Dennis & Virginia on Libertad have their brother (in-law), Greg, down for a 10 day visit. So they rented a car yesterday ($55 a day from National, delivered to Marina Papagayo) to head up to the nearby mountains in Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja (the Old Lady’s Corner) to do a zip line canopy tour. Chris & I tagged along. Dennis did the driving and Greg the navigating. There are a group of lodges all located in the same mountain area that do zip lining. The thing they all have in common is the driving directions. They all say go to Liberia (the ‘big’ city closest to us here in Bahia Culebra/Playas Coco), go to the traffic light and turn left at the major landmark, the Burger King. After that you travel out into ranch and farm country on a decent road. One thing that stands out here in Costa Rica is that the roadsides are clean – practically no trash. What a contrast to El Salvador, where it all goes out the bus window. Mexico is somewhere between Costa Rica and El Salvador, closer to El Salvador, for road trash.
The road then goes to dirt and you start climbing into the mountains more. Looking at the brochures, you seem to have two choices in getting to the start of the zip line, either horseback or tractor pulling a hay wagon type cart. We debated this, with the consensus leaning toward no horses.
We paid our $40 for zip line tickets – backing off from the $80 for the big package do-everything ticket. They took us to a building that looked like a paddock and we suited up.
Chris with here double head protection on.
After we suited up we followed the guide up the trail and started the hike to the top of the zip lines. This answered the question of how we would get to the top. Apparently our ticket was for the budget run. At Buena Vista there are 11 zip lines that run along the top of the canopy from tree platform to platform. The first one is the short, mellow training one. They show you how not to get your fingers removed by the slide and how to brake (by hand- pull down on the wire). I was pretty convinced that the diaper harness I was wearing was going to emasculate me.
Chris Zoom!! Coming in for the landing.
Paul Zoom!! Take off.
Suspension bridge above the canopy along the way- that’s the canopy bridge tour.
After we all got out our bucket-lists and crossed off Jungle canopy zip line, Costa Rica, we headed back down the mountain back to Liberia (and the Burger King landmark) to do some provisioning. We decided to pass on the Home of the Whopper and went to a Tipica local place.
We were going to leave Playa Panama to head to Bahia Protrero today. This is where our friends Kelvin and Ginny on Le Bateau is holed up trying to get his boat back together after a lightening strike. While we had the car we stopped by a metal working shop in Coco. They are going to make up a set of aluminum brackets so I can mount a tiller pilot to drive the wind vane. It should be ready tomorrow, so we’ll hang out today and then on to Protrero in the morning to catch up with Le Bateau.
In search of the Internet
We really wanted to setup a 3G USB Modem like the Banda Ancha we’d used in Mexico. Cell towers are everywhere here, so it seemed like a request that was within human reason to get accomplished. Two trips to the electronics and cell stores in Playas Del Coco struck out. They both had the USB modems (dongles) for sale for reasonable prices. However, neither one could sell you the SIM card that started the service. For that you had to travel into the big city, Liberia, and go to the cell company, ICE (ee-say), main office. The office is like any big telephone company office– meet the receptionist,explain your issues, take a number. When your number is called, go to the correct desk. The receptionist set us up so our number would match the desk where the assistant spoke pretty good English. She first spent time looking up the part number of the Bana Ancha modem we already owned to see if it was supported on their system. No, but it might work. Then we talked about the various plans (sounds like $27 a month for unlimited data download/access). Then she let out that if you aren’t a resident of Costa Rica you can’t get a data plan. The issue is that the data plans are not pre-pay. They are month to month contract that you can cancel at anytime without a fee. The problem is that the tourists don’t cancel the plans when they leave and the phone company can’t collect from them. Bottom line – no data card for non-residents. Too bad because we had a bunch of pictures of each meal we ate to show our blog reader.