Yat's Big Trip travel blog

Esther, Suz and Jani having sweet dreams on the bus

More awake when arrived at base camp!

Our equipment laid out neatly and ready...

...for us!

The Dutchies and I had more luck with our planned Saturday activity this time... We got to outside Maynuk travel agency at 9am, and found other people also waiting for the rafting trip. It seemed like that we were the only three going upriver, for the $30 grade III trip, rather than the $20 grade II. Hmm, it can't be much fun just the three of us??!

Got chatting to Esther (St Albans, UK) on the bus, but we were all tired from the early start (it is for me!!), and ended up napping or staring out of the window. After about two hours ride through lovely country, and even passing Uros - we arrived into base camp. There were facilities for changing, including hot shower and sauna! a dining space and a lovely view of the river bubbling by. Our equipment (helmet, wetsuit, jacket, paddle) were neatly laid out and ready for us to take.

Our names were called, and collected our equipment in turn. Then there was another round of roll call to separate us into our various trips. We were relieved to find seventeen others going upriver with us - three rafts in all. We were in the main instructor Carlos' raft, with an English couple (now living in Guildford, previously from Bath!). Suz was pleased to be in her desired position of being at the front, and I was relieved that I was on the left hand side, to suit my right-handedness. Not sure how Jani found it though, as she was in front of me, and was left handed.

It was good to be refreshed of the commands taught back in BaƱos, Ecuador (Do you still remember them Iris?!?!). "Forward!", "Back!", "Stop!", and we even practiced a new command, "rock side", for when the raft collides with a rock sideways. Carlos said we were all to "jump" to the side of the rock, so that the raft would bounce off it. But I obviously took that too literally, and he said I would have fallen out, when I jumped as instructed.

So did we fall into the water? No, but only once - when we purposely flipped the raft and then pulled back in again. That was most of my raftsmates' first time in the cold cold water, but I'd already experienced that. We got stuck in a rapid once, and despite our efforts at "hard forward!", we couldn't. Sitting in the back, and right in front of Carlos, thought he saw that my energy was no match for the river, so he decided that I might as well just sit in the very front of the raft. Hehe, thought I had it easy there! But shortly after feeling snug, realised what my true function was... To add extra weight in the front, and cold cold cold cold cold cold water was gushing in, and enveloping me!! Aaaargh!!!! Glad to say that my wetsuit did a good job, and I felt more refreshed afterwards than cold. But it was a bad choice using the littlest person as extra weight, and Carlos had to jump into the front to get us further down the river.

Despite this incident, I think that we were on the best raft (and of course, I happened to comment this, not realising the person opposite was the instructor from the other raft! Typical Yat!). Carlos was very dedicated in informing us the name of each rapid (e.g. The Black Kiss, The Goal, The Whirpool - which we had to walk on the bank, climbing over rocks), apart from during the practice 2km stretch, we didn't get stuck on rocks as the other two rafts did. Carlos steered us safely around, and through all the rapids and passes, and none of us fell out (though the female part of the English couple dropped her paddle one time) - and some of the guys on the other boat did.

I enjoyed it much more than the one in Ecuador, maybe the water was more interesting in Cusco. Also, because it's in the middle of the dry season, the lower water level made the rafting more technical - hence less boring. So cheers!

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