Today is our first full day at Borinquen and the group has various plans for how they are spending their morning after our breakfast gathering... some are riding horses to the waterfalls and then to the zip line tour, some are being driven (by Hummer) to the start of the zip line tour and some are hiking to the start of the zip line tour for photo opportunities (this is my choice).
Our hike takes us up the side of the mountain to the end of the paved road and continues on a dirt road through a cow pasture to the start of the zip line tour. It is very windy high up on the mountain and once I see the first platform, I'm happy that I've opted out of this adventure. The first "zip" is over a very deep chasm in the rain forest and looks extremely scary to me and the others who have opted out of zipping along down the mountain through the rain forest. Paige is happy to be having no part of zipping as others mill about getting their gear checked and being instructed before setting out on the zip tour. Mike has perfect form and Tamar goes tandem on the first of 9 (or 10?) zips on the return to Borinquen.
After all the "zippers" have taken their first step on the zip tour, Elaine, Micah and myself opt for a ride down the mountain in the hummer... a bone rattling experience! Then it is off for a quick hike on the Petroglyph Trail through the rain forest for the three of us... we want to be back in time to greet the crowd doing the zip tour when they return via the last zip line which ends near the stables. The guides encourage upside down zipping at the end of the tour and all our crowd does this.
The afternoon is spent by some lounging in the hot pools or around the swimming pool while others take advantage of the mud baths and/or massages in the spa. My choice is to relax, take a nap and then go birding with Charlie and Niño from ~3:30 pm to sunset. This turns out to be a great adventure because I have them all to myself and Charlie spends a great deal of time capturing bird photos for me on my Nikon P4 which he uses paired with the bird scope to get closer than I can with my Nikon P80. We have very good viewing of some birds I'd seen before but not seen well and spot new birds (new to me on this trip) also. It's hard to choose the best photos from the many taken today by Charlie... but I do like his "extreme close-up" of the Turquoise-browed Motmot and the Double-striped Thick-knee we saw. Additional photos (both by Charlie and by myself) are in the complete album from our thirteenth day in Costa Rica.