Okay, I have a confession to make here. I didn't really want to go white water rafting. I'd already checked that off the bucket list, but the others hadn't done it before and the travel agent kinda pushed it, so we signed up. Um....could not be more glad that I got out voted. Probably the coolest, craziest part of the trip!
FYI--you can click on any of the photos to make them bigger!
We loaded up for the hour drive down even more wonderful, windy roads, to the river. At that point, the guides gave us a speech about all of the potential dangers: You lose a paddle. You fall out of the boat. You fall out of the boat and are not within reach of a raft. By the end I felt like if a freaking nuclear disaster struck, we would be ready. Turns out, they left one thing out.....we'll get there.
Please note the crazy Inspector Gadget-style camera strapped onto Cousin Swiss Mister. That's right folks, we have VIDEO of the entire trip!! We're working on editing (and by "we" I mean those members of the group that are more technological than me) and TRUST me, It'll be worth the wait!
So anyway back to rafting. After the safety talk, we piled into the raft with hands down the best guide of the day, Jose. Within about 3 minutes in the raft, we were in rapids that looked like this:
Yea...the first three minutes was bigger rapids than any that I had done on my last trip, so I knew that I was in for it!
I'm now going to just photo overload you with random fun rafting pictures and tell you that the day was filled with funny banter in the boat, the guide pushing The Bride out, Cousin Swiss Mister busting my lip with his paddle, me elbowing him in the face, Blonde OK Girl trying to save our guide when he fell out of the raft, a few curse words (Cousin Swiss Mister's favorite line was "Pedal, dammit!" instead of paddle) and lots of fun.
One of the coolest things we did was that we each "rode the bull." This means that you put your paddle down and go sit on the very front of the boat and hold on by the rope. It was insane!
About halfway through the day we took a break at a flat spot in the river for snacks of pineapple and watermelon. During that time, they offered to let us climb up on some rocks and jump off into the river. The Bride and BOKG were a little nervous, and I told them that the theme of our vacation was, "Go Big or Go Home." (That came back to bite me several times when I wanted to skip out of something crazy, by the way!) And so, of course, we all jumped.
And now for the scary part. We're going along just fine after doing crazy things all day long (including spinning the raft in a circle over rapids) and we sort of get stuck with the boat leaning my direction. The guide tells us to "get down" which meant to all move to the middle of the boat. Well when Cousin Swiss Mister, who was sitting opposite of me did that, the balance got thrown off and we tipped over. Cousin Swiss Mister, BOKG and I all went out. The guide and The Bride helped to get the other two back in and when they were all back in the boat, BOKG looked around and said, "Where's Tiffany?"
Well, Tiffany was busy almost drowning. Here's how that went down. When we went in the water, my glasses fell off, so I had those in my hand. I swim up to get my head out of the water and I can't seem to get to the top. I realize pretty quickly that I'm in one of those little whirlpools that are created right next to a rock that has rapids rushing over it. So here I am flailing my arms and trying to get a breath. What went through my head, you might ask? "Well, this is probably bad. How as THIS left out of the 30 minute danger speech?" And, remembering a conversation with my Dad before I went to Europe a few years ago when he said, "If you die over there, I'm going to be really pissed", I thought to myself, "Well, Dad is going to be pretty mad about me dying here too!" At this point I managed to get my head up enough to get a breath, held it, and went under the water. Fortunately, the sutpid whirlpool shot me out down the river.
By this point, I was good to go. Felt fine and just wanted back in a boat. Well another raft had see the whole debacle and were coming to get me. The guide pulled me into the boat and was freaking out. He made me lie down and kept asking if I was okay right smack in my face. There was a doctor on board the raft and he turned aroudn to check me out as well. He just freaked me out asking things like, "Did you think you were going to die?" Not helpful, dude. And the doctor's wife was crying saying she really thought I was going to drown. Also not helpful. I'm concerned about bedside manner in San Diego!
Anyway, all's well that ends well. I got back to our boat, had a yummy lunch, and came away from the adventure with great photos and a pretty insane story. I put that in the win column.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a busy day of ziplining, waterfall swimming, volcano hiking and pool partying!
Day 2 Summary
List of Activities: White Water Rafting; More hot springs time.
Quote of the day: "We're the best boat, right? Obviously!" ~Me (you'll have to see it on video to get it!)
Lessons of the day: (1) Go big or go home! (2) When things get tough, just hang on and get your head above water.