We changed plans. Between planning a wedding and really wanting surfboards, we decided to cancel the big looping road trip and settled on a more direct route through the center of the country. There isn’t much new for us to see this direction, but we really just wanted to get to sunny California as soon as possible.
After turning in our apartment keys in Toledo, we started west on the Ohio Turnpike (80/90), stopping to say a quick goodbye to my family.
Just about one uneventful hour later, we made our way into Indiana. Not much different than Ohio. Near the end of Indiana the landscape became more and more industrial and soon we were entering Chicago, our destination for the night.
We stopped in Lincoln Park to meet up with a good friend and spent the afternoon walking the city streets. It had been a long time since we had been to a big, American city. Hunger set in so we found the closest pizza place and the three of us dug into a 12 inch deep dish.
It was good to see our friend and his family. They always take us in during our travels and they’re always a good time. The first day of traveling never feels quite right, with our minds all jumbled up with work and the stresses of life. Chicago was a good start, but still only a start. “TO THE WEST!!!” we yelled.
Granada zipline tours take place on Volcan Mombacho, Nicaragua and can be reserved through almost any tour agency in Granada. The tour costs $35 per person, including transportation from Granada, 17 platforms, and 11 ziplines! One awesome part of our tour was that we only had five people in our group, so there wasn’t a lot of waiting on the platforms. We just kept zip zip zipping!
After only going on two of them, I’ve decided that canopy tours are one of my favorite things EVER. Apparently the concept of the “canopy tour” was founded in Costa Rica, thus they are very popular throughout all of Central America. The first canopy tour Zach and I ever went on was in the Hocking Hills of Ohio. Pretty fun, but not super scenic, as it was Ohio. We knew we had to go on another one in Central America, and since Nicaragua had the best prices and Steve would be with us, we decided to do it there!
The ziplines were various lengths but I would classify them all as medium to long for a canopy tour. There were also a couple tipsy-fun rope bridges between platforms. I just LOVE flying through the air on ziplines. I’ve done a lot of single ziplines at camps and stuff, as well as the Hocking Hills Canopy Tour. Jumping off the platforms and zipping doesn’t even scare me any more. I actually get more scared on the rope bridges. But I still get that spectacular “I’m flying!!!!!!” adrenaline rush.
The BEST thing about this Granada zipline canopy tour was that we got to do tricks! Not just ordinary ziplining, but tricks, I tell you! We got to zip like “Superchico/Superchica” (see Steve, top), zip upside-down like monkeys, and Zach and I got to zip together! But my most favorite of all words-cannot-describe-how-fun-it-was trick was bouncing! On a few different ziplines the guides would send us off and then the guide at the bottom would hang on the cables and jerk them up and down, making us BOUNCE LIKE CRAZY as we flew down. I actually bounced so hard that I could feel the mechanism coming off the cable and the thrill of that roller coaster stomach drop feeling. Seriously, it was SO FUN I was grinning from ear to ear as I flew/bounced down the last zipline. Out of this world.
The course on Volcan Mombacho was also beautiful! Sometimes you can see monkeys up in the trees; we didn’t see any but we heard them growling. Also, the course runs over an organic coffee plantation, and at the end of the tour you can sample and buy some coffee. Way to incorporate tourism and sustainable agriculture! Basically, canopy tours are such an amazing adventure and I would very highly recommend this Granada zipline tour to anyone.
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