This blog entry about the events of Friday, December 14, 2007 was originally posted on December 27, 2007.

DAYS 24-25:  The Monteverde region, high up in the moutains west of San Jose, is a popular draw for tourists as it’s one of nature’s playground for participants of every level of adventure — from the tame to the EXTREME!!!  The most tame of the standard activities is hiking on hanging bridges linked together on marked hiking trails, to observe the plants, the toucans, the hummingbirds, and the dozens of other tourists on the way.  My hike on the trails and bridges of the “100% Aventura” company was a casual, yet misty one, with ponchos they let us borrow.

Our guide showed the group the way — our group consisting of me, a do-gooder Peace Corps girl from Voorhees, New Jersey; her visiting friend from Missouri; a couple from the UK and Ireland; and a couple from Zurich, Switzerland — explaining the miracles of nature, one noteworthy one being a plant that stuck to things like Velcro.  Of course, he posed a question to make the natural world superior to the synthetic one.

“You know Velcro?” he asked.  “Was it invented by man, or is it made by nature?”

Our group stood in silence as many tour groups do, until I fueled his debate bait.  “Uh, maybe it’s made by nature?”

The activity level wasn’t so extreme on this particular tour, although the most physical thing we did was climb up and through a hollowed fig tree strangled by a parasitic strangler tree, to get to the next hanging bridge.  Things on our hike got a little more exciting when we found a sleeping poisonous green viper that would have bitten us for being way too close with our cameras, but fortunately he said asleep. 

The only other excitement was when the woman from Zurich almost fainted suddenly.  Fortunately for her, the British woman gave up her poncho for her to lay down, and the Peace Corp girl was an EMT.  The Swiss woman struggled for energy as her Swiss boyfriend tried to escort her with guides back to the ranger station.  Why she fainted so suddenly was a mystery to me, although everyone else in the tour speculated and realized that the hanging brige trail tour was probably the most unique places to realize you’re pregnant.

“Congratulations!” they joked from afar.

TAKING IT UP A NOTCH, I rode ATV’s with the 100% Aventura company.  Not many people were into it in the early morning tour, and it was just me and my guide Jhodi zipping around — after a test ride around a small track for him to determine my skill level.  “Where did you ride before?” he asked, seeing I was more-than-a-beginner.

Greece and Namibia,” I told him so that I could quote myself and cross-reference the links to other parts of this blog. 

Riding the ATVs was fun, going up and down the same kind of rocky roads the other vehicles went on, but with the ease of conquering boulders like they were nothing.  We rode through bumpy, yet varied terrain — through mudding ditches, across little mountain streams, under the jungle canopy, and along the edges of the peaks affording us views of the majestic green hills below

“How come other people don’t do this?” I asked, wondering why I was the only one out that morning.

“[Many people are scared because they’re not sure they can control it,]” Jhodi said.  “[They think they’ll ride off the cliff.]”

HOWEVER, MOST PEOPLE in the area sign up for an activity even more extreme — and without the variables of losing control:  ziplining, which was the highlight of my day.  Taking the recommendation of Danavo at the B&B, I went not with 100% Aventura but with EXTREMO, the newest company on the block, boasting the longest zipline cables — its longest at 750 meters long, taking over a minute to traverse above a valley.  In the group were a couple of Americans and a three lightweight Costa Ricans — light in that they had to be weighed down at times to get them completely across the ziplines.

“EXTREME!” raved the guys from San Francisco. 


We zipped along twenty-one lines that day (picture above) — plus we did a steep rappel down a tall tree and a Tarzan swing that made the first to go scream “HOLY SHIIT!!!” with the brief couple of seconds of freefall before feeling the tension of the rope.  While zipping along was fast, quick and easy, the hard part was getting from line to line as most of us didn’t anticipate short, but steep hikes at the higher altitudes.  As much as the San Franciscan guys were excited at each platform, one of them, Jack, was became out of breath.  “I shouldn’t have smoked that cigarette,” he said.  “What an asshole I am.”

We flew through the clouds with the zipping down of cables above our heads, one by one.  From tree to tree, over the jungle and over the big, wide green valleys.

“Into the abyss!” San Franciscan Matt said as his buddy zipped down a line into a passing cloud and out of our eyesight.

In the end, it was a perfect day in the playground of Monteverde, and at every level.  It was fun while it lasted, but sooner than I thought, I was back in San Jose the next day, at my friend Paulo’s house, for a chilled out Sunday afternoon of homemade DIY chalupas and internet with him, his baby mama Lorena, and daughter Renata.  It wasn’t as extreme as ziplining, but then again, not everything is.

Next entry: It’s Business Time

Previous entry: Going Eco

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Comments for “EXTREMO!!!”

  • Tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty.
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    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/27  at  02:45 PM

  • yeah all that hiking up and down to get from line to line is annoying…but when u get zip down the line…it’s look mama, no hands!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/28  at  01:29 AM

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This blog post is one of thirty-nine travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour* (*with jaunt to Colombia)," which chronicled a six-week journey through Central America, with a jaunt to Bogota, Colombia.

Next entry:
It’s Business Time

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Going Eco


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

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