Thursday, 27 August 2009

Flying above the canopy

Zipping above the canopy

Couple of hummng birds on a feeder
I have said before that the way to beat your fears is to face them, and before me some wise man said that brave is not the man with no fears but the one that beats them, I think it was Indiana Jones.
So today we decided to do some zipping and some canopy walking.
However, before we did all of that we went up to Santa Elena Natural Reserve very near Monteverde.
Santa Elena was set in 1977 to protect some cloud forest that was at risk of being chopped and to revert to nature parts of the forest that had already been cut. It seems that at that altitude cattle farming was not that successful and several schools were able to raise money to protect this unique environment.

Double click in the pic
The forest is at its highest point in the area and on one side faces the winds from the Pacific and on the other winds from the Caribbean. It is a great place to spend a few hours walking around, but in most cases all you will get to see are some birds and insects, but still very enjoyable.
So after our morning walk, we went for our adrenaline kick.
Zipping is, put simply, launching yourself from one platform to another by a cable, travelling at a fairly high speed, either above the forest canopy or through the trees.
When it got to the time that I had to throw myself from a 19 metres platform, panic struck and I desperately looked for excuses to get out. However, with two girls behind me, I eventually let the guide attach me to the cable and launch me into the abyss.

It is an amazing experience and, once you start to relax, you start to enjoy the view as it flies past.
This is not a wildlife watching experience, everything goes so fast that you could not see a pink elephant if it was flying by your side, but nonetheless it helps protect this area. Would you be willing to do it over Croydon?
I loved it.
The final one is over 1 Kilometre long and they send two people together to ensure there is enough weight to achieve the required speed, so with my legs strapped beside Glenn we travelled the distance 50 metres above the canopy.
To finish it off we had a little tarzan moment


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