody tries to elbow each other out of the way. That was just my little devil on my shoulder saying 'come on, hurry up' in it's impatience but now I'm all grown up and an adult I didn't listen to him anymore.
Plus, it doesn't take that long anyway. You leave your bags, valuables etc and they put them away for you, then proceed to get kitted up with all your gear. I must say getting fitted by a handsome young man was a pleasant surprise - at least for me anyway. They do tend to get a little up close and personal reaching between your legs to grab harness' and things so there's your heads up ladies. It's all part of the fun.
Next, onto your safety briefings - the usual what to do, what not to do, how to behave blah blah blah.. see we're all enthralled...except for that lady on the right... she's bored out of her mind! I will highly recommend actually listening at this stage so you don't splat into a tree.
After that the fun begins. You make your way up stairs to a series of suspended bridges high above the jungle floor. Breathing in the cleanest, freshest air you are immersed in and a part of the jungle itself. It's heavenly. Huge leaves are within touch, moss covered trunks and branches filled with orchids, ferns and bromeliads surround you all adding to the allure and the fact that you are high in the jungle canopy. OH it is beautiful up there.
Then the fun begins. All you have to do is choose how you want to go - forwards, backwards, upside down, it's your choice really so I chose to push off backwards then spin around so I was facing the approach to the next platform in a series of tree-top platforms built around huge trees.
And of I go... seeee yaaaa - aaahhh ha ha ha you're whizzing down the line fully immersed in the jungle and it's exhilarating!
Wow! I will never forget that feeling of freedom and the beauty of the canopy. Your inner nature lover is in heaven as you fly along with your eyes filled with every shade of green you could possibly think of. If you ever get a chance to do this, seriously, do it. Some find it a little scary, some scream, some get a little shaky and me... well... I felt at peace. Not the kind of peace I feel swimming in the ocean, but a different more serene peacefulness. As if you are actually a part of the jungle.
It's quiet in the tree tops. Apart from the zzrrr of the zip line, you're alone in a sea of foliage and I was delighted to find I found it peaceful. As you glide along it is a chance to really see the world from a different perspective. When you're used to being on the ground looking up, I find being in the air looking down to be wonderful. It adds to the experience. But don't worry this zip line will give even the biggest adrenaline junkie a jolt with what happens next.
2km long, spanning a valley, you leave the safety and snugness of the canopy as you zip out... to nothing... there is a sheer drop to the valley kilometer's below. With nothing beneath you, all of a sudden you realise just how high you are and how far you have to go to reach the other side. Looking down you have those thoughts of 'oh god if this snaps' etc and anybody that says they didn't I feel may be telling an untruth. You can't help it. It's vast and it's deep and your eyeballs may just pop out a little bit.
But it's worth it. So, once again I pushed off and ... you can see the line open out into nothing... you can't even see the end... gulp. Then tree's on the other side miles away. I will admit my little heart did a flip or two before what seemed like an eternity later I landed on the other side knee wobbles an all.
It was one of those magic memories that you look back on when you're 80 and think 'yes, I did that'. It's worth the adrenaline, it's worth the experience and most of all it's worth the heart attack I nearly had on the other side hiking up a bloody mountain to get to the landing to bring me back... geez I wasn't alone taking a breather on that one!
So my darling fellow travellers, adventure seekers and nature lovers alike, if you ever call through Costa Rica, treat yourself to an amazing adventure of flying through the tree tops and immersing yourself in jungle surfing.