When I agreed to go whitewater rafting with a group of friends from work I didn’t sign up for torrential rain, and a swollen Kaituna River that was almost bursting its banks.
Still if you’re going to do something adventurous, it’s best to do it at nature’s extreme. It sounds a lot better to say you went over a 7 metre waterfall in a raging torrent than a mere trickle.
Besides the company we did it with, River Rats, were all seasoned professionals. At one point, while we were waiting to get wetsuited up, there was a pounding deluge of rain on the hut which had us all worried. But the guides didn’t bat their eyelids ”Yeah all the rain means the river’s running higher than normal out there, should be good” drawled one.
Another ran through the saftey routine with a sardonic jauntiness that belied the seriousness of the endeavour. “Don’t put get your foot stuck on the rocks at the bottom of the river, that would be very bad”, “Don’t wind the safety rope around your neck if we throw it to you”, “Try to swim to the boat before we go over the waterfall. If you do go over make sure you smile for the camera”.
Naturally hearing the worst case scenarios always makes a nervous group of girls even more nervous. Once we were in the raft and heading downstream we were fine, and front paddling and back paddling like seasoned professionals.
At one point I wished the river was higher, the boat smaller and there was no guide to tell me to front paddle and back paddle. Heck I wished I was the guy shooting out in front in his kayak into the foaming froth.
Sky jump next anyone?