Confession: I may have been avoiding whitewater rafting here in Ecuador. You see I had a few traumatizing experiences in Honduras. Rafting was a blast in Pico Bonito, but one trip
involved me flying out of the boat and then getting rammed by the boat…into a giant rock face. Another
involved everybody but me getting thrown out of the boat and me watching all my loved ones get shot down rapids while the guide screamed at me to pull people back in the boat. This incident then led to a flesh eating bacteria…. The basic idea is that although I had fun, I was left a bit wary of whitewater rafting.
So when we decided to go to Tena for a three day weekend and go rafting in the Amazon, I was both excited and nervous at the same time. It turns out, Day 1 of rafting was the perfect experience to get me back into the water again. The weather was absolutely amazing…warm and sunny with beautiful clouds in the sky. The scenery was gorgeous as we rode class 3 rapids through the jungle. The water was cool and refreshing, fast, but not dangerous and left us with lots of time for playing, swimming and enjoying ourselves.
I’m not going to lie, my muscles still hurt until about yesterday and I have some pretty major bruises on my legs from bumping around in the boat, but Day 1 left me with a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment about whitewater rafting.
As Alex, previously mentioned, I chose not to go on Day 2 (best decision ever!?). Perfect since from the stories I have heard, Day 2 was worse than any of those traumatizing incidents in Honduras and had I gone, who knows if I could ever be convinced to get into a large rubber raft on a fast-paced river ever again.
Here are a few pictures from lovely Day 1:
Getting briefed on commands and safety precautions.
Our guide was quite the entertainer. We all had a chance to ¨ride the bull¨ by sitting on the front of the boat and heading through rapids. He also came up with games like, ¨everybody stand on the edge of the boat and hold hands…let’s see who falls out first.¨
The scenery was amazing!
More ¨bull riding¨
We had several kayakers along with us. The company we used always has a safety kayaker accompany the rafts, but we also had two extra kayakers who just came along for the ride.
At one point, we all got out of the boats and headed into a cavern along the river. Mud facials and giant spiders, plus a beautiful glimpse into thick jungle. Here is the whole group: