Saturday, November 19, 2011

White Water Rafting on Alto Madre de Dios

I've never been white water rafting before, so I expected to be at least a bit anxious about my first time. I wasn't, though, and I think my lack of fear can be attributed to the great guide and extraordinarily kind group of people with whom I was rafting. Throughout, I felt that I could trust them and that they would not leave me in the river to be eaten by piranhas ;) I'm actually not sure if the river was inhabited by piranhas, or other dangerous animals. I preferred not to ask.

The day was perfect: it was warm and sunny, and the water in the river was relatively peaceful. All that said, the current in the river was still pretty strong. If you want to have some laughs, play the video I posted below. It shows Anil and me trying to swim against the current, and not moving an inch! It looks like we are training in a countercurrent swimming machine.

Despite my seeming incompetence, I enjoyed swimming in the river a lot. The water was warm and the surroundings were unbelievably beautiful. In fact, all of us had so much fun that we all went swimming twice: once at the shore (as shown in the video you just watched), and once in the middle of the river. During the latter I again provided a lot of entertainment for everybody, and exposed my upper body weakness–without help I was not able to climb back to our raft! The video below shows my clumsiness and the “rescue” efforts of my travel companions.

As we were told to expect class III and IV rapids on the river, and most of us were white-water-rafting novices, I decided against taking my big photo camera on the raft, and instead I took the small flip video camera. Most of the time I kept it under my swim vest, but, occasionally, while rafting through a bit more peaceful part of the river, I would take it out and shoot short movies. If you would like to see how stunningly beautiful, peaceful, and wild–all at the same time–the Amazon Jungle is, watch the last movie I posted here. This movie will not only show you the beauty of the Jungle, but also how happy and excited it made us.