Up at 6, went upstairs to the kitchen and made myself some breakfast, then headed to the front door to wait for my pickup. They came around 7 and I hopped into the back of the truck.
I was the first one they picked up, they have to pick up four more, so off we went to another part of town. They were waiting in front of a supermarket, they hopped into the truck as well. They were all from Canada as well. Two guys, two girls, they were all traveling together, 3 nurses and a doctor. We have 3 guides, one of them speaks English.
We left town for the 1.5-2 hour drive to the put in point on the river. Part of the drive was on a very bumpy dirt track. After arriving, we got all the equipment out of the truck and got our safety gear on, life vest and helmet. We also got some safety instructions and instructions on the rafting language, the commands they use. We have two small rafts and an inflatable kayak.
The river consists of three sections. The first section is smaller rapids and falls, which will take maybe 2 hours. The second section is the awesome one. Consisting of class III-IV rapids and some big falls. There will also be some rapids we cannot do, where we'll have to get out and portage the boats over them. The last section is a relatively flat part to the takeout point. We'll have lunch along the river, before the second section starts.
I opted to go for the kayak to start out with, which was quite a bit of fun. The rapids were pretty good, but I did tip over my kayak during one longer, pretty crazy section, with lots of rocks and fast flowing rapids. I hit a rock sideways and lost my balance and before I knew it, I was out. I followed the safety instructions as best I could, lay on your back, point your feet downriver, hold them up so you can use them to push yourself off of any rocks and hold on to the straps of your life vest. I was trying to hold my feet up, but they kept hitting rocks, causing them to go under the water temporarily before you could get them back up. I floated down the rapids, the kayak paddle in hand, my shins constantly hitting rocks. When I finally arrived at the bottom of the rapids, one of the bigger rafts was there to grab a hold of me and get the kayak as it floated down behind me. My shins took the brunt of it, but only one very small cut.
I decided after that to switch to the bigger raft. Haha.
The first section was a lot of fun, and we pulled to the side of the river for lunch, lots and lots of sandwiches, fruit, cookies, etc. There was also a big rock here we could jump off of.
After eating, Edgar, our main guide explained the next section and some of the stuff we'll be seeing, including dropoffs, a small canyon and lots of big water.
Well, it was pretty adrenaline inducing! In my raft, I had one of the Canadian guys, who was pretty top heavy, muscles. We were both sitting in the front of the raft, the guide at the back. The Canadian guy was pretty wobbly, he'd bounce all over the boat, and he head butted me on more than one occasion. Good thing we had helmets.
One of the first big ones was a huge drop of probably 8 feet, the water funneling through two big rocks. We went through this thing, at the bottom, the front of the raft went under the water and both me and the other guy were in the water. I tried to surface, and when I did, I was underneath the boat, I couldn't get to the surface. Just for a fraction of a second, I wanted to freak out, but then kept my cool, told myself I still had air in my lungs, I can hold it a bit longer, just stay calm. Stay calm I did, and managed to get out from under the raft and popped my head out of the water. The raft was within reach of me, so I grabbed the rope and felt that one of my Crocs was no longer on my foot. I threw my paddle into the raft (I never let go of it for some reason), then I looked around for my Croc and saw it swirling in an eddy at the waterfall, so swam over (with rope in hand, pulling the raft with me) and grabbed my Croc and tossed it into the raft. I let the guide take the raft away from the waterfall to more placid waters, then he hauled me back into the raft. That was a rush! I've been rafting numerous times, but have never been thrown from the raft before.
The next section was not raftable, we had to come ashore and portage the boats. I can see why we didn't do it, insane!
Before we got back into our raft, we asked the guide about moving big nurse dude to the middle of the boat. The reason we went over the first time was the front of the boat was to heavy, we figured. We did this, and it worked much better after that. We didn't have anymore spills from our boat after that.
The other raft had the other guy and the two girls. One of the girls had never rafted before, and after portaging one of the falls, she looked ahead at what was coming up and refused to get back into the raft right there. So the other guy and girl ran those rapids, while scaredycat girl walked to the next flat section, where she got back into the boat.
Another of the rapids was another huge drop. You have to come at the drop at just the right angle (i.e. straight!), then when the guide yells "DOWN", you need to fall into the bottom of the boat, as there's a tight wall you really don't want any part of your body to be smashing into. That one was a blast as well.
The girls in the other raft went for swims numerous times during the second section. I don't think the girl who had ever rafted before was to thrilled.
Anyway, the last section was relatively boring compared to the other two sections. We got to the takeout point and loaded all the gear up and headed back to town. Got back to my hostel about 3:45.
I had reserved two tickets to a show at a theater for dad and myself for tomorrow evening, but with dad not here anymore, I had a free ticket. I left a note on the poster in the hostel indicating I had a free ticket and to email me if anyone is interested.
I relaxed for a while, then went out for supper and walked around to see if anything was happening for Halloween. It was still early, so went back to the hostel for a while. Around 9 I headed back out and walked around to see what I could see. There were some people dressed up out partying. I stopped at a small bar that had a band inside playing rock music and had a couple of beers and sat outside and watched the people coming and going and the costumes going around.
Headed back around 11 and to bed.