Amazon Region, Ecuador: Roaring Rapids – by Caleb

Today we went white water rafting on one of the many rivers in Ecuador, close to the Amazon Rainforest. I’ve gone rafting before, with friends on a school trip, and in Costa Rica with family, but this was something completely different. These rapids were 3+ on the water rapid scale, meaning these rapids sometimes got pretty extreme and the boat at points almost rolled over. We went with another family of three, and a guide resulting in there being eight of us in the raft.

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The whole ride was really fun, but there were three points throughout the experience I remember specifically because I almost flipped out of the boat or just had the best time. My first favourite memory is close to the beginning. We went through a rapid that was about a number three, but at the end of the rapid was a HUGE wave. I was at the front of the raft, so I felt the impact the most alongside the lady sitting across from me at the front of the boat. The wave shot the nose of the boat upward with such speed but then quickly drove the raft back down onto the surface of the water. Well, when the raft suddenly plummeted back down to planet earth, I was catapulted into the air, so the nose of the raft went down, but I’m still going up! Finally I went back down and landed on the side of the raft a bit further back from where I was sitting before I was flung into the air, but that defiantly put a smile on my face for the rest of the trip. 

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The second memory was a massive rapid that was class four, and I understand why too. Our guide was yelling, “PADDLE PADDLE!” while we were heading through these massive waves and then our raft passed over a huge wave, dropped down the other side of the wave, then went head first into an even bigger wave on the other side. Again, I was at the front of the raft and the impact was so hard, I flew back into my dad and he had to hold onto my life jacket so I didn’t fall out of the boat. That certainly was a great memory. 

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Finally, the third and favourite of the top three. Our guide let one of us do something called, the cowboy, through the last rapid. The cowboy is where you sit strait on the nose of the boat, let your legs dangle over the edge of the boat, you hold the safety cord with your left hand in the centre of your legs, and then you can put your right hand into the air and make a cheering noise. I volunteered. After I got into the position the others in the boat started to paddle into the final rapid of the trip. It wasn’t a grand finale, just a small, class three rapid. After bobbing up and down over the waves, we went strait into a massive wave that was just curling. The water hit me so hard in the chest that I lost my grip on the safety cord, and went flying into the boat. After the wave had passed, the guide started to laugh at me because I was sprawled out on the floor of the boat, with my legs hanging over the side of the raft. That was the best experience rafting today. 

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Overall, this was the best river rafting I have ever done. The company we went with was called Aqua X-treme and our guide was called Alex. This was something I loved a lot and is something I would certainly do again. 

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