Thursday, December 23, 2010

Costa Rican high Jump

Costa Rica… today’s port was the best yet. From the moment I stepped off the ship, I felt back in true travel mode. I was low on funds but thirsty for adventure. The plan was originally to go zip lining but what we later learned was that it would be outside of our budget from our side of the country. The sun was shining and it was very hot. We waited at the terminal to be transported to the taxi area. While there I recognized one a lady that had voyaged with me in Spring 2010. I hadn’t quite seen everyone who was on the ship but she was working as Semester at Sea staff. Cindy, who was my Dean of Students and my On-Ship mother, also had returned. The three of us stood and recanted a few memories from Brasil. A story that I shared was about my Brasilian wish bracelet that I got in Salvador Bahia.
In Bahia, Brasil many of my fellow adventurers received a cloth bracelet that was tied around the wrist in three knots, with each knot one is to make a wish. It is said that when the bracelet falls off your three wishes come true.
My bracelet was a little different. Not only did I have a wish bracelet but I was also given a tweed bracelet, 2 months prior, in India that wards off evil spirits. After about a month of wearing both they eventually became one bracelet from washing, wear, etc. So I thought it would never fall off and my wishes would never come true. Strange enough, while standing in line to exchange USD to Guatemalan Quetzals my bracelet fell off. Mind you, this was the first time I’d been out the country since getting it, simply amazing.
After sharing this story with them, the lady went in her bag and pulled out a wish bracelet and adorned me with it. New Beginnings and new wishes. She tied it in its traditional fashion and I made my three wishes. I thanked her, we all exchanged hugs and I met up with Ulato and my roommate Devon to plan out our day. A group of us decided to ride to Jaco and explore. On the way we saw huge crocodiles in the river. We stopped took pictures and grabbed some local brews and bean patties and drove for another 30minutes into Jaco, passing signs advertising Bungee Jumping, Zip lining and snorkeling.
When we arrived in Jaco, it was between beach bumming, Bungee jumping, or Zip lining. Because zip lining was overpriced where we were, and beach bumming would be uneventful, Bungee Jumping was the plan.
The benefit of traveling with a small likeminded group is that they require little to no convincing. After paying our money and signing the waivers we readied to jump from almost 200 feet. We took the elevator to the top of a large steel apparatus. While on the lift the safety instructor asked who wanted to go first, without hesitation I jumped at it. I strapped up! Double Velcroed harness across the shoulders, metal hooks across the chest and waist and around the ankles. The instructor led me to the edge, unhooked my safety cord and threw my bungee cord off the side. I looked down into the pool of water that would somewhat break my fall. The cord was fixed to dip me waist deep at the most extended point.
The instructor began the countdown; I looked to my right and saw Ulato filming me, and Devon anxious for me. The anticipation built to the point of excitement, raised my hands and dove off the edge. As I raced toward the ground all I thought about was how great life is, how I really live out my dreams, and how I hope I wasn’t about to die. Before I knew it I was deep in water before being pulled half way back up, and then spinning around until I leveled off and was guided to safety. The experience was absolutely exhilarating. Dizzy and dazed I watched Devon and Ulato jump. Ulato yelled “Damn you Cameron Thomas-Shah, before he jumped. His fall was equally footed as far as the spinning only he chose not to hit the water. Next they convinced me to rocket launch. Essentially, they launched you from a base into the sky, and because you’re strapped to elastic bands you bounce to and fro. So that’s exactly what we did. I did 7 flips in the air on the way up. I will soon upload the videos. After our aerodynamic activities, we hung out on the beach for a half an hour before heading back to the ship

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