This is a photo of my wife leaving the platform on her first zip line adventure. Tomorrow, I will show you what she looked like at the end of this zip line trip.
There are zip lines in many places in Costa Rica. The first was in Monteverde. There are several near Tamarindo. This one was at the Buena Vista Adventure Park next to Rincon de la Vieja National Park, a little over an hour away from Tamarindo. Several zip lines are closer, and they will pick up tourists at their condo or hotel in Tamarindo/Langosta, drive them to the zip lines, and have a guide accompany the tourists from platform to platform, assisting with hooking and unhooking the lines at each stop.
Most zip lines have a dozen or more platforms or stations. You zip from one to the next. The distances between the platforms can be well over 100 meters or yards (the distance of a football field). Platforms are attached to very tall trees, usually with no ladders to the ground. The only way down is to complete the entire course. Once you start the course, there is no quitting. But unless you have a panic attack because of a fear of heights, quitting is unthinkable.
There are attendants on each platform. They help steady you when you land. They also help lift you up to affix the hook that holds your harness onto the cable so you are ready for the next section of the zip lines.
Zip lines are very popular, and it is no wonder why. You are up in high trees where normally only birds and monkeys frolic. You experience the thrill of a high speed ride. It is sort of like a roller coaster, but without the track, car and noise. Every family member and friend who has visited us or stayed in our condo in Tamarindo/Langosta has gone on a zip line excursion, with the sole exception of my mother-in-law. Many of the visitors who have rented our condo when we are not there also report that they went on the zip lines and have loved the experience. It is usually the favorite of teenagers, especially.
Why did my mother-in-law not do the zip lines when she visited? Well, my theory is that because she joined my wife and me for about 10 days of our honeymoon in France (yes, you read that correctly, but that is another story), she probably figured that she would show us that she could be left behind without making us feel guilty.