Our first morning in Turrialba we were scheduled to go waterfall rappelling. As you can see in the photo above, my travel partner was stoked and ready to go. I, being terrified of heights, was not so much. But it’s part of my job – to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer.
Here’s how the beginning of the tour went:
Guide: Are you proficient enough to understand a safety speech about waterfall rappelling in Spanish?
Me: (laughing rather uncomfortably) No, I don’t think so.
There were 4 waterfalls and several ziplines in between. Along with one hanging bridge.
Being at the end of the rainy season, just imagine how much water was falling from these waterfalls. I got down the first one okay, landing in a giant pool of icy cold water.
At the second waterfall, the guide told me this one was the worst – with the most water. And to always be looking down or you’ll get a face full of water.
Well, let’s just make a long (and from what Kevin will tell you since he went down before me – very funny) story short. My body slammed into the jagged rock wall numerous times. I did always look down but that didn’t stop the water from rushing over my face. At one point while hanging there, I really wasn’t sure I was going to make it down that waterfall. My face continued to be pummeled by nonstop water and I couldn’t get a grip on the rock wall. I was doing what they instructed – legs straight, lean back, head down. Eventually though, my feet landed on somewhat solid ground in a shallow pool of water. The problem? I couldn’t bend my left leg. Every time I tried to walk, it felt like my quadricep muscles were being pulled in two different directions. I looked down to see my leg swelling up and turning pink.
Always wanting to put the best foot forward, I limped to the next zipline. But the pain was extreme. Fighting back tears, I then asked the guide…Is there another way down this mountain? At first he just thought the problem was the scrapes on my right leg that were bleeding. But then I pulled up my board shorts and showed him my left leg and he understood. The photographer grabbed his first aid kit and they put some sort of lotion on my leg and wrapped it with an ace bandage. I took one last zip line and then walked the rest of the way back down the mountain to the main lodge.
And I was somewhat grateful once I saw the hanging bridge. This wasn’t your typical hanging bridge – it had large spaces between each of the wooden slats and it moved with each step taken. Yeah, I could barely walk and being a hundred feet above the ground, this was not a bridge I was going to attempt to walk across.
Waterfall rappelling is probably not my sport. But I’m glad I tried it and I actually think it might be really fun to do, just without the water.
Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.