Yesterday 6 of us went white water rafting. The company we chose was Eau Vive, a small-ish group up on la rivière rouge in Québec. I had done some rapids on a canoe before but this was a new experience.
We left at 7:30, with about a 90 minute drive to the spot. It was the last weekend where wetsuits were included. Note to others: get your suit first, they keep the older ones for the later clients. We left the site near 11 in a bus, jackets and helmets and all, ready for a nice ride.
First run was a discovery run, where we got to learn the various features of the waterway. The first 2 spots were really nice, the 3rd was pretty calm. We lost a few people on all the spots actually, which made the trip all the more fun on the first run. Had a small lunch (chukwagon, styrofoam cup of soup and a granola bar) and went for round #2. This time we were much more aggressive and I sat up front. There’s something pure and basic about riding the water. You hit a wall of mass and get thrown back, you get up and feel great.
On the 2nd rapid there are 2 turbulence pools. We tried a few times to hit the 2nd one and after about 5 attempts of crazy paddling, we just couldn’t get there – not to mention that we couldn’t feel our arms anymore! Our guide suggested we team up with some of the stronger paddlers and give it another shot. We took the left path, dipped in and in about 3 seconds, 2 people were already gone. It was like being inside a washing machine, spinning around and people getting shot out. I held on to the side ropes and sat in the middle, the water was just pouring in and keeping us stable. Finally after about 30 seconds we shot out, myself, the guide and my pal John still inside. Along with about 2.5 feet of water in the bottom of the raft. I was exhausted yet enthralled about the whole experience. The downside was the paddling to continue on, my arms were just done.
The supper when we returned was boiled chicken and spaghetti. Bah. Can’t expect much for 80$ really. One thing I’d do different is to go later in the season, where the water is warmer, no suits are required and there are more rapids. The current might be a bit weaker but with less water, there are more rocks and the bottom end of the river opens up.
Tons of fun though. I suggest everyone gives it a shot!