I decided to take a last-minute solo vacation to Costa Rica over Thanksgiving.
Having never been to Costa Rica before, I chose to book a resort in the rainforest. I brought my bathing suit and tank tops thinking this was another Caribbean vacation. But water shoes, hiking boots and a rain jacket??? Not a thought in my mind.
I was not at all prepared.
On my first day there, I signed up for a four mile hanging bridges hike and a zipline ride in Arenal Park. I wore my running sneakers and a sweatshirt to stay warm, however, I was told that I really needed a raincoat. I decided to take a walk over to the gift shop and found the only available pullover rain jacket that was not only ugly and overpriced, but apparently not close to waterproof at all.
During the three-hour hike I met a very nice couple from California and their eight-year-old daughter. Also joining us were two friends from Colorado that looked like sisters. We had the nicest and most knowledgeable tour guide, Gabriella, who told us about the forest and the bridges. She was also able to find snakes and tarantulas in the most obscure places. We were all going to zipline after the hike, so we bonded over our fear of heights.
I happen to have a slight fear of heights. I don’t like Ferris wheels, especially when they stop. When I get on a ski lift, I absolutely must put the bar down immediately.
Regardless, I did not think that crossing the hanging bridges in Costa Rica would be a big deal for me. I realized that I was wrong when the bridge swayed back and forth as we walked across.
While crossing the first bridge, Gabriella stopped in the middle and encouraged everyone to look down over 400 feet to see below. Ummm, no! I’ll just stand here in the middle and look out not down with one hand on the railing.
Thank god I became more confident crossing over the bridges as the tour went on. We also viewed a couple of pretty waterfalls and caught glimpses of the cloud covered volcano. I ended up loving the hike even though I was drenched from the pouring rain in my non-waterproof raincoat.
Then it was time to go zip lining. All I can say is holy crap!!
At first, I contemplated bailing out. I was wet, tired and scared. I am so glad that my two new Colorado friends Miranda and Marisa were with me. They gave me the push I needed to go.
While waiting on line to be fitted with our gear, I noticed all the warning signs which caused me to stress about falling 600 feet to my death or possibly having a heart attack on the way down. I wondered what I was getting myself into. Luckily for all of us, the rain stopped and did not return during the entire experience.
So off we went. There were 7 total cables that went up to 656 feet in height and 2460 feet in length We took the sky tram up to the first line. It was a practice line and I zipped down in 10 seconds.That wasn’t so bad, I thought.
The second line was a very long one. Standing at the end of the group, I would watch people disappear into the clouds. My heart was racing.
My turn arrived. I could not believe how much fun it was!! During my first run, I did not get to see the views as I was looking for the end of the line and holding on for dear life. I was calmer during the next four rides and they were just as amazing. My adrenaline was pumping so hard that my legs were shaking after each ride.
The sixth one was the longest. It was about a half mile and my speed reached about 35 mph. I have never been so excited and been so nervous at the same time. Needless to say, it was a spectacular day.
My solo trip was not the beach vacation I had envisioned. It was better. I played outside my comfort zone when comes to adventure and saw some of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica.
Even though was completely drenched from the pouring rain, I had the most exciting time and would not trade my experience for the world.
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