When my sister in law signed us up for the ADR (Amigos Del Rio – “Friends of the River”) a dventure I honestly didn’t pay much attention. I figured it was a bit of rainforest hiking and some zip lines. A cool adventure, but nothing that was too too big a deal. I mean some of the kids were going (not mine) ….
I was wrong.
Our ADR guide picked us up at 7am and zipped us off to breakfast. They set up a beautiful breakfast of fruit, beans, rice and juice … but I didn’t eat it, I wasn’t too hungry and thought I would just nosh on some fruit. We would be done by lunchtime … (again wrong)
We then hopped in the tourism van and set out to the tour. We drove out of town and made a turn onto a dirt path at led us to a shack near a river. We hopped out and changed vehicles to a fairly serious looking army truck. This is where I started to wonder what I was getting myself into.
Said army truck heaved us up up up the side of a mountain via thick bumpy muddy roads. 4 times we had to hop out of the vehicle and hike up while the tour guides dug the tires out of the mud.
Finally we reached the opening of the rainforest and set forward on foot.
We trekked down until there was a clearing and another small shack with the equipment that we would need for the remainder of our adventure. Somehow 3 hours had already gone by! It was 10 am and our adventure was just beginning. Guess we wouldn’t be back before lunch
The next 5 hours we hiked through the rainforest attached to ropes that were mounted to the side on the mountains. We had to remain clipped onto the ropes just in case anyone slipped, as the path had a significant drop on one side! Between narrow path hiking we did a series of adventure tests. Basically we pretended to be monkeys.
1. tarzan swing
3. zip line
4. zip line into the waterfall + free fall drop into the rapids below
5. More swinging!
6. Long zip
Somewhere in the middle of all this it had begun to rain. I had also gotten a bunch of water in my ears when I dropped into the rushing river (!!!) and was pretty uncomfortable.
There was a turning point in the process, something like 6 hours in when it went from OMG this is amazing to OMG I am 100% soaked and I want this over.
However in my group were some young and brave little kids – as young as 5! Their ability to conquer fears and discomfort was an outstanding thing to watch. It made my pull up my big girl pants a bit and stop my whining
These 2 brave little girls are 5 and 7 years old. They were scared at times, but they pushed through and accomplished all of the adventure that the adults did. I was super impressed and proud of them.
OK back to the adventure …
When our quest in the rainforest was done we were able to take off the gear (thank goodness, those harnesses were in no way comfortable) and head back up the first trail to our army truck.
At this point it was pouring. Hard.
When we got back in the truck we were already drenched, which was a good thing beacse for the next 1 hour we rode in a truck with no roof. Down a slippery, muddy, narrow road. The truck swayed side to side exactly like the Indian Jones Adventure in Disneyland. In fact the drive down the mountain was exactly the same as that ride, the same tossing around, the same rocks rolling toward you. Except it was real and it was raining. Scary … really really scary!
When we finally made it back to the shack where our van was parked we were starved, drenched and reeling from the past hours. The tour guides were super sweet, they offered us cookies and beer … none of us wanted it, we couldn’t get home fast enough, into hot showers and dry clothes. That night we sleepily had dinner, recapped the adventure and came to the conclusion that we had an amazing time.
It took me about a day to come to that conclusion. I loved the experience, I loved the feeling of testing my fears and doing it with my family. I loved the beauty that I was surrounded by, I loved that I felt like I had run a marathon when it was over. There were a few things I would change if I were to do it again, but being Tarzan for a day was a pretty cool experience!
Have you ever done anything like this? Any other attractions that I need to do next time I am in Costa Rica?