In our last post we left you hanging after describing only three of our six favorite travel adventures — things we did that took us slightly outside our comfort zone while on the road. As mentioned previously, one thing we’ve learned is that adding a bit of a thrill to your travels can only make them more memorable. And so, without further delay, we give you the remaining three in the hopes you might try one of them yourself next time you have the opportunity. You won’t regret it. Except maybe the last one on our list…don’t try that one!
Zip Lining in the Costa Rican Rain Forest: Zip lining is clearly becoming more and more popular today. In Costa Rica’s rain forests near the Arenal Volcano (which is exciting enough, with smoke constantly spewing from its dome), there is a zip lining tour that takes you high above the rivers and valleys below. How high? Let’s just say if you fell for some reason you would most likely not survive. The line reaches several hundred feet above the ground in some places. Of course, we were attached securely, and as we stood on the first of 11 platforms, I watched my family take off, one by one, across the skies and through the trees. When it came to be my turn, however, I hesitated.
I’ve always had a fear of heights — and this was the ultimate test of that fear. As my family grew more and more frustrated with my refusal to take off, the 20-something guide offered to ride with me. He wrapped his arms around me and we went — together — through the rainforest of Arenal. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The funny part is that now we have photos of me and this dude, who is obviously not my husband, flying through the trees. Everyone asks, “who are you with on the zip line?” It just adds to the fun memories. I do hope that the next time I go zip lining I will have the courage to go solo. You can read more about our Costa Rica trip here.
Mountain Bike Riding on the Ski Slopes in Summer: Skiing or snowboarding down a mountain is one thing, but mountain biking down the slopes is an entirely different animal. If you fall, there’s no soft snow to land on. It’s hard-packed dirt, rocks and more. So when we went to Keystone Mountain in Colorado in the height of summer, we thought we’d give it a go — realizing it could get ugly. We were set up with helmets, long-sleeved jackets and maps outlining the various trail options, and the outfitter provided us with bikes adjusted to our skill levels. The chair lift ride was beautiful — with scenic views out across the Rocky Mountains. Next came the moment of truth: time to head down the mountain. I am not a speed freak so this was a big challenge for me. Still, I zig-zagged my way down, stopping occasionally to catch my breath and take a photo or two. When I arrived at the end of the trail, I truly felt I had accomplished something, especially since I didn’t take a single fall. (After all, I hadn’t been on a bike in a really long time.) It was a great ride and well worth the adventure. You can read all about our Keystone trip here.
Mingling with Bulls in Spain: You heard it right: bulls. On a trip to southern Spain we ventured out into the countryside, taking our trusty rental car off road. The views were spectacular and we didn’t know why we were the only people out and about in this bucolic landscape of rolling hills and beautiful pastures. And that is the key word that should have given us fair warning: pastures. Little did we know but we had driven our way into a bull pasture, which we soon discovered was home to the largest bulls I’ve ever seen. (After all, Spain is known for its bulls.) It wasn’t long before these mammoth creatures were surrounding our car. Thankfully, they did keep their distance a bit and we somehow managed to not make them angry. We slowly drove away — quietly rolling the car down the hill with the engine off — and didn’t look back. Whew! Now that was an adventure that we didn’t plan on!
How about you? What are your favorite, most memorable travel adventures?