Friday, February 3, 2012

Kayaking, Jumping, and Paddle Boarding

This morning, we realized that I would have to do my class lll rapid tomorrow because Dave had already planned a trip for a group of us staying at the Kayak Hostel.  We planned to run the Liucura River, an easy class ll run.  This was a little disappointing for me, but I figured a class ll run would give me time to get used to my play boat on rapids. Today, I had fun surfing and getting used to my play boat, I tried a new form of river running, and I experienced great views and high jumps.

During the day trip, I had the opportunity to get used to my play boat, and enjoy riding the waves.  Like I said the other day, a play boat is smaller and easier to maneuver than a creek boat, and is made for water acrobatics.  Thus, with the play boat, I can get on and off waves easier.  I had a couple of great surfs and was really proud of myself.  I also found my boat good for quick and snappy rolls. I found that my roll had improved a great amount since my pool session two days ago.  Every time I hit a big wave, the feeling of the river pushing me up towards the sky doubled in greatness as the play boat launched forward.  The boat fits me perfectly and I am so excited to use it on the big rapid tomorrow.     

Despite the love for my play boat, I was still excited to try a new water craft.  Dave and other boaters in our group used paddle boards.  Paddle boards are big, inflatable surf boards on which one stands and rides down the rapids.  Of course, I took up Dave’s offer to trade boats for awhile so I could see how his paddle board felt.  Despite the ease and calm looks of the others on the paddle boards, the sport is not easy.  One has to stand up and balance oneself while pushing a paddle through the water.  I fell off several times and was forced to climb back on.  I liked the paddle board because it down plays the “swim” stigma. Heck, people fall in all the time!   

Goofing Off with Dave (Photo by Dad)
Though river running was fun, it was not the only highlight of the trip.  From the banks of the river, there were opportunities to jump into the water.  Not long after we had started the day, we came to a tree about ten meters high, over hanging a deep eddy.  This is where four of us jumped, Tino (an American guide), Kendra (Tino’s Chilean friend), Dave, and I.  The feeling of plunging down towards the water brought me back to my favorite weekend on the world trip; the days I spent jumping continuously off high cliffs in Croatia with my friend Andresh. 

(Photo by Dad)
Soon we were back on our boats looking up stream intently.  The view was amazing.  There was a large, snow covered volcano over looking the town of Villarrica, several miles down the road from Pucon.  We all were astounded by the volcano’s beauty.

(Photo by Dad)
I enjoyed the day very much.  I was able to get used to my green play boat, I had fun trying an extremely tippy paddle board, and was amazed by the beauty of the river.  I am excited to try my boat on the class lll rapid tomorrow.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!  


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