Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Costa Rica 39

We were able to sleep in a little this morning. Our transport was not due until 10:30 AM. We had made our reservations and paid $20 each yesterday to book our cloud forest canopy walk. I was really looking forward to this.

The taxi arrived right on time and drove us over those same rut infested roads to our starting point. Thankfully for my innards, we only had to go 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles) to our starting point. We were dropped off at a lodge looking place. All pine logs and looking like a resort in the north woods of Minnesota. We were given our wrist bands and a map of the trail showing the location of the eight bridges we would be crossing. So off we went.

In the beginning, it was much like the walk we had taken yesterday at Santa Elena. Cobble stoned pathways and lots of steps and switchbacks that led us ever higher into the hills. Then we came to our first bridge. They all varied in height and length, depending upon the valley we had to cross. The highest one was 215 feet above ground, the lowest was 138 feet. A typical building in the USA has 10’ per story. So these bridges were like being 21 stories to 14 stories above ground, looking straight down!

They are, of course, constructed of metal. The floor being a see through mesh and the sides look like wire fencing with big cables running along the top. They are basically little suspension bridges. They don’t sway from side to side, but they sure do bounce when you walk along them! It was almost impossible to get a picture that would be in focus unless you were the only one on the bridge. Otherwise the constant traffic of people kept the thing in perpetual motion.

Since the pathways between bridges were all enclosed by the vegetation of the forest, it was a welcoming site and feeling to cross the bridges. Panoramas opened up, or at least seemed to. At times we would be looking directly into the highest branches of trees. At other times we were looking down at the tops of trees. Kind of surrealist feeling. There was a small creek that had possibly formed the valleys that we crossed. At least the creek was evident at the bottom of each one as we looked down. Sometimes we could see it clearly. Other times we had to search and search through the dense growth to even catch a glimpse of it. But it was always there. It was a strange but delightful feeling. Being amidst the trees but not really in them. At one point we looked down upon a giant fern. This thing was huge, the biggest one I have ever seen in my life. I took several pictures of it, but like with most pictures, there is no 3D perception and it is hard to see just exactly how immense it truly was.

By about the third bridge, the sun broke through the clouds and the sky actually turned from gray to blue. It turned out to be an incredibly nice day. The thermometer I carry on my backpack zipper said it was 50F but it felt so much warmer there in the jungle. We took our time and looked at every bush, leaf, vine, tree and piece of jungle growth that we could. We knew that this was our last jungle adventure and just did not want it to end. Besides, this was the big reason I had come to Costa Rica and I was determined to experience it as deeply as I could.
Eventually we crossed the eighth and last bridge and found ourselves back at the starting lodge. We caught the shuttle back to town and started looking around for a place to eat. We were famished by this point.

We had spotted a little fried chicken place off and around a corner from main street and headed for that. I have mentioned before how much the Ticos love fried chicken and they do a great job of it. This place was just a single room with a few tables and chairs, nothing fancy. Against the back wall was a small counter and a glass display case. We all three ordered the breast and fries special. We had to wait for him to cook it but it was well worth the wait. I have never tasted better chicken. And the size of those breasts! I think they must have come from a breed known as Dolly Parton, they were so huge!

Chicken all consumed and fingers all licked clean, we headed out for our next adventure. The one we chose to replace the horseback ride we didn’t do.

No comments: