Travelogue – Suspended Mid-Air between Clouds and Treetops (Final)
What Goes Up Must Come Down
Morning began with another cup of perfect coffee and ripe fruit: bananas, papaya, pineapple and watermelon. We woke up earlier than planned and decided to catch the 7:30 am tour through the canopy at Arenal EcoGlide. Rose checked out TripAdvisor to check whether the place was safe. When you are suspended 200 feet above the ground in a harness attached to a thin wire and travelling at 15 km/hr, you want to be safe.
One would think that “canopy tours” we saw everywhere were about nature and exploring wildlife among the tree-tops. That was the furthest thing from the truth. Yes, you were in the tree-tops, and yes it was beautiful up there, but there was NOT a word about nature on the tour. Rather, there were words about safety, how to hold your hands, how to lean back and cross your legs, and mostly, how to brake with your gloved hand.
This was adventure tourism. Canopy tours are in the same family as bungee jumping. Put someone in a very very high place and push them off the cliff. In this case, we were in a harness. Our compatriots on the tour were from children up to late middle age. We took a rattling open-air truck up a steep winding mountain road to the send-off point, a platform high in the jungle. From our initial run we landed on a tiny platform, 200 feet up a tree, with a view of the valley way way way below. That was a short run, a “trial run”. The next leg of the trip was longer, sweeping across a valley, in some places several hundred feet up. We were told “no brake, until the end”, and that if you run out of power, momentum, you could turn around, with your back to your destination, and pull yourself, hand over hand until the next landing pad. I did look around a lot at the amazing vistas of the valley and treetops, but did not “see” much wildlife.
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