Canopy touring in the Monteverde region

Santa Elena Travel Blog

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Rusty ready to go
This morning we pulled ourselves out of bed for our canopy tour at the respectable start time of 10.30am. The company that we were going with was 100% Aventura, which we were recommended by the hostel (probably because they got the biggest  commission from them), but apparantly because of the new addition to their canopy tour - the ´Superman´cable. We were rather dubious as to what this entailed, but decided that it sounded pretty cool so we should give it a go.

Our minibus picked us up and  took us the 15-minute journey to the canopy centre, where we were soon kitted out with harnesses, leather-stregnthend gloves and thankfully this time, some helmets (This was of course after the mandatory signing of the disclaimer)! It was reassuring due to the nature of the tour that we were given a lot more instruction, which even involved a formal lesson of how not to dislocate your shoulder  by holding the zipwire incorrectly.
Rusty on one of the cables

The 2hr long route included 16 cables (zip wires) which , varying in length from about 15 metres between two treetops, to a terrifying  600m at a 80m height across the valley.  The staff at 100% Aventura were excellent and really welcoming. Everytime you were hooked onto a cable with your caribina and safety line, the staff member would tell you when to break and how fast the line was. As you arrived at each of the platforms they would help you onto it, ask how you were and make sure you got onto the next cable safely and were happy with everything.

After about 6 cables  we came to a point where there was no cable. My confusion heightened when the man just clipped both of my lines onto a vertical rope and said ´it´s ok, they´ll break for you at the bottom´.
Sophie on one of the cables
Next thing I knew I was screaming as I was falling vertically down a 15m rope. To my dismay, the rest of the group who were infront of me were all sat around watching everyone descend and everyone laughed at me for screaming so loudly!

A few cables later, the next terrifying experience was when we got to the ¨Tarzan Swing", which consisted of a swing in the middle of forest which reached a height of 30 metres and involved falling off a little platform to get onto it. I was getting really nervous climbing up the steps to the platform for this, and the two guys at the top  who were strapping everyone in, realising this and so started winding me up by muttering in Spanish. It was quite funny though, and although dropping off the platform was scary (hence the picture of me screaming), swinging out across the forest was awesome and so high!

The last cable turned out to be the new ´Superman´cable, which they were so proud of.
Rusty getting ready for the ´Tarzan swing´
  Looking up as we approached it, Rusty and I watched the first few people being set off on it. The cable involved being fixed by your harness from your back (rather than your front as we had for all of the previous cables) in two places, folding your arms over your chest and crossing your ankles. We were then literally dangling from the cable, and were sent back across the valley on a 700m metre cable. It was petrifying, and as my helmet was a  bit too big and kept slipping down, I couldn´t see where I was going, so I had to look down for the whole of the time which was very scary!

It was such an amazing feeling though, and it literally was like you were flying above the forest canopy, looking down on all of the wildlife. By this time however, my knees had almost given up on me, and I can´t say that I was all that upset when we had our harnesses taken off us, and were taken back to the reception.
Sophie screaming her head off on the ´Tarzan Swing´

 At a couple of places en-route there had been a photographer, and sure enough, when we reached reception a plasma screen was showing a slide show of all of the pictures which were available to buy on a CD. As they were pretty cool, we decided to pay the rip-off $10 for the CD,  and I had been unable to take photos anywhere near as good during the tour. What an awesome day though, and to top it all off, we are currently being entertained with a spectacular display of thunder and lightning!

We have booked tickets on the bus back to San Jose for tomorrow morning at 6.30am, so it´ll be another early start, and a long day, as we´re planning to head straight on from there to our next destination, Puerto Viejo de talamanca. As long as we can make our bus connection in San Jose, we should arrive there at around 6 or 7pm.

Love to everyone in England, hope the weather´s a bit better.

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Rusty ready to go
Rusty ready to go
Rusty on one of the cables
Rusty on one of the cables
Sophie on one of the cables
Sophie on one of the cables
Rusty getting ready for the ´Tarz…
Rusty getting ready for the ´Tar…
Sophie screaming her head off on t…
Sophie screaming her head off on …
Santa Elena
photo by: Biedjee