Tuesday, April 8, 2008

White Water Rafting on the Tully River

Today was white water rafting day!

I woke up nice and early again (the bus picked me up at 6:40) and we all met at the rafting center where we got onto another bus that drove about 2 hours to get to the Tully River station.

The bus ride was uneventful... we got to know the guides (who seemed pretty easy-going... as you would imagine river guides to be!) I did notice one sign as we passed by though... it said in big letters, "This way to Murder Point Winery!" I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to visit any place called Murder Point... ESPECIALLY a winery.

When we got to the river station, we had some coffee and muffins before we headed to the river. I was one of 4 people (and the only girl) traveling alone, so they stuck us all in a group together, along with 2 other guys who were traveling together. What fun, me and 6 men (including the guide)!

The guys I was rafting with seemed like nice guys, 3 of them were English, 1 was Scottish, 1 was a Swiss German guy, and the guide, an Australian. Get this though... the Swiss German guy's name was Rambo... imagine naming your child Rambo?

So, we heard the whole safety check thing, learned all the things that would be shouted at us as we were on the river, and then we finally got started!

It's been a few years since the last time I went white water rafting, and I always forget just how awesome it is... everyone in the boat is working together to try to navigate these difficult rapids... trying not to fall out and trying not to let your boat tip over... it is constant adrenaline! There was one point where the guy next to me fell out, and the guide ALMOST fell out. (I happened to be in his way to block the guide, so technically I helped him to not fall out... and the rest of the day he kept telling everyone how I saved him, haha.) The guide was just getting his bearings and asking me if I was OK, and I shouted "He fell in!" (Meaning the guy next to me). We saw him clinging to the side of the boat... the side that was just about to hit a rock... luckily, we managed to pull him in just in time. Whew!

The entire rafting trip was beautiful... it was through a rain forest, so you would see all this beautiful foliage and these amazing trees as you rafted through, and our guide would tell us little tidbits of info about the rain forest when we were on the down times between the rapids. We rafted for about 5 hours, but we had plenty of breaks where we could do things like swimming in the river, floating/swimming through grade 3 rapids, or jumping off high rocks into the water... and the chemistry between the guides was terrific. They were always kidding around with each other, splashing one another, it really made it an incredibly fun day.

Our boat did pretty well overall. Only one person fell in, and it was just one time (and it wasn't me!) The other boats weren't as lucky... one boat kept flipping over (like 3 times) and everyone would fall out... and we would first make sure they were OK, then laugh at them as we floated by...

On another note... I don't know how the subject came up, but someone (I think it was me) asked what the worst injury he ever saw was on the river... and he told us about a person who died when he fell out during one of the rapids because he stood up instead of assuming the rapid floating position (feet first, floating on your back) and his life-vest was not properly fastened so it fell off. Also, there was a person who died because he dove into the river when he was told not too... and broke his neck. Kind of sobering information... you really have to respect the rivers you raft on...

Well, when we finished our rafting, we went back to the river station where we watched video highlights of our day, and were offered the opportunity to buy a CD of our pictures and video of our trip... and me being the sucker I am, of course bought them. But now you can see me in action!

And a group picture...

I had so much fun rafting... and they actually have a 4 day trip as well! If I was staying in Cairns longer, I think I would have taken it. Can you imagine! Rafting for 4 days... sleeping under the stars... Man, I sure wish I WAS staying longer... but I'm not... tomorrow I am leaving Cairns and heading South again towards the ending destination... Sydney. I still have almost a month though! I'm sure plenty of fun and exciting things will happen to me up until then!



PMH said...

Wow...how lucky are you to be trapped in a small raft with all those guys??

Oh, and by the way, hurry home because I am coming to visit on June 21st.

Cheryl said...

I just LOVE your face in some of those pics.. you look like you were eating a lemon though!! :D

I miss white water rafting.. soooo much fun!

Karen said...

Cheryl, want to go white water rafting sometime soon? I am really wanting to go again :)

PMH said...

I want to go!

stacy is amazing said...

We should all go when mom comes!!!
Although, I must admit...I might chicken out before the day comes...It looked pretty insane!