Flight of the Quetzal (Ziplining) in the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica

Published: November 22nd 2011
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We made the decision early on to blitz through Costa Rica, just picking out some highlights. Though beautiful, it's comparatively expensive compared to the rest of CAm and after two weeks in the Corn Islands we had our fill of beautiful beaches.

Along with Mike we traveled a couple of hours up into the hills of Monteverde which is renowned for it's pristine Cloud Forests and abundance of birds and other animals, and famed for a host of outdoor activities including ziplining, hiking and canyoning. The change in temperature was remarkable, having just come from the Pacific Coast, we suddenly found ourselves digging out jackets and long pants to keep warm as the thick mists descended upon us.

We came here to go ziplining in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. We chose Salvatura as it has 3km of zipline cables, with 18 platforms, bridges and a tarzan swing and is the only park located in the Primary Forest. While it was an entirely different experience to our amazing Laos Gibbon Experience a few years ago, the final zipline, a 1km tandem "Flight of the Quetzal" located 100km above the tree canopy was comparable. We managed to shoot some video which you can see
/"> here , (it's a bit dodgy but you get the idea!) Unfortunately it rained a lot when we walked through the forest, so no wildlife was spotted (and miserable weather in general the whole time we were in MV). The tarzan swing at the end topped off the experience - you can check out the
/"> video here .

While we were shivering in Monteverde, Melbourne was in the midst of Spring Racing Carnival, and honestly we were missing race fever. We live just minutes from Flemington racecourse and so we are never far from a horse or punt and usually spend this time in a flurry of fascinators sipping champers at the races with our friends. To experience a little bit of home, we decided to organise an impromptu Melbourne cup sweepstakes in the hostel that we were staying at. About 10 minutes before the main race was to kick off we rounded up 3 more Aussies, Mike (a Brit), and a couple of Canadians. The buy in was 1 million colones per horse, with 12 million up for grabs for the winner, 8 for second, and 4 as compensation for the last place getter.

When it came
Swing Bridge MonteverdeSwing Bridge MonteverdeSwing Bridge Monteverde
to watch the race via the internet we experienced some "technical difficulties", and had to resort to listen to the race via the ABC radio stream. With the eight of us huddled around the computer listening to the radio broadcast, we thought we had time travelled back to an era when groups gathered to listen to the wireless. The race was much harder to follow when you can't see what is going on, and we waited with baited breath while the winner was decided. Mike's horse was robbed of victory, and one of the Aussies took out first place, and we won a cool 4 million when Modun came last! Just wish that 4 million was dollars, not worthless Colones! (1 million colones = $2AUD)!

After a couple of days, of spending way too much money and acquiring a nasty cold, we decided to head to the Caribbean coast to Puerto Veijo, a rustic reggae-inspired party town. On the way there we met up with Lindsey and Rich who we had met in El Salvador, and their new friends Stacey and James, and joined them for dinner and drinks. Strawberry daiquiris and some warm weather beach time proved to
Melbourne Cup SweepstakesMelbourne Cup SweepstakesMelbourne Cup Sweepstakes
be just what the doctor ordered, and left us in high spirits before heading to Panama.

Additional photos below
Photos: 37, Displayed: 24


Sweep tickets and cash up for grabsSweep tickets and cash up for grabs
Sweep tickets and cash up for grabs
Dinner in Puerto Viejo with James, Linz, Rich and StaceyDinner in Puerto Viejo with James, Linz, Rich and Stacey
Dinner in Puerto Viejo with James, Linz, Rich and Stacey
Suze about to head offSuze about to head off
Suze about to head off
Monteverde Cloud ForestMonteverde Cloud Forest
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Puerto VeijoPuerto Veijo
Puerto Veijo
Dave taking offDave taking off
Dave taking off
At bit wetAt bit wet
At bit wet
Costa Rican BeerCosta Rican Beer
Costa Rican Beer
Bike too bigBike too big
Bike too big
Fishermans Bait, Puerto VeijoFishermans Bait, Puerto Veijo
Fishermans Bait, Puerto Veijo
Flying on our tandem rideFlying on our tandem ride
Flying on our tandem ride
Mike AKA Bear GryllsMike AKA Bear Grylls
Mike AKA Bear Grylls
Jungle UmbrellaJungle Umbrella
Jungle Umbrella
Main Street Puerto VeijoMain Street Puerto Veijo
Main Street Puerto Veijo
Malbec with MikeMalbec with Mike
Malbec with Mike
Mike stroking some mossMike stroking some moss
Mike stroking some moss
Puerto Veijo beachPuerto Veijo beach
Puerto Veijo beach

23rd November 2011

Your videos were fantastic! I especially loved the Tarzan swing and can't wait to hear about your adventures in Panama. Much love from Victoria, BC!

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