Friday, October 9, 2009

day 2

After some much needed sleep we were up early and ready to go. We went down to the dining area for yoga and meditation and breakfast. We got a quick lesson on Kundalini yoga and then we got to spend about 45 minutes in a practice. What a way to start out the day. Then our breakfast was amazing. Beans and rice with eggs rolled up in a tortilla and fried plantains on the side with a freshly made smoothie of papaya, banana, and strawberry. MMMMM... thinking of it now makes me hungry. After a leisurely breakfast we all headed back to our villa for our massages. Holly not only made this trip possible, but she also gave each of us an hour long deep tissue massage and I can not think of a better way to really start off a vacation than this morning of our trip. My massage was given by a guy named Topher who lives on a local eco farm. He was really interesting and very knowledgeable about a lot of the same things I am interested in. He works on alternative building styles and alternative sources of energy. I really enjoyed talking to him as he gave me my massage. Usually I like to lie quietly, but I was trying to take in as much as I could while there. After our massages we had to rush to get ready for ZIP LINING... I've been waiting about as long as I can remember to go up into the canopy of the rain forest. The first time I ever saw a picture of zip lining I knew I wanted to do it! I was so excited I could hardly stand myself, but poor Ashley was so nervous about it, but she was a trooper and did it! (She doesn't like heights). We took a taxi over, paid, and got suited up (not a sexy look for anyone)...We ask if anyone had ever fallen and no one had. In fact they were telling us kids as young as 2 had done it. I think my kids would have loved most of the runs...

Here's a picture of me all suited up and ready for my adventure...

We learned a lot as we went through the forest on our tour of it... We didn't go straight to the zip lines, we got to hike through it for a while first...

Here's an iguana we saw (we actually saw a lot of these while in Costa Rica)

And a have to look closely... it was way up in the trees...

We saw a very large termite nest (I almost ate one because in the rain forest they are an excellent source of protein, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, but our tour guide Ronald did) Termites are a very important part of the rain forest. They do not eat anything that is not dead, so they play a big role in the breakdown and composting process of the rain forest.

As we walked on we saw a spiny cactus and believe me when I say you would not want to get caught up against one of these...

As we walked on we came upon a leaf cutter ant mound... Our tour guide dared one of us to get bit by a soldier ant (the worker ants are the ones that bring the leaves back to the mound, but the soldiers are the ones who protect the mound and they have some nasty pinchers, but they do not emit a poison when they bite you, so it just hurts.) I had to redeem myself from the termite incident, when would I be back in the rain forest? I had to be brave and wild and crazy... so, I let it bite me...

Now, you want to know did it hurt? Yes and no. It's like being pinched hard by a small child, until he took the body off and left the head behind. Leaf cutter ants can be used for stitches in the rain forest if you were to need them because when you take the body off, they only pinch harder... but I survived... and was off to zip line really proud of myself for being so brave!

We also saw a killer bee hive... In the picture it looks like a place on the tree where a very large limb fell off, but it's the real deal... We saw them flying in and out, so we didn't linger around there for too long... only long enough to really see it. None of us - tour guides included really wanted to meet the killer bees.

Here I am coming in on the 2nd line... there were 8 all together... this one was one of the lowest we went on, but for me, It was really cool to look down on the rain forest from any height and see it from above, but again, I've been waiting a very long time to do just that! (The guy in the picture is Christian our other tour guide - we got really lucky both days we went on tours to have guides who were a lot of fun and were willing to joke around and laugh with us)

This is my favorite picture from the trip of myself...

me and ashley (she looks a bit nervous even though we had already done a few lines by now...

And all four of us by a big tree...

As we headed on up we saw some bats in a banana leaf... they were so cute!

As we got to the top we were really high up in the trees, though the picture doesn't really show it, but at the top is where the toucans hang out and we got to a lot of them. The focus on the camera is not very good because it is so humid there that it just kept fogging up, but you can still see the toucans!

We got to eat a few different types of fruit while in the forest, but for some reason I didn't get pictures of them. It was some of the best tasting fruits I've ever had. You actually don't eat the fruit, you suck the pulp off the seed (just like a monkey) and then toss the seed... we did get to eat from a coco pod and that was the best tasting thing I ate the whole trip. Raw coco... mmmmmmm.... Here's a pic of Ronald showing us a coco fruit...

When we finished up on the lines, we headed back to the villas proud of ourselves and excited about everything we had learned and experienced. We had dinner and wine and headed off to bed ready for our next day... Zip lining really was a dream come true. It was everything I thought it would be and the next time I have the opportunity, I want to climb the trees to the tops (another tour). I'm really proud of Ashley for doing it (she went first on the highest line) and she went backwards when we did it that way. I am humbled by the beauty of all that happens in a rain forest and how hard everything works. The air is so different and so clean because everything is so green. Being there was pure magic for me... If you want to see more pictures you can look at my flickr by clicking on any picture and I think there is video of me coming in on a line on Holly's camera which I am hoping to get from her in the next day or two.

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