As with every morning at Arenal, Sylvia and I woke up and immediately went out on the balcony to see just how much of the volcano was visible. We were pleasantly surprised to be able to actually see the entire volcano with no clouds in the sky at all.
Oddly enough, we did see something at the top, but it didn’t look like a cloud or anything. I zoomed in all the way to see that what we were looking at was actually steam! With that little bit of spectacular morning sunshine and view, we got dressed and headed down for a bit of breakfast before another adventure filled day. Shortly after that, we and a few other guests were herded into a van on toward our biggest thing for the day: sky tram and zip lining. On the ride over we started up a conversation with our new friends Steve and Tracy. We’d met them a couple of days prior on the hanging bridge tour and gotten to know them a bit. They were on their honeymoon as well and had come in from New York. Steve was the big nerd and Tracy was the runner/athlete and they were both all around awesome people. Sylvia had let them know what our schedule was at the end of that tour so they could join us on any of the other tours if sounded interesting to them and the tram/zip line adventure was up their alley. Once we pulled up at the start of the adventure, we got out and got our gear sorted out and the safety lecture which was surprisingly different from the one we’d gotten on our other zip line tour on the Caribbean side. The position we were told to hold was the exact opposite of what we were told on the other excursion. In addition, we were expressly told not to use our hands as any sort of breaking mechanism, which was also completely opposite of what we’d been told the other time. It was a bit unsettling to hear all this considering we assumed that it was going to be pretty similar to our other experience, but we didn’t really have a choice other than to go along with it. At this point, they shuffled us all into the tram carts and sent us on up to the starting point. It was kind of freaky at first because other than the cars and the cable, we were awash in a sea of green. Looking down didn’t give us any idea how far the forest floor was either. Toward the end, it felt like we were travelling nearly vertical, but thankfully my inconsistent fear of heights never really kicked in.
Once at the top, we filed out and had a few minutes to stretch our legs, get our bearings and look back where we’d come from so we could gawk how much higher up we were.
We also had just enough time to get photos of each other so we could remember what we looked like in crazy gear and silly helmets.
When it was time to get going, we got a more practical demonstration of the proper zip line procedures and then got started. The very first thing that struck me was just how different this experience was going to be versus the Caribbean zip line tour we’d taken days before. The previous tour was all about hiking and short lines as well as a lot of wild life to explore and observe, but this zip line experience was basically all about fewer, longer, faster lines with no real exploration. It was definitely more intimidating watching Sylvia disappear on the first line at such a high speed.
Even though the experience was faster and more exciting than our other zip line experience, I almost preferred the hiking and nature of the previous tour to this one. Sure, it was pretty neat to zoom along at crazy speeds with such a gorgeous view, but the experience was definitely over way too fast. The last line was about a mile long, but when you’re done in under a minute, it’s harder to have a lasting impression about it.
Once we’d zipped right through the lines, all of us got our stuff and the bus took us back to the resort. Sylvia was a bit bummed out because I think she thought the zip line was over too quickly as well. I’m not really sure, but she was kind of deflated and there was a small argument as she had been thinking that I’d have planned some sort of surprise on the trip. It’s something we talk about frequently because I always remind her that she never likes surprises even if they’re good surprises. I do understand it too as I’m not usually a big fan of surprises myself, but I don’t also secretly long for them.
It ultimately didn’t matter though as Sylvia wasn’t aware that I’d actually spoken to someone at the resort that morning to have some nice flowers delivered to our cabin because there was at least one thing I knew she wanted even if she didn’t know when she wanted it. Our wedding day was such a busy affair and we both barely got to really do much more than be carried along and we had talked about renewing our vows with just the two of us. When she walked into the cabin and saw the flowers, Sylvia asked me with a worried look what was going on. I told her to put some nice clothes on because we were renewing our vows.
I can’t describe how nice it was to set up the tripod and let the camera do its thing while we renewed our vows just between the two of us. No guests, no staff, just us and the words we’d written months before and we took our time with it. Once we’d finished, I think we both felt reinvigorated both mentally and physically and we decided to head down to the pool bar to relax and get a few drinks. I can’t recall if we ran into Steve and Tracy by chance or if we’d told them to meet us there, but we ran into them at the pool all the same.
We ended up having lunch and drinks with them and just generally relaxing. It was nice really getting to know them better and hearing more about their story. I can’t remember just how long we spent hanging out in the pool together but it was definitely more than a few hours. Eventually it started to rain a bit and that put a damper on the party so we all headed back to our cabins to wait it out. Eventually Sylvia and I decided it was dinner time so we got changed and headed down for one of the nicest dinners we’d had at the resort. I wish I could remember the man’s name, but whomever was on the dessert cart that night was amazing. It was table-side crepe service and he really knew his stuff.
With our waistlines bulging, Sylvia and I headed back to the cabin to turn in. Like every other night, I think it was probably about 9 PM when we both passed out. Even now, months later, I’m still amazed how early everyone falls asleep in Costa Rica.