One of the items on my Bucket List was zip lining through the Costa Rica rain forest.
This was a significant item at least partially because I am terrified of heights, and, well, we don’t live anywhere near a rain forest.
Just thinking about it, though, makes my palms sweaty. And my heart race. And my knees turn to jelly.
But it is something that I wanted to do. Because it’s adventurous, and, I thought, a unique way to commune with nature. Well, it may be adventurous, but I am here to tell you that there is no wildlife to be found within miles of any zip line. Too much screaming.
When we decided to go to Costa Rica, I immediately booked (and paid for in advance) what was referred to as the Canopy Tour. No refunds. There was no turning back.
So on Day 5 of our Costa Rica adventure, we went zip lining in the rain forest.
My babies get geared up.
All of us geared up.
Honestly, I was thinking at this point, “What the hell have I gotten myself into now?” Sweat was dripping off my palms. My palms were wet as I wrote this even though I lived to tell the story.
The other members of our group, Judy and Bill from Chicago, are geared up and ready to go.
There were six of us in our group. Everyone had smiles of anticipation and excitement. Me, I was smiling out of sheer terror.
Turns out that our fellow zip liners are a retired couple from Chicago. They travel quite a bit and have been zip lining a few times before. Great. I went zipping with pros.
One of my babies coming in for a landing.
I don’t know what I expected but it turns out that we would be zip lining on a total of 11 lines over 2 hours. The first few were short and, relatively, lower to the ground. I think that is their way of separating the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the brave from the meek.
Turns out that many people do not make it past the first one or two lines. I think the expectation was that I wasn’t going to make it.
Who is that handsome man flying through the rain forest?
My other baby landing safely.
We started out slowly. Short lines where the ground was still visible. But, soon enough, we would be in the canopy. We would no longer be able to see the ground. Or the end of the lines we would be zipping on.
Shortly after this picture, the real fun began.
Zipping upside down. This was the only line that ended with a landing on solid ground.
After the first few lines, the guides suggested that you could zip upside down. Which my family promptly did. As did the retired couple. More than once. Only one person in the group was not brave enough to zip line upside down.
One of my babies doing “super chica.”
The other suggestion was doing Superman or Superwoman where you zip with your arms out in front while the guide holds your legs (and is responsible for braking). We all did this. Yes, I did it. My family was surprised that I said yes. I don’t really know why I said yes or really what I was thinking when I said yes. I do know that before I knew what was happening I was flying through the air without holding onto anything and hoping, praying really that I was not going to leave any organic matter on the floor of the rain forest. I was successful in this endeavor. But, just barely.
This one does not believe in brakes. But she landed safely every time. The grins after each zip line were priceless.
She landed safely every time, too.
Judy and Bill on one of the many metal bridges leading to another line. The guides thought it was great fun making these sway and rock while we were walking across them.
These two were ready to go on the longest line.
I took the opportunity to sit and rest my jelly knees.
It is somewhat disconcerting to see your loved ones flying through the air at times upside down. But I didn’t scream for them to hold on tight or to be careful or to stop taking so many risks. No, I was only concerned about myself. I started going first on every line. Not because I was being brave, but because it was bringing me one step closer to the end. Oh, and I was trying to take pictures of all of this tom foolery. I don’t think my pictures revealed how badly my knees and elbows were shaking.
The longest line was about 1/4 of a mile long. It was high up in the canopy and you could not see the floor of the rain forest. Or the other end of the line. The speeds while zipping on this line reached 25 to 30 miles per hour. Some smart person decided to take a video of me on this line which you can see and listen to here – Proud of Mom clip.
You can hear one of my kids saying, “I’m so proud of mom.” Jeez. Pretty soon, they’ll be telling me where to sit and what to eat and pushing me around in a wheelchair.
But at least I have proof that I zip lined in the rain forest of Costa Rica.
My hubby bought one of these tee-shirts. I don’t know if the guides are Survivors because they successfully zip the lines multiple times a day or survive the crazy tourists zipping the lines like crazy fools.
Mama zip lining through the Costa Rica rain forest.
Check that off the Bucket List.