Zip Lining and Cloud Forests
I arrived in the town of Santa Elena on Sat Aug 13 after taking a van, then a boat, and another van from La Fortuna. The journey took about 4 hrs and seeing that boat gave me anxiety even though I had used the bathroom before leaving the hostel and didn't drink much water since because I knew I was getting on a boat. Hopefully I can get over my boat/bathroom trauma soon! haha
I got to my hostel around 12:30 pm and decided what tours and activities I wanted to do. I decided on zip lining with Selvatura in the Monteverde Cloud Forest at 2pm, a guided tour through the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve at 6:30am the next day, as well as a walk through/over the Cloud Forest on hanging bridges. I grabbed a quick bite of local grub at the "soda" next to the hostel and got ready for zip lining. It was just my luck that it started raining right when I got to Selvatura Park for zip lining but it was still AWESOME!! One of the coolest things I've ever done. I hear there is a really great line in Cape Town off Table Mountain. I'll probably look into doing that when I'm there if it doesn't break the bank! The zip line consisted of 13 cables, the longest being 1km (which we had to double up on to make sure we would make it to the end) and then there was a Tarzan swing. This was a platform 26 feet in height that you climb to the top of and then walk off. It was pretty crazy and I'm pretty sure I can bungee jump now. I would assume that the courage it takes to take the step off the ledge is similar. I have a video of the Tarzan swing. Unfortunately the girl who taped it for me turned the camera upright so the video will be sideways. I will eventually upload it to my Facebook & Flickr accounts. (I have created a Flickr account to upload all my pictures. There aren't many uploaded yet but I will hopefully get around to it soon. If you have a Yahoo, Gmail or Facebook account you can log into Flickr using one of the three. Just search my name and add me as a contact).
After zip lining I went back to the hostel and chilled for the night. It was actually quite cold in the cloud forest. For the first time since getting to Costa Rica I wore jeans and my fleece. The next morning I was up bright and early for the nature walk through the Cloud Forest Reserve. It was a three hour guided tour. I was hoping to see some slothes and monkeys but had no such luck. We mainly saw birds and that was in large part to some bird enthusiasts on our tour. We saw some really colourful ones though! Following the tour I went back to Selvatura Park to walk the hanging bridges. The walk through the forest was quite similar to the walk through the Reserve and all the views I saw on the hanging bridges were similar to what I saw during the zip lining, so it was a bit of a let down but oh well!
I returned to the hostel from the hanging bridges in a hurry to meet up with Melissa, a girl from NYC that I met at the hostel. We had planned to go check out a sloth reserve that Melissa had found online. We caught a local bus and took it straight to the end of the route. When we got off we were at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There we asked where the sloth reserve was and found out it closed a month ago! booo At least the bus hadn't left yet and we were able to catch it back to town. Instead we checked out an Orchid garden. They were all really pretty but also very tiny! At least half of them were no bigger than my pinkly finger nail!
On Monday morning I left for the beach town of Tamarindo on the Pacific coast. I have been here ever since and plan to stay until I have to fly out of San Jose on Monday, Aug 22 to Argentina. My next post will be about my time here! Pura Vida!