Today is our white water rafting day! We catch our tour bus at 9 AM and take a very long bus ride out to our launch site. The river they were planning on taking us to, is too low (dam controlled and the dam people don’t work on Sunday), so we go to a different river called, Rio Soucio(SP?). This means dirty river…. Hmmmm, I think… do I want to be in the dirty river???
Turns out it’s only dirty because it feeds from the bottom of a volcano and the dirt is just silt.
We spend a large portion of our bus ride listening to our guide Alonzo tell us about Costa Rica. My favourite fact was that they don’t have a military. They put all the money they would have used for the military into education. They have a 98% literacy rate, and 40% of their population
graduates from college. Costa Rica is a beautiful country. The vegetation is incredible. We haven’t really seen much of Costa Rica, but definitely want to come back based on what we’ve seen and heard from our excellent guide Alonzo. The rest of the ride is spent with Alonzo telling us how to get back in the boat if we get thrown out (yikes!).
We arrive at the launch site. There are approximately 60 people there. Alonzo is trying to make the groups with 8 people per group. Steve is surveying the land and notices there are some young strong people and some not so young and strong people (one lady had a cane…). We are quickly relieved when Steve is asked if we’d like to join a group of 6 young and fit people. Steve announces that we’ve got a group of 8 so that Alonzo doesn’t split us up into groups with the kids or the cane lady. Alonzo smiles and tells us to wait off to the side (ha ha, he doesn’t want to be in a boat with people who can’t paddle either… we get Alonzo as our guide) Once in the boat Alonzo teaches us the commands he will use and tells us what we are supposed to do (My personal favourite is “Get Down!”) We start off down the river. My foot is wedged in so hard I ended up with bruises on my legs (I did not want to fly into the rocky dirty river 🙂
Our group was awesome and it was REALLY fun. Because we had switched to a different river there actually ended up being some class 3 rapids (instead of just 1 and 2). Nobody from our team ended up out of the boat, but some of the people from other boats did.
Steve ended up being very helpful (go figure) when our boat would get wedged somewhere, he’d hop right out into the river with the snakes and crocs (just kidding we didn’t see any snakes and crocs!) and help free the boat.
At one point as we were waiting for the other groups to catch up, Steve noticed a large hole in the bank beside us. “Hey Alonzo, what’s that?” Steve asks.
Alonzo shrugs and says, “Anaconda burrow.” (Like you see one of those everyday!)
Lisa rather urgently says, “paddle, Paddle, PADDLE!”
Everyone in our boat was having a great time except for the poor girl from Germany who was quite terrified.
We ended up having to stop and wait quite a bit because all the boats had checkpoints, and there was one boat in the group that was having trouble.
We ended up being later than expected (we were on the water for 5 hours and it was awesome!)and then had to head back another two hours to the ship. The bus ride back was scarier than the white water rafting (Steve notes that we are on the highway and the driver was great… Note from Lisa: the driver was great and it was a highway but it was still scary!!!). The roads are not in that great of shape and the bus driver just barrels along passing rig after rig and then zooming back into our lane. We get back to the ship late… luckily we are on a ship excursion so the cruise ship waits for us. We were supposed to be back at 4:00, but didn’t return until 6:30. (The ship was supposed to sail at 6!).
We have missed the beginning of our dinner seating so when we get on the ship they tell us we can go to the late seating tonight. We head back to our room, and exhaustion starts to set in. We order room service, (Did you know you can get full meals and cookies and milk from room service?) then decide to look at our CD of photos from the white water rafting. The photographer was a kayaker who would stay ahead of the group and wait at the big rapid points. The photos are awesome!
Steve and I are giggling because when we look at the photos we realize that the scared German girl (who was at the back) rarely even paddled, she was mostly just huddled down in the middle of the boat. (Secretly, I’m relieved that wasn’t me :))
After we eat we decide to just watch a movie in the room. I promptly fall asleep. Steve planned to go out and play poker, but even he was too tired!