Yesterday Juliet and I were up early once again, but this time to go extreme white water rafting! We were picked up from our hostel and driven to the rafting base where we checked in, signed wavers and awaited the bus to the river. At the river we were given helmets, life jackets, thermal tops and paddles and put into our rafting teams. We had the funniest water rafting leader called Macca, he’s actually called Mark but your can’t spend your days touring the white water on the river and be called mark when everyone else has bizarre names, so Macca it is! As soon as we were on the boat and had started rafting we hit our first bit of white water, and we’re immediately thrown into paddling hard, ducking in the boat, smashing into rocks and soaring down the river and that’s pretty much how the day went on!
At one point the boat even flipped and we all fell out on top of each other and floated down the rapids! As we came up to the biggest rapid there is, called the Corkscrew our boat hit a rock and as the name suggests, we started spinning and crashing down into the rapids, so hard, the boat was tipping and being thrown around and before we knew it one of the girls had fallen out. I literally only saw her shoe fly off and then a pair of legs disappear into the river and as the river was really strong and we were still in the rapids it was very scary! She was being pushed by our boat down the river and she had no control, at one point she even hit a rock! Luckily she was such a great sport and wasn’t injured so everything was fine and as soon as we got to the deep pool at the bottom she was pulled back into the boat. At different points down the river there were times when we could get out of the boat and float down the river, to do this you simply lie on your back (you float because of the life jacket) and then lift your legs up, as there is shallow rocks and it’s better to scrape your bum than your shins! There were also small cliffs at different points that we could climb up and cliff jump off, it was so scary taking a leap of faith into the river but so fun, especially since the life jacket just makes you bob up again.
The morning rafting was by far the scariest as we were new to it but also the rapids were faster and steeper with a lot of massive drops and crevasses. For lunch we stopped at a bank on the side of the river and hot dogs and burgers were waiting for us, so yummy.
Lunch was short as we still had a lot of the river to cover and more rapids to conquer! Soon after we set off we came across a natural river slide, a flat piece of rock that’s called The Drowning Simulator! I was actually the only one in my boat to try it but basically I had to float up to the top of the drop, it honestly looked so scary, and then take a deep breath. As I slid down the water rushed in my face and soon I was at the bottom. The reason it’s called the drowning simulator is because at the bottom the water is so deep and the force of the water coming down the slide is so strong that it pushed you right under and you normally stay below water for 8 to 15 seconds. I was under for 10 and it was actually such a weird feeling because I had no idea where the top was, I was so deep, just waiting for my life jacket to do it’s job and float me up. After (no joke) ten seconds, I finally surfaced, my ears popping and my helmet crooked over my eye. It was an amazing thing to have done but I’d never do it again! At the next set of rapids and white water, Macca said as I was clearly crazy, I could sit on the front of the boat (with my legs dangling over the front) through the next set of rapids. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually was but it was so much fun crashing through the white water straight on and having the waves splashing up in my face while I just sat at the front watching it all from the best view in the house.
The last non rafting agenda was when we came across some flat rapids that actually looked quite small but there was a lot of them, here we were all made to get out of the rafts, and float down! It seemed like a relaxing exercise but when we arrived at the rapids they were actually huge and the current was so strong we were going so fast! The rapid water splashed in my face every time I surfaced and then pushed me under and every time I tried to take a breath my mouth filled with water! It just shows that our judgement on small or big rapids is very imparted.
After a few more sections of white water and another boat flip (that we all weren’t expecting) we finally made it to base after a great day on the water. Surprisingly the extreme rafting wasn’t as extreme as we thought but that’s probably because Juliet and I freaked ourselves out massively before! It was a lot of fun though and a great experience.
Then we boarded the bus for Cairns where Nicole was waiting for us!!