So this was day three in the company of Wilson and Christine from Lima. Very friendly couple that have hiked, lagooned, translated, and now rafted with me.
Many thanks, and I hope you have a safe trip home.
So you ask, Rafting? Si! We three joined another adventurous few and headed to the local river, the Mayo, (tributary of the Huallaga) for some hot under the sun, swift current, and silty, pink water, fabulous fun. Way fun.
After donning life jackets & safety helmets, and some very basic instructions (in spanish) we took requisite photos. I donned my helmet over my ugly, but very serviceable, sun hat. Entertainment, yes, but hours in the open tropical sun without said hat? I think not. We then took our places in the extremely small looking "8person" raft. (I am thinking 6 max, but what do I know?)
I got to sit in the front for our first run, and was soaked by waves of pink frothy water coming straight for us each time we hit rapids. Up. Down. Squealingly delightful Up. Laugh out loud Down. Swallow unintentional gulpfuls of water fun. (There go all my water precautions!)
I managed to stay on board until we hit a placid patch, then handed over my camara sack and did a classic scuba water entry, clothes et al. Coming up I noticed that the raft and I were swiftly parting company, however a good hard swim back had me just riding along in the water. I was not the only person in the river, in case you think I lost my mind and jumped ship without an OK. Warm wonderful water, and having the current course around me was a very new and neat experience. Not pool calm. Not ocean waves. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
My re-entry into the raft was rather a floppy fish affair, what being hauled up by the life vest and all, but laugh out loud fun, and again the entertainment factor.
When done I asked the guide how long it would take to raft the rest of the way to the big river... 5 hours apparently. I would have been game. I think I have discovered my new favorite sport. Well, in warm water anyway.
Saw more road construction work on our way to the drop off point. They were in the process of either widening or re-constructing the road, and using square wire cages filled with rocks, stacked for retaining purposes. The undersurface was then ploughed in before being paved. Very new and interesting method to view. Took photos.
Also passed a portion of road that was caving in because the river bank below it had washed away with this years rains. More work for the road crews.
Upon return to the hostal I sent up a quick thanks to whoever thought up "travel clothes", as I was washing my morning ensemble, knowing it would be dry by supper. These things are better than bathing suits. Which I didn´t bring... I would rather speak in front of a packed conference room than try on bathing suits, and I know many friends that feel the same. And when you figure that in general people fear public speaking more than death, well... you do the math (so to speak).
Saw my friendly lizard type room companion again last night, which made me think about my insecticide permeated mosquito netting hanging next to the wall by the headboard, which in turn had me re-arranging said net so my little buddy had safe passage all around the room. The guilt would probably be my undoing.
Missed telling you yesterday about the army recruits being "water trained" in the Laguna Azul. We could hear them shouting out the standard responses to their commander over the water, and during our little cruise we passed fairly close to them. Fifty or so bobbing bald heads in the water. You have to appreciate the visual. I took photos. Happily nobody came to confiscate my recording of this secret military procedure. :)
Also failed to mention how my little lake spray excursion took me back for a quick trip down memory lane. Boatrides with my father & grandfather, on the lake at the cottage with my Aunt & family, in the Carribean and on the Red Sea. Every once and a while something triggers this slightly trance like state that has my mind following its own path. Nothing freaky, just new.
Dinner was a cabbage & carrot salad with fresh local raisins in a lime dressing. (again, the difference in the taste of the raisins is just unreal) This was followed by Tofu stew and rice, with a side of garbanzo beans and spinach. The food at this little place never ceases to delight. No wonder I don´t want to leave town. Which I will most likely do in the next couple of days. Kuelep and Gocta Falls are calling.
However after 3 full days, I know tomorrow had best be a quiet one. (Shaking my fist at the hands of fate etc.) Slow me down yes, stop me no. Maybe I´ll solve the photo shortage problem, and get some new conditioner for my hair. Berts Bees just doesn´t hold up in this sun.
Oh, and if some can please answer my question about how to salvage my boots???