Sunday, April 19, 2009

Padas River, White Water Rafting

Some people would think that it is crazy to do anything the day after you descended from Mt. K. Bum, legs and thighs are expected to ache unless you are pretty fit. But I found out that Steve's group was also planning to go water rafting the day after they descend. Plus we met another group of people along the climb who were going to do the same. So, I guess we are not that crazy after all.

I was told that Padas River is one of the best places for river rafting with rapids Grade III-IV. We were given the option earlier for Kiulu (Grade I-II). It is less rough but hey, we came this far for the best!

We woke up and got ready to take the 8.30am bus to Beauford. This time I’m applied a thick layer of sun block AND I brought it along to reapply during the break. The skin on my nose was turning black and peeling.

The company that was engaged by Nelson was Riverbug. We were provided with a simple breakfast of sandwich, fried chicken, banana, bottled water and chocolate waffle on board the bus. The bus journey was slow. Maybe it was the long up hills. The bus stopped along a road with a rail track crossing it. Our guide, Canon told us we have arrived and to leave our things in the bus.

The bus luggage compartment was filled with life jackets. We all took one each and walk along the track until we see little wooden platforms with wheels.

I finally understood what Esther was trying to tell me about the “trolley”. We were seated on the trolley and one of the “drivers” will push us with a stick. Almost like rafting on land. It took us almost 50mins on the trolley to finally arrive where the rafting will begin. Fui Ping mentioned that this should complete most people’s 3rd world experience. I thought it was quite interesting as well, considering we are missing the famous train ride. The trolley is an alternative to the train ever since the service was stopped due to the constant land slides.

Our guide mentioned that the only train using the track now is the one used for the rail track workers. So I wondered what happens if the train do come? It will be like cartoon! Well, it did! Suddenly we could see all the were "drivers" trying to stop their trolleys. They told us to get up and stand aside. :-p After the train passed, they very coolly replace the trolleys and told us to get back on them.

When we reached the briefing area, we were served watermelons and given bottled water again. I guess they were afraid we get dehydrated. Canon briefed us on the commands and rules. He then divided us into different rafts.

Canon and Tony were our river guides. In the photo below, Canon was showing us how to whack the person next to us with the paddle. The 5 of us together with another 3 person were sharing a larger raft. I told Canon we should flip our raft. He had a smirk on his face so I guess he would. I thought that the experience would only be complete if we all fall into the water. I was anticipating it. But it never happened. We did witness one other raft flipping and we had to "rescue" some of them. I guess the people on our raft were crazy enough. One of the girls even sat at the edge of our raft, dangling her feet into the river and through a few rapids…Canon was encouraging her. :-pAfter about an hour, we stopped for lunch. There was a short preview of the video so far. We continued on our journey when suddenly Canon asked if any of us liked swimming. I guess he noticed that we wanted more. One of my friend noticed that actually they tried flippinf the raft but I guess there were too many of us - too heavy. He jumped off the raft. I looked at my friends and without much thought, we jumped as well. We left Tony to mend the raft on his own. Hehe.

As expected we went through a few rapids and drank some murky water. As we neared tougher rapids we were told to swim and get back on the rafts. I was still expecting more when I saw the 2 speedboats reading to bring us back. It was slightly disappointed. I told Canon on the way back that I was really hoping to have our raft overturned. The speedboat journey was almost another 45mins back to where our bus was waiting. The bus ride was a lot faster returning. We left at 6.45pm and arrived around 8.15pm.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

That trolley you all sat on... ha ha ha... so funny. Ai yoh, I think I will laugh all the way... Fui Ping... complete 3rd world experience? I agree ;-D