by Hannah Nevitt, Greenheart Travel Volunteer Abroad Participant
Once we got to La Fortuna, we needed to take another taxi to the Canopy tour, which was easier than catching our bus in the morning. As we drove up to the site, the tall green steel platform and long cables were looming right above us! I have to admit it was at this point, looking up with big eyes at the massive platform that my heart started to pound in my chest. I couldn’t decide whether it was because I was nervous, or because I had waited for this moment for so long. I couldn’t help but think back to the day in my small apartment, when I scribbled in my list book about zip-lining in Costa Rica; and here I was a few months later, staring one of my dreams in the face!
I was still in a state of shock and excitement when the guides helped us into our safety equipment. I hardly remember walking up the long and steep switchbacks of stairs to get to the first platform. I do however remember my first look at the steel cable; we were above the canopy line, the cable looking like a tiny thread, stretching for yards and disappearing into the trees.
It was now my turn to step up to the platform. I took a deep breath and jumped up. Click-click. I was now latched onto the line. Here I go…Uno, dos, tres…..Listo!
I am off…whizzing rapidly past tree-tops, the warm breeze of the air hitting me in the face causing my eyes to tear, the misty rain dampening my clothes and skin…what a rush! I can hear the humming of the cable as I slide along, it sounds almost like a buzz. Vibrating with each bounce or movement.
As I look below me I can see rivers and small lagoons. Toucans and other birds are chilling out on branches as I swing by. When I look up I can see the billowing volcano, its peak hidden among the clouds. Here is my moment…I close my eyes for a brief second and imagine that this is what it feels like to fly. This is what it feels like to be Tarzan, to live in the jungle and be a part of nature. This is the feeling of a small dream being accomplished; here I am in Costa Rica, only months ago back at home, scribbling notes into my journal…amazing.
At the end of the line the guide is signaling for me to slow. I use my gloved hand behind my head to grab the cable, slowing my pace. He is at the next platform waiting to catch me just in case I can’t slow down. He is the safety net between me and “watch-out-for-that-tree”!
Jumping down and out of the carabineers, I stood to the side and waited for my friends to follow. It was hot, humid, and raining…yet walking away from that experience, I could not wipe the smile from my face…
It was such a liberating experience to fly through the rainforest at incredible speed, dangling by a series of steel hooks and latches along a network of cables, being pulled by the force of gravity, more than 100 feet above the jungle floor! It was nothing short of exhilarating.
On my checklist for life: Zip-line in Costa Rica…….check.