December 27, 2009
We wanted to take a guided tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest; however, Heidar, the guide that Jenn recommended was not available. Actually no guide was available and you needed reservations at this time of year etc. In place of this, we decided to have a zipline adventure (eeeeks!) at Sky Adventures. I believe this is located in or close to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. It's just down the road from Hidden Canopy Treehouses.
Driving up to it, we could see the people ziplining by. It looked scary - I mean, I am admittedly a first-rate wimp. We looked over the different packages and decided to go with the whole she-bang, the whole enchilada. That included a tram ride to the top (Sky Tram), the ziplines (Sky Trek), and a guided hike via suspension bridges (Sky Walk). $75 per person.
After coming back from the restroom, having mulled over the crazy decision just made, I started chickening out. I informed Nick that I really didn't want to do this. But then after 15 minutes of excruciating indecisiveness on my part, I decided I did want to do this. (That didn't mean I wouldn't start crying and chickening out again when I got up to the zipline platform.)
We suited up, got instructions and off we went...
Here, you do a practice zipline before getting on the tram, which is an excellent idea. You get a feel for what it's going to be like on a short, slow line. It was a little scary, but it was good. The guides pretty much do everything for you. You just have to extend your arms as you hold the bar, cross your legs at the ankles and tuck them in. If the guide on the other side shakes your line, that means you need to slow yourself down, and you do that by moving the bar from side to side. If you get stuck on the line, which sometimes you do if you are lightweight (eeeeks!) and don't build up enough momentum, you have to turn yourself around and pull yourself to the other side hand over hand. (That might've freaked me out - luckily it didn't happen!)
Anyway, after you take the tram up -
way up -
you're overlooking the canopy and can see all the epiphytes.
As we ascended the stairs to the first real platform, it was unbelievably windy. Anticipating what this was going to feel like flying down the line above the treetops was scary. However, actually going across the line, the wind didn't have much of an effect.
Then off you go on a series of 8 more lines, I believe. Some lines require more weight, so they let you go two people at a time. Basically, my husband would be behind me with his legs wrapped around me. The second to last line is the fastest (single) and the last one is the longest (double).
I never really looked around me while ziplining. If you do, you slow yourself down. The noise the line made was quite addictive - like stepping on a sportscar's accelerator. That picture below is neither of us. I grabbed it from the Sky Adventure website because we didn't take any pictures while ziplining. I was too nervous to have to take out the camera and worry about putting it back at every platform.
she'd go faster if her legs were pulled in to her chest more
The suspension bridge tour was pretty cool.
Not quite as informative as our other tours from the first trip - that could've just been our guide - but you got to see the cloud forest canopy with all of its mystique up close.
The cloud forest canopy is incredibly atmospheric and changes in a snap.
We did get to see a colony of bats roosting in the hollow of a tree. The guide didn't know the species. You could kinda see them with binoculars. They were brown with a white belly and white stripes on the back.
We also saw a few Capuchin monkeys, but that's about it for mammals. But lots of weird plants and trees...
this was some kind of moth
There's so many layers and textures and nice compositions in the cloud forest. It's so enveloping. I couldn't stop taking pictures, and these are but a few...
Afterwards we sat by the hummingbird feeders and had a lunch of tuna, pringles, and apples. We made our way back at the hotel, and by this time it had started raining.
Pretty soon it was time for dinner, at Restaurante de Lucia. Too much food, too pricey and not that great. Then back to our beautiful, cold room.
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Take another hike through a cloud forest (from our previous trip): Monteverde Cloud Forest
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