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Flying in the clouds

And getting mud on your face.

all seasons in one day 20 °C

Believe it or not, the combination of a comfortable bed and the sound of strong winds gave me the best sleep I had so far on this trip. I woke up energized. We are going to the Monteverde Cloud forest today - one of nature's best. For some reason, Omar was surprised to see me. Tucan had told him that I was not supposed to tag along with the group because of insurance reasons. But I had my own travel insurance and would never want to get him into trouble.

Once we entered the park, we felt obliged to find something, anything. And we took our time. There was a hanging bridge in the middle of park. I had a feeling of rebirth when crossing the bridge, a sense of serenity when there is nothing but misty branches and hanging veins around me. For a second, I wish the birds and animals here can share their world with me.

After more than an hour, all we found was a blue ant, an invisible hummingbird and lots of spiderwebs. Chris and Gareth started to poke around with a stick. All of a sudden, we arrived at a viewpoint. On a nice day, one can see as far as Argentina. But today the visibility was less than 20 metres. We were literally inside a cloud forest. I felt like an angel. Only if I could stay here longer, all my worries would go away.

Like many others, I wrote our names on the platform. The return hike was much faster knowing that the chances of finding any frog or snake was next to zero. A hummingbird showed off her flying skill right in front of us. In times like this, one has to wonder who the creator of these beauties was. There is no envy, greed or gluttony in this world. Only survival and harmony if we human leave it alone.

Coincidencely, both Gareth's phone and my watch were behind so we missed our tour van for a few minutes. Nevertheless, we took advantage of our free time to visit the hummingbird garden and watched a raccoon family. It costed only 300 colones to go back to town with the public bus, compared to 1000 with the van.

My attempt to purchase bus ticket failed since the office was closed for lunch. The local travel agency suggested a private van for $39. Needless to say, I chose the public bus ($4) instead which would take me straight to the airport before reaching San Jose. After the chicken bus experience in Nicaragua and coming fron the big apple, I think I can handle a 4-hour bus ride by myself just fine.

Our afternoon adventures were the Skywalk and Skytrek. Almost the entire group went. Once we signed a disclaimer, the workers patiently put the oversized outfit and equipment on me. The waist belt and harness were so heavy that I felt like pregnant the whole time!

To my surprise, the first couple zips were really fun! I was able to look down and enjoy the panoramic aerial view of the forest below while zipping from one hill to another. The 'George of the Jungle' zipline took me through a canopy of trees in lightning speed. I felt like an eagle flying towards a prey. The most intimidating one required us to climb up an exceptionally high spiral staircase which was swinging in extremely high wind and next to no visibility. One by one, we disappeared into the clouds. Our faces and bodies were covered with mud when we came out on the other sides - exhilarating and hilarious at the same time. Everyone was teasing at the new pattern on my white Puma jacket which was now covered with mud.

I was chosen to go with Tina on the first double zipline. We slided off the platform perfectly. I kept my legs up but Tina started to lower her legs about half way. We started to slow down. She was losing her grip. We finally stopped about 100 ft. away from the landing platform. Without hesitation, I immediately tried to pull myself forward with the cable. We couldn't initiate momentum no matter what we did. One of the workers finally slided over and brought us back. The second double zipline was with Gareth. We made it almost all the way but 10 ft away the landing platform. If there is a minimum weight involved, I should have more lunch.

Following the zipline, we did the skywalk - a walk on series of hanging bridges between short trails. Perry and Don, the Canadian brothers, took pictures while the rest of us tried to stablize ourselves and enjoy the breathtaking view. I promised myself to come back here and spend time with nature again.

Chris, Gareth and I visited the frog pond after dark. We saw these amazing amphibians in action! No wonder they are on every postcard of Costa Rica. Dinner followed. A scorpio rumbled on the patio of our restaurant while I was placing my order. First time I saw one moving around freely, completely oblivious of the disturbance he caused. The saxophonist played again, still breaking after every other song. Old habit I guess. We finished dinner and headed back to our hotel. I only wished that I can say goodbye to everyone before the night is over.

Posted by shinenyc 15:41 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking

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