Costa Rica 2022, Day 4

Monday, February 14: Valentine’s Day!

Today would be our most action packed day ever! We booked the tour ahead of time through our hotel, Hacienda Guachipelin. They run several exciting tours which are very close to or on their property. We chose the “One Day Pass” which included a variety of activities.

After breakfast we went over to the activity centre to meet our guides. We decided to pay the extra fee to have a photographer for the day. Turned out we were the only two that were doing the canyoning part of the tour. We joined our 4 guides and photographer on a bus filled with giant inner tubes.

We were fitted with our rappelling gear and headed down the trail to a small wooden bridge over a narrow river. I am a bit afraid of heights but mostly when I am standing on something that I might fall of off. I made Mike go first!

Mike’s gloves were a bit stiff so he had trouble gripping the rope. He went down a bit faster than he meant to…..

I was next up. I stuck my fear in my back pocket and off I went!

When they were showing us what to do they failed to mention what would happen when we reached the water. I assumed we would lower ourselves into the water and then unclip ourselves. They didn’t tell us that the rope would run out several feet above the water. I was quite surprised to find myself falling into the river.

In order to rappel down a second time we had to climb out of the small canyon. There were metal hooks scattered up the rock wall. A few of them were more spaced out than I would have liked as I am only 5 feet tall. This was actually the part I found the scariest.

After the second rappel we stayed in the river and headed toward the bigger waterfall. We climbed out onto a platform and rappelled down a rock wall beside Victoria falls.

Once we were down on the second platform we got to swing across the river and back into the falls. There was a guide holding one end of our rope controlling where we went. When we had had enough, they caught us on the other side of the river.

Next up was river tubing. We walked up the trail to the top of the waterfalls and waited for the rest of the group to join us. There were approximately 45 people in the group, mostly young people in their 20’s and 30’s. We dropped off our rappelling gear, chose an inner tube and headed back down the trail to the base of the waterfall where the tubing tour started.

The tour ran along the Rio Colorado in class 2 rapids. It lasted a full 30 minutes and we went over many rapids. This was possibly my favourite activity of our entire trip- it was so much fun!

Mike and I got separated a few times. I also got stuck a couple of times but people always came to my rescue. The tour company moved many boulders to try to keep the flow going but there were a couple of spots where you could get stuck in some small eddies.

I was sad to see this activity end but we had worked up an appetite and it was time for lunch. Our resort served up a nice buffet lunch. Once we were full, we headed back over to the adventure centre. They got us set up with our zip lining gear.

We had to wear our masks for this part of the tour. We would be nose to nose with the guides when they hooked us onto the zip line and would also be very close to the other tour participants as we would have a very small platform to stand on in between the runs. There were 9 lines and the first line was accessed by a small set of stairs. After that it would be a series of platforms.

On the third line we had the option of going upside down. Mike and I, of course, had to do it! Unfortunately they didn’t have a photographer at that location. One of the lines started with a short slide and when we got to the end they sent us backwards and said to lower our masks so they could take our picture.

One of the platforms required us to climb a set of hanging stairs. It was very scary so I did it quickly. The scenery on this tour was amazing- for part of it we were in a gorge. At one point we had the option of rappelling down to a platform above the river and then climbing back up. Since we had already done that earlier in the morning we chose not to. We were also a bit tired from all the intense activities.

Toward the end of the tour we had to get across the canyon from one platform to the next by swinging on a rope. The young woman going ahead of me was very scared and I wasn’t far behind! Once you passed the first platform of the day you had no other option than to continue. They kept us moving through the lines pretty quickly so we had less time to be afraid.

The rest of the group did the horseback riding part of the tour while we were canyoning, so again we ended up with a private tour. We walked over to the stables with our guide from the Adventure Centre and met our horses.

This ride would take us to Las Chorreras waterfall. It was a leisurely ride. Sometime on our way there I started to feel unwell.

The area of the waterfall was beautiful and the water was a pretty blue colour. We went in the water for a few minutes and then got back on our horses to head back to the stable.

We walked back to our room and unfortunately shortly after we arrived I became very sick. It lasted for several hours and during the night I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make the drive to our next location the following morning. At breakfast the next day Mike noticed a bird licking a serving spoon at the restaurant’s buffet and wondered if that was what had made me sick.

In retrospect, we decided that we should have spread these activities over two days. It was a lot of adrenaline for one day!

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About Me

My name is Cindy Southgate and I love to travel and try new things!

My husband Mike and I love to explore new places and try out new experiences! We prefer warm places so we can escape some of the cold during the winter. (We live in Canada!) I love mountains, oceans, wildlife and adventure! Both of us have run numerous marathons and completed at least 2 Ironman races. We have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters!

Quote: This was often repeated to me by my mother, Betty Elliott, while I was growing up!


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