Zip-Lining and Beach Time
This morning we had to wake up an hour earlier than usual, because breakfast was being held at seven instead of eight and also due to the fact that we needed to give ourselves plenty of time to finish packing and get out on the road. We left our hotel in Puerto San Luis and set course for the beach and Tamarindo. On the bus ride over, our professor gave a brief lecture on coastal weather, natural diasters (such as tsunamis), as well as the distinction between what is magma and what is lava. The best place to be during a tsunami, as we learned, is out on a boat further out into the deeper ocean. That far away from the coastal line, the rising of the water is more subtle because it is more spread out. As for the difference between lava and magma, this one is simple: the two elements are composed of the same material, however magma stays beneath the earth’s crust, while lava is what it is called once it emerges.
After a little more driving, we finally arrived at the zip-lining place. This had been on of the activities I had anticipated the most throughout the trip, but once we arrived and saw the equipment we had to wear, I found myself getting pretty apprehensive. Our zip-line course consisted of twelve platforms, each varying in length and speed of descent. For protection, we were fastened into a harness, given protective helmets, and a sturdy pair of gloves for our hands. After we had all properly geared up, the facility guides gave us all a tutorial on how zip-lining works. They taught us the proper positions for our head and legs, how to increase or slow down, and, most importantly, how to brake. Finally, it was time to go. Now or never. We ascended a tall spiral of stairs up to the first platform and prepared for our first take-off. And it was…amazing. I had come this close to backing out of it at the last second, but I am so glad I didn’t because the experience was out of this world. We zipped through the canopies, past howler monkey and birds and it really felt like we were flying ourselves. Not only that, but how many people can say they have zip-lined in Central America? It was certainly an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Now pumped with adrenaline, we piled back onto the bus for the remainder of the ride to Tamarindo. A last minute change in hotels had us driving a little longer than anticipated, but the hotels we settled into are nice and comfortable, with the added benefit of looking out over the beach. Once we had all found our rooms and moved our things in, a bunch of us headed down towards the beach to explore for a bit. Some people escaped into the water, while others roamed the shoreline. As I walked along the shore, the afternoon sun beating down on me and the rolling waves swelling around my ankles, I took in the scenery and aimed my camera in the direction of some particularly nice views. While I took snapshots of my surroundings, a trio of pelicans dove into the water looking for dinner and the wind blew gently. It was very relaxing.
Then we were off to lunch. The first restaurant we tried wasn’t open, so we crcled the block and fount another one. The atmosphere was beachy and fun and they even had two parrots walking around the place. Craving more of an American lunch after all this time, I opted to order a grilled cheese sandwhich for lunch. It came with yucca sticks, which are like french fries (but way better!), and tasted superb! Many of my fellow classmates craving food that reminded them of home, ordered hamburgers. We took our time at the restaurant and then set off for a supermarket before returning back to our hotels. This market was more like a 7-eleven, but it had the last minute things we needed and then then we headed back to where we were staying. Tomorrow we have the day to ourselves to enjoy the beach, visit town, or grab some surfing lessons, and later in the evening we will have our final dinner with the group.
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