Friday, January 07, 2005

costa rica travelogue (2)

In The Cloud Forest

Last night, the wind hissed through the forest with an intermittent comforting for sleep. The rain pattered down with the wind, but more lightly like in a cloud.

I woke this morning to a dog crying. Our neighbors (the cabins are duplex) had brought along a dog and had apparently left him alone while they ate breakfast. I felt bad for the poor little guy (alone in heavy wind and an alien place) but they came back after breakfast and all is well. The shower at our cabin is amazing. Water must be cheap here, because the shower pours out probably a gallon of water every five seconds for the drain to happily gobble up.

We went to the restaurant at the lodge for coffee around 10am, but they were closed so we took a fifteen minute walk to a coffee shop I saw on our way up. We sat and read, enjoying fresh coffee and treats, and soaked up the clean forest air.

Our next adventure was a canopy tour of the cloud forest. We caught a transport to a remote location where a company had set up towers and ziplines for people to fly through the canopy.

We strapped on harnesses and helmets then went outside to a fifty foot tower. After a dizzying spiral staircase climb, one by one we attached our pulleys to the line and zipped across to the first stop. On the other end, our comical guide said we had only five more "training" lines for practice.

After more hiking and more ziplines, we ended up zipping
the trees. Our guide called those two in-tree zips the "George of the Jungle" lines!

"George, George, George of the Jungle,
Strong as he can be!
George, George, George of the Jungle,
Watch out for that tree!"

It's truly a marvel to zip at thirty miles per hour past tree limbs that are less than a foot away.

The eighth and ninth lines were the most intimidating. It started to get cloudy, which meant (being in a cloud forest) we walked inside the clouds. After ten minutes of hiking, we reached a seventy foot platform. It was at the peak of a mountain. The climb up the platform had me unnerved since we could feel the clouds whizzing through us and the wind trying to push us around. At the top, all you could seed was the 415 meter cable disappearing into the clouds. Freaky. I stood bracing myself against the rail of the tower, resisting the urge to look down -- propped up to fight the ripping power of the wet winds. I was next . . .

To be continued . . .

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