Zip-lining Superman style

Published: May 5th 2014
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And so to the zip-lining. I'd been looking forward to this with excited trepidation for the entire trip. A couple of friends had done it a few years ago and were raving about the experience before I left the UK so expectations were high. Basically you can't come to Costa Rica and NOT go zip-lining - it's kind of their thing!

After another bumpy ride on the Monteverde rocky roads we arrived at the zip-lining place, confidently named '100% Adventura Adventure Park'. We were kitted out with double harnesses, helmets and pulleys. We were also given gloves with extra leather padding on the palms which we were told were to be used for braking! And then we had to wait, the tension building, for the other groups to be ready. Finally we were given instructions on how to zip-line which basically involves being in sitting position, crossing your legs at the ankles, holding onto the harness line with one hand and using the other hand to brake on the cable BEHIND the pulley.

We had an introductory 'zip' on a very short line to practice our braking skills and then the fun began. We flew through the jungle on lines strung between platforms using our gloves to brake towards the end of each line. The instructor guys receiving us would give hand signals to indicate if we were coming in too fast or too slow so we could adjust the braking. We had safety lines that were attached behind us just in case the pulley failed. At each platform our pulleys and safety lines were detached from the old line and reattached to the new line by the guys waiting, usually involving a little jump up in the air of some sort. They were very quick at getting us sorted and off flying through the air again. What a rush.

After a few of these runs, getting progressively longer and faster, we had a long uphill climb through the hot jungle, knackering with all our gear on. Eventually we arrived at the Superman platform and the biggest zip-line in Costa Rica - all 1.5km of it! This is where the second harness came into play. Instead of being in a sitting position we were hoiked up to the line with two pulleys - head first and legs up behind in a Superman pose.

Over the intercom came 'Lottie, Lottie, Intrepid'. It seemed Catherine's camera that Brian was using to film us all coming into land had run out of memory and he wanted me to come down first with my camera to take over filming people. Yikes! So I'd have to go first from our group. For this line there was no braking with gloves - the guys at the other end doing the braking for you - so I was able to have my camera video running the whole time (camera firmly strapped to my wrist!). As usual the preparation time was really quick so after a brief look down from the platform at my group watching below and a little squeal as my legs were swept up into the air, I was sent whooshing off down the line high, high above the tree tops below.

Oh my god what an amazing ride. So fast and so high up. I whooped and hollered the whole way down, laughing my head off like a loon. No wonder my friends back home had been raving about it. Zip-ling is soooo ace. If you ever get the chance, just DO IT! As I came into the final landing station the guy at the end was putting his arms out to the side to encourage me to get into the superman pose for the photos. I'd forgotten about my camera attached to my wrist so the video suddenly swoops off to the side! The brake line suddenly brought me to a stop and I was back on solid ground, a massive grin on my face.

There was plenty time before the next person came zooming in so I had time to get my camera sorted ready to film them all. Then as I wasn't doing the Tarzan Swing I headed off down many steps to get to the bottom ready to film my group bravely leaping off a high platform and swinging back and forth on a huge line below them. The shrieks they gave as they lurched off were hilarious and their comments afterwards equally amusing. I seem to remember Ben bemoaning the fact that he would never have children - think the harness might have been a tad tight! They all loved it and only Catherine couldn't quite work up the courage to make the leap.

It was a very excitable crew on the bus back to the hotel. What a great activity. Costa Rica sure does know how to give its visitors a 100% Aventura adrenalin rush!

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