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Waterfall Rafting
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We have decided we’ve done enough traveling and have run out of money so we’re coming home a few months early.

Happy April Fools Day everyone.

Packed everything away and headed to ‘Wet’n'Wild’ where we were whisked away to a nearby campsite to pick up two others and get suited and booted. Slightly different apparel required for this trip compared to Nepal. Instead of lifejackets, helmets and boardies we had the thickest wetsuit you can imagine (rubberman style) booties, a fleece (two if we wanted) and a spray jacket. We ‘John Wayned’ over to the minibus and transported the raft to the river.

We were quickly taught by ‘Pie hands’ (the guide with the hairiest and biggest hands known to man) how to ‘hold on and get down’ and we were off. A couple of practise waterfalls of varying height (1m-4m) and some teaser rapids, before the big boy.

Pie hands told us two things could happen; 1) We go off the top of the waterfall and as we land at the bottom the boat goes slightly underwater and then rises back up, nice and level, stays the right way up and we all say gay stuff to eachother like ‘woohoo that was gnarly’ or
2) We go off the top of the waterfall and the boat fills with water at the botttom (as before) but comes up uneven and tips to one side, flipping the raft over sending us and our paddles flying. We can hold onto the raft and wait for it to be turned the right way up, or if this isn’t possible (because the rapids start eating you) tuck into a ball and wait till you’ve surfaced. If this doesn’t happen after 3 seconds, count again. And again. Until your brain has been starved of oxygen and can no longer count to 3. But please try not to lose your paddle.

So number 2 was what we were hoping for as it seemed much more exciting and we would get more of our moneys worth.

Unfortunately this didn’t happen. Neither did number 1. We invented an entirely new approach to rafting off waterfalls due to our inexperienced guide who hadn’t even flipped a raft yet. We were screwed from the get-go really, as you can see from the photos we actually start to flip halfway down the waterfall in a maneuver we like to call ‘the corkscrew’. If you zoom in to some of the pics you can see some pretty hilarious faces being pulled by V as she clings to the raft. Majority of paddles got thrown away immediately (even Pie Hands) and if by ‘go into a nice neat tucked-up ball and count to 3′ he meant ’spastically thrust your arms and legs around and drink 10litres of river water’, then yes, we did that.

Flipped the raft back over and carried on, picking the paddles up along the way. On the last rapids we went ‘river surfing’ which simply means we faced against the flow and shoved the nose of the raft into the rapids so the front of the raft gets sucked under, resulting in some similarly hilarious photos.

All in all, for a grade 5 it was probably only good fun because of our elegant flip. The rapids we endured in Nepal were much scarier and more technical. Plus an hour on the water today cost a third of the price of our Nepal rafting trip which lasted 8days!

On the way back to town Pie Hands took us to a pie shop and told us all about pies, even showing us his pie incase we were unsure about our investment. We didn’t want to break his heart and tell him we know what a pie is and even have them in England.

Drove bloody miles to Hot Water Beach (hot springs under the sea and if you dig a hole at low tide and lie in it it’s erm…hot). We were told by some yokels that low tide will be at 2oclock tomorrow. So to a nice campsite that had put its prices up because it’s Easter but it was right on the beach and we needed a beer. Met a nice couple because they liked our smiley cups that we were drinking red wine from. They gave us their address in Auckland and offered a room if we needed one when we get there. Sweet! Might actually take them up on that as they didn’t look like serial killers/anoraks.

  1. Martin (Reply) on Thursday-8, 2010

    Glad we didnt look like serial killers and you decided not to steal our LCD TV!. Safe flight to South America. Keep in touch. Martin.

    • V & J (Reply) on Saturday-10, 2010

      we tried but it wouldn’t fit in my bag! the cat wouldn’t go in either. thanks for having us.

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