pura vida: the moment you’ve all been waiting for

theromanticRight as we settled into our gorgeous Quepos homebase, we decided to risk it all and schedule our ziplining excursion for the very next morning. The staff at Los Altos proudly recommended MidWorld, and with one brief phone call and plans for an early departure the next morning, our lives were officially on the line (ba dum chaaa, pun intended).

For our possible last meal, we ordered an embarrassing amount of room service and binged on seafood while watching Missy Franklin take home gold. I felt confident that this was an acceptable last night on earth should I plunge to my death the next day, and the next morning, I woke feeling  surprisingly calm.

…that is, all the way up until we were strapped in and got the full briefing of what our day would entail.

On the outside I may look confident and badass (just go with it), but inside I was dying a slow death.

This is where the necessary praises come in for MidWorld. The staff was absolutely amazing from the moment they picked us up at the hotel. Our group consisted of a mix of people, including a family with two really little kids…one of whom was HORRIFIED. We’re talking even more afraid than I was–girl was straight up refusing to put on her equipment. Jokes aside, I had a lot of personal qualms with this family, and I’m pretty sure if I was on staff at Midworld I would have asked them to leave, but the team handled it like pros. The little girl could not have been less excited about the experience, and the staff turned her mood completely around.

After a mini safety lesson, we were apparently ready to go. I personally felt more petrified knowing what the day would entail, and I sensed that the hubs was less confident, too. Luckily, he kept his brave face on or else I probably would have bolted straight for the infinity pool and soaked myself into raisinhood for the next few days, never to leave our Los Altos compound again.

Instead, I took a few deep breaths, watched them send the little girl off into oblivion, and decided that I could do this.

And then that all went out the window. These are the real faces of fear, my friends:

And also the real face of patience.

To be perfectly honest, I kept my eyes shut tight for the first run, positive the line was going to snap or I was going to hit a tree, or something. Luckily, though, the MidWorld team was completely prepared for my neuroses. They assured me that I would hate the first three runs, but the fourth would be my time to shine–by then, I wouldn’t be scared anymore. I didn’t believe them.

Please, click to enlarge so you can really see our facial expressions.

After the third run, though, something magical happened: it really did suddenly switch to being more fun and less horrifying. I was able to keep my eyes open without fearing a bug would fly into my cornea (this the way my brain works, people), and was able to let loose–just a little.

It was suddenly so much fun that I wasn’t even mad when they SURPRISED US with a TREE RAPPEL. (Ok, I was a little mad). If I have any qualms with MidWorld, it’s that they need to reassess their idea of the word “surprise.”

There’s no question that this was a huge stretch for me, but something I’m really, really glad we did. Though I can’t say that I’d zipline again (Murphy’s Law means the line snaps next time, right? I maybe don’t understand Murphy’s Law), but I’m thrilled to say that we made it through and I have MidWorld to thank.

Also something to note: MidWorld brakes your line for you. I had no idea that this would be something to consider (mainly because I refused to do any advanced research for fear of seeing one too many death stats), but I’m SOO glad that they did. Maybe other ziplining aficionados can explain this better, but apparently most companies don’t do this and you have to brake yourself? I clearly have no idea what the alternative to this is, and while I assume it’s not splatting into a tree, this is what I had pictured. So: more points for MidWorld and something to keep in mind should you, too, plan to go ziplining in Costa Rica.

Next up: an evening booze cruise complete with Belgian backpackers and a ten foot waterslide.


the romantic

– All photos in this post are credited to MidWorld. We opted for the photo package and I don’t regret it for a second. When else would I see what I look like when I’m so scared I want to vomit?



  1. October 1, 2012 / 04:34

    Some of those pictures make it look like you’re about 2 meters off the ground, which makes the horrified facial expressions even funnier. I’ve never gone ziplining, but it’s definitely something I want to try sometime. I’ll probably even do it with my eyes open.
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  2. Carla
    October 1, 2012 / 13:09

    I remember my zip line experience. Screaming like a banshee and disrupting the ecosystem. Lol! It was fun tho and I’ll do it again and again.

    I have a video of it and it was embarrassing.

  3. October 2, 2012 / 16:06

    This is SO COOL! I am so glad you got the photo package (for totally selfish reasons, but yay for you, too!) so that we could see what it’s like! I think I need to go to Costa Rica. How big were the spiders and how many of them did you see? Obviously, this is the only thing holding me back from going to Costa Rica. And money. And my big girl job. But spiders are the biggest thing.
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    • October 2, 2012 / 16:53

      yeahhh, definitely more spiders than i would have liked BUT not enough to scare me out of costa rica forever! swear it.
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  4. October 3, 2012 / 09:46

    I still can’t believe that you went to the EXACT zip lining place as I did a few years ago. Actually, I really can’t believe how scared you were. I’m afraid of heights and I loved it. Such a chicken, you are.
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    • October 3, 2012 / 10:35

      i know, what are the chances we’d go to the same place?!

      and also, LEAH, i wasn’t most scared of the heights for your information! i was scared of the line snapping and hitting me in the face OR smashing into a tree OR getting a bug in my eye OR getting stuck in the middle of line and having to hang there for hours while i waited for a rescue.
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  5. October 3, 2012 / 18:34

    Loved this! I almost went ziplining in Fiji, and was so happy when my friends changed their mind and wanted to do the village tour/ jet boating. I love a good adventure, but there’s something about being suspended in the air handing on to a line that scares me to death. However, reading this inspired me to give it a go. I’d love to do it somewhere like Costa Rica. Great photos!
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    • October 5, 2012 / 08:01

      it definitely got more fun as the day progressed… i’ll admit, i wasn’t having the best time the first two lines.
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  6. Pola (@jettingaround)
    October 5, 2012 / 19:09

    OK as if your previous posts weren’t enough to put CR on my bucket list, this one brings it even higher up! I love ziplining, but since I’ve only done it the downtown Vegas way, I need a good place to go. So I guess CR it will be. And maybe NZ. 😉
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  7. October 5, 2012 / 22:21

    Loved this post and smiled through the whole thing (sorry, if I didn’t ROFL – it wasn’t clean). Anyway, I think the hubs looks more scared sh—less than you on those pix! I am not worried about the line snapping were I to go ziplining which I want to do someday. But I would be concerned about not braking on time. And now I am worried because you say not all companies have a setup that helps with the braking…
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    • October 6, 2012 / 12:16

      oh the hubs tried to play it cool, but he screamed like a little girl. that guy is all talk.
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  8. October 8, 2012 / 00:01

    Zip lining does seem like lot of fun. As much as I think I’d like to do it, I’d probably be terrified, too! Good on ya for going through with it.
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  9. October 8, 2012 / 08:55

    OMG, you are so brave – or I am such a wuss. No way I would do it. And glad you got the pics – I loved seeing them. Mr O is here next to me and would have loved to do it 😉
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  10. ciableu
    October 8, 2012 / 11:40

    Finally! Glad to read that you had a good experience. One more off the list. I know that’s the way I feel……okay, done that, check. Sounds like a great trip.

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