Wrapping Up, For Safety’s Sake

Now just a quick recap of our final days, right before we were so rudely plunged back into Saskatchewan winter last night around midnight, with me still wearing only thongs (and a strategically wound towel, of course, as I found that less clothing simplifies the metal detection process).

From Manuel Antonio we travelled to Santa Elena, a small town in the mountains of central Costa Rica. Our big adventure there was the SkyTrek, a combination of cloud forest hikes and tree to tree zip lines. Zip lines are basically cables strung from one area of the forested hills to another (the longest was 750 metres) where mid-range thrill seekers such as ourselves are harnessed in to hurtle across at breakneck speeds hundreds of feet above the jungle floor. An absolute blast, although, needless to say, not for those edgy about heights. It was also an incredibly windy day so on the highest tower (around 300 metres up) we literally had to cling to the scaffolding to avoid being flung from the top like a week-old scab. Not that we had any need to worry, since they had already anticipated just such a complication, supplying us with little green ball caps reinforced with what I’m sure was space-age plastic, although it did scratch pretty easy. I nicknamed mine, “Still dead, but not as messy”.

We also did a little hiking in the area before making our way back to San Jose. Once there we spent our last day (besides Sunday, also known as multiple chair/canned air day) taking a trip to see Volcan de Poas, an active volcano just a couple of hours from San Jose. Hmmm, where to start? Well, they say its the thought that counts, and by those meagre standards I guess it wouldn’t qualify as a complete waste of time. On the other hand, however……it was. Ignore, for a moment, the fact that they overloaded the bus so that lots of people had to stand the entire way (common enough on local buses, not as widely accepted on a bus filled only with tourists), or that we stopped at a roadside restaurant for a 15 minute break with just 6 km to go in our 2 1/2 hour trip, or that we then spent another 1/2 an hour unloading the entire bus, having everyone line up to buy their pass into the park (despite being near the end of the 100-person line the ticket lady still needed to use a calculator to determine the cost for the 2 of us), then reloading the bus, only to drive another 400 metres to the final stop. OK, we’re here now, let’s head to the summit. We walk the km or km and a 1/2, or whatever it is, to the edge of the crater where you’re supposed to have great views of the smouldering volcano and the surrounding lakes and mountains. Unfortunately, however, during the time we had spent “resting”, etc. it had become increasingly cloudy and had even started drizzling. Therefore, by the time we hit the end of the trail, ascending the so-called Lookout Tower, we were greeted by a majestically pure vista of……absolute whiteness. It was like a vast wonderland of cotton baton. Quite an experience, I assure you. Not to worry, though, we did get a good picture of a picture of the crater that we found on a nearby sign, so at least we know what it should have looked like.

Other than that, we managed to finally make our mark as the 357,521,467th and 357,521,468th people to see The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Nice big theatre, good sound, but the popcorn blew. We also felt a little out of place being 2 of only about 9 people in the entire theatre that weren’t furiously clamped to each other’s faces. It wouldn’t have been quite so disturbing if they all didn’t slowly wobble their heads in Stevie Wonder-ish fashion while making disgusting fish-like motions with their cheeks. I can now see why I’ve never reached my full necking potential, having my tongue reach all the inner recesses of the lucky lady’s gums, palate and, of course, esophagus.

In all fairness to their uncontrollable urges, however, I should point out that the mood had already been unavoidably set when, just prior to the previews, they ran a thoroughly provocative and sensual ad for a quartet of male strippers. Let’s face it, if Carlos, Manuel, Julio and Jeffrey can’t get your motor running before a 14A showing of Lord of the Rings, what will?

Thanks everybody, you’ve been great, drive safe, and we’ll see you all soon. Good night.

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