16 November 2023 Santa Elena, Monteverde
In search of a Zipline
“A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge.Zen Koan (translated by Paul Reps in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, New York: Anchor/Doubleday, 1958, pages 22–23).
The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine.
The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!”
Awake at 6:15 naturally at Cabinas Eddy B&B.
Breakfast at 7:00 eggs and toast, coffee and juice.
I had booked an adventure through the hotel owner, Eddy, yesterday. After breakfast I left the hotel and stood by the road waiting to be collected by the tour company. Pick up was ten minutes late at 08:10 by mini-bus, already nearly full but there were a couple more stops at other hotels to collect more people.
Top Tip: Don't where good clothes… stains on trousers
On arrival at Selvatura Park, I paid arm and leg, for the Canopy Tour including the ‘superman option’ and Treetop Walkway access.
Because I have chosen the ‘superman option’ which involves carrying a special harness in a supplied backpack I had to put my own backpack in a locker at reception.
Then I was kitted out including the superman backpack. Everyone had thier photo taken before boarding a bus, this time taking us to the first short zip line. We were given 5-minutes of guidance on how to zipline safely then we joined a long queue for the first zipline.
Once on the first zipline the next 4 happened very quickly. It was great fun but you had to keep your wits about you to stay straight and not start spinning.
Zipline #6 was 800m long and you had to go down it in pairs. I was on my own, so I was paired up with Karin from Germany. I was behind Karin and had to put my legs around her waist, something I don’t normally do with strangers!
After #6 there was quite a bit more walking between towers. It was raining (I had left my jacket in my backpack back at reception) but still hot, humid and, for me, hard going. Walking was tough, and I let people pass me so that I could catch my breath. As a consequence, by the time we got to zipline #13, I was the last person of the morning group.
Before taking zipline #13 in superman fashion, I had a crack at the optional Tarzan Swing. There is a 90kg weight limit and the attendant looked at me suspiciously. But I didn’t break the swing or myself and moved on to #13.
Zipline #13 is 1km long and normally you take it in pairs because of the length, just like the 800m #6. But I had paid extra for the ‘superman option’ and had been carrying the special harness with me all morning. Now it was time to get suited up to go down the line head first! It was quite an experience and a lot of fun.
I returned all the ziplining kit to reception, ordered the digital media kit showing me flying through the air for US$ 15, and collected my backpack.
I had lunch at the onsite restaurant, a salad-ish mango, pineapple, beetroot, lettuce, carrot, tomato, and cucumber affair. Unusual but very tasty.
About 12:30 pm I set off to walk the 3km forest trail that includes 8 Treetop Walkway suspension bridges ranging from 52m up to 170m in length. The canopy bridges had lots of walking in between but I was not on a hurry as next return bus wasn’t uptil 3 pm.
There was a small group of monkeys in the canopy.
It was a wonderful walk in light rain. It was fascinating to see the rain forest from this perspective. I am particularly interested in symbiotic/parasitic plants… all struggling for survival – most trying to reach the light.
It was raining lightly but the heavens opened up just as I got back to reception. The 3pm bus dropped me back in the centre of Santa Elena. I browsed some souvenir shops in search of birthday and Christmas Cards, but had no joy.
On the walk to ‘Eddys’ I stopped at the supermarket and bought some savoury pastries, chocolate and a banana as I know I will be too tired to go out again later.
Back at the hotel, I tackled some laundry (very difficult to get dry in this climate) followed by supper and a relaxed evening.
It has been an expensive day… but a good day.
- Selvatura Park zip lines and sky bridge $123
- Selvatura Park lunch € 13
- Selvatura Park media € 14
- Supermarket snacks € 10
- Cabinas Eddy B&B booked through Booking.com € 41 per night with breakfast.