As our fourth day came to an end, I worried that my tender feet would prevent me from the long walk on our agenda today…the famous “hanging bridges”. But this morning the old arches feel fine.
It is amazing to be in a country where caring for its natural wonders is a national value. We see it in the motels which encourage conservation of water and recycling. There are little notes on the walls reminding us to turn off the lights when we leave (most require us to use our room key to turn the lights on in the first place). We are encouraged to hang our towels for reuse, to not let the water run while brushing teeth. There are refillable dipensers for soap, shampoo, and rinse in the showers. There are recycling bins all around. It makes me stop to wonder what it means to have a national value. Do we in the United States have national values…values that we hold together in some sort of mutual understanding. If there are such values, what do they look like in practice? This morning I am finding it hard to come up with any. We are so individualistic, I think.
We walked six hanging bridges today. They are sturdy steel, strong with sides that feel quite safe. The path we walked between bridges was protected from mud-sliding by blocks that made the walk very uneven. I had to watch my feet all the time to keep from breaking an ankle which made it hard to pay attention to the natural wonders. We wound through lush forest full of trees hundreds of years old and plants so large you could climb aboard and take a nap. We saw birds, a sloth and monkeys. Then we saw a little animal related to the racoon. A bunch of them huddled in an area near the end of our walk where there was a dump for them to scavange. One of our women took a tumble, so distracted was she by the sight of them. She will have a few bruises, but hopefully okay.
Back at our hotel room, more like a patio home. I saw a worker that appeared to be cutting grass using a machette. Unbelievable.