Thursday, 26 September 2013

White water rafting

Sunday 25th August 2013

Today Adam, Mia and I woke up to lovely sunshine again after the rain had cleared and walked across the road to meet our guide for a morning session of white water rafting down the river Isere. There weren't many people booked in for that day so we got a whole raft to ourselves. After kitting us out with our flattering wet suits and helmets our guide gave us some quick safety tips and we lugged the surprisingly really heavy raft down to the river. 

None of us had been white water rafting before so we didn't really know what to expect but I found it to be a lot easier than I thought it would be and really, really fun! Our guide let us take most of the control and just shouted out instructions, I can't remember the technical terms for the moves but he had us sitting in the boat, moving our weight left and right and right and using different rowing techniques to help us move the boat where we wanted to go. I didn't realise the raft would be so responsive and it was really enjoyable. 

We did all get a bit out of sequence during the rapids and there was no hope for me rowing in time with the others when I got uncontrollable giggles whenever we got soaked or bounced around in the raft by the rapids. When we came to a calmer stretch our guide stopped the raft and told us that if we climbed onto the river bank we could jump in and swim downstream to a calm eddy behind a big rock. We got out and he rafted downstream a little to meet us. 

Adam went first and successfully made it to the calmness behind the rock in the middle of the river. I was up next and jumped in to the freezing water. I didn't so much swim, was more just dragged along downstream. I only made it to the rock as Adam put his arm out to catch me. We waited in the eddy for Mia, but unfortunately she was too far away from the rock and just floated past us, past our guide and ended up in the shallows a bit further along. Where I also ended up when we tried to get back to the raft. 

After rafting through some more calmer waters as well as rapids the guide asks us if we want another swim behind the boat. Adam is the only one to volunteer this time and jumps in for a freezing swim behind us. We had a bit of trouble dragging him back in the raft again! 

The scenery around us was beautiful. Some clouds were still floating around through the valley we were in and we passed through a huge gorge where we were surrounded by rock. We came across another rafting group ahead of us who were taking it in turns jumping from about about 5 meters up on the rocks into the water and floating downstream. We stopped our raft nearby for a go but Adam was the only one who got out and disappeared round the corner to jump. Mia and I sat in the raft waiting to hear the splash and for him to come floating past us but we could only see people from the other group going past. I was about to get out the raft and see if I could have a go myself, after seeing other people doing it I thought it looked pretty fun, I didn't want to at first because I didn't hear the guide say where we would end up if we floated down the river, but after seeing it was just round the corner and not miles away, I wanted a go. However that is when we see Adam walking back down to the raft after chickening out of the jump! He is not very good with heights and when the guide said he could hit the bottom of the river when he jumped, that confirmed his decision that he should not be doing it! I didn't get to jump then as I had left it too late :(

It was a really fun morning and definitely something I would like to try again on different rivers, maybe even with more rapidy bits!

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