One of my instructors on the zip-line
A day of adventure!! Across the main street from our hotel was Sambo Creek Canopy Tours where we planned to spend the morning zip-lining through the rain forest! We were greeted by several locals who strapped us into harnesses and helped us buckle on bicycle helmets! We mounted weak, fragile horses and trudged through mud to get to the top of the mountain. Bear in mind, I've never ridden a horse!! It was quite scary and slippery. For every two steps forward, the horses slid one step back. I felt so bad for the horses, they were so skinny. They had just taken another group to the top and they looked exhausted!
After a long ride up, we finally arrived at the top and began our zip-line adventure! Riding the zip-line was such a rush ... the waiting was the hard part.
The platforms we stood on were 300+ feet high with no railings; some only large enough for one guide and one tourist! The rest of the group was pretty considerate of my fear of heights and let me stand in the center of the platform, so that I could hug the trees! We did about 6 zip-lines before taking a short break to see a hot-spring, then zipped another 6 times to the bottom. Wow! What an experience! I can officially say I've been zip-lining through a rain forest in central America!
The zip-lining left us all mentally and physically exhausted. The guides let us ride the horses back to our hotel. Now remember, these horses were tired to begin with. The walk that took us about 20 minutes, took 45 minutes on horse! After a quick dip in the pool and lunch on the rooftop terrace, we hit the road to our next destination!
The drive to Limon was three and a half hours.
What an eye opening experience. I felt like I was in a movie ... afraid to blink because I might miss something. As we headed out of La Ceiba
, we passed the town landfill. There were tons of kids playing ... barefoot. It brought tears to my eyes. It was obvious that many lived there ... lived on a pile of trash, using scraps of cloth for shelter. I can't imagine. But do they know any different? I wish I had all the money in the world to buy all of the kids shoes and a decent meal. I wish I had more time to spend with them to see what life is really like.
The rest of the ride was beautiful. Everything was so green! Every once in a while we would pass through a small town with a market or a bar.
We passed many houses, few that looked like that had electricity. I don't remember seeing any TV's, but we did see lots of clothes hanging out to dry! There were little kids everywhere. Some in school uniforms on bicycles, others standing naked on the roadside waving us by. We saw many kids playing together while their mothers sat on a nearby porch, watching closely. I was surprised at the number of stray animals. Most were unhealthy looking, probably because of parasites.
The last hour and a half of our trip was down a dirt road with very little civilization. We stopped in Tacoa, the only village we passed, to get some fresh fruit. We played games most of the way to pass the time and to get our minds off the bumpy road. We finally arrived in Limon, and the children began chasing our van, following us all the way to the clinic.
They were very eager to help us unpack. As soon as I got out of the van, a little boy, with the biggest grin on his face, ran up to me and threw his arms around me. Nino Bonito!! Again, tears in my eyes! So many people were there to greet us. I guess they were curious as to what we had to offer.
The clinic is very nice. Probably the nicest building in town. We can't drink the water, so we have to be careful when taking showers and use special bottled water when we brush our teeth. The beach out back is breath-taking. I can't believe I'm really here!
Our chefs cooked us a fabulous American-comfort meal ... spaghetti with meatballs! We were starving! After unpacking the supplies for the clinic, we talked about our plans for the week. Tomorrow we're headed to the school!