Day 78, Sunday 20.07.2014 – Rafting in Rio Genil, a supposed to be exciting an unforgetable event….but just supposed to be!
Always when I hear people talk about their Rafting tours I get jealous and promise myself to grab the opportunity for such a tour as soon as it arises. Now it is time. David is going to leave and I was looking for a farewell present for a couple of days when the idea of a Rafting tour came to my mind. Of course, I face several problems: Number 1 – the present is for our travel guide, who normally organizes all our toures. I hardly can ask him where and how he normally arranges tickets etc. Number 2 – my Spanish vs. the Spanish of the Andalusien people. Sometimes, when talking to people on the street in Malaga, I think I learn a different language. It is like learning German in Bavaria, Saxony, Switzerland or Spöck. But I try my best and contact several agencies via internet to ask for prices and availablity. The first one immediately responds together with bank details and the request to transfer 100% of the price directly into their account. Okay! Wait a minute. I guess that was too easy and fast – and what’s easy and fast sometimes needs further investigation. Toni, a teacher from school, does me the favour and calls the agency only to find out, that they don’t even know, whether they have free capacity at the requested date or not – “But you can transfer the money and afterwards we will check whether we have free capacity at this day!” – What? Seriously? Yes, but thanks!
Luckily, the second agency seems to be more professional and confirms a reservation for the requested date and time. And they only want to have 50% of the price – which seems to be fair. Sunday, 20.07.2014 our tour is going to happen!
Sunday, 08:00, am: Time for departure. David, Andi and myself leave exactly at the appointed time – which is actually the first time that we really leave at the appointed hour. Could that be, because Junior no longer is with us??? Only a question!
By the way, I am really excited and a little bit nervous because of my almost broken fingers a week ago, which are not quite good yet. We arrive at a smal village 1 hour from Malaga and meet the guys from the agency as well as the other participants of our trip – a family of 4 Germans – Germans, they are just everywhere. Everybody of us gets a wetsuit and helmet and together we drive to the nearby Rio Genil. But before we actually start our trip in the river we receive a security briefing, which lasts almost one hour and contains sentences like: “If you fall out of the boat during rapids, stay calm, don’t try to get back into the boat and DO NOT extend your arms or legs – otherwise they will break at the rocks!” or “if accidently you are under water and the boat is over you, DO NOT panic, touch the bottom of the boat and try to swim into one direction. If after three seconds you do not reach the end of the boat, go into another direction!” – OH – MY – GOD – are we trying to raft the Niagara falls? Of course, everything they tell is in this kind of Spanish, which I do not totally unterstand. However, the face of the German mother went pale so I can read from the context. I guess, she is close from giving up, running away and rescuing her kids. But our guide still smiles. Great, at least one of us has fun.
Slowly, we bring the boat into the water and make ourselfs comfortable at our supposed position in the boat. Everybody has a buddy for whome he is responsible. Mine is David, who sits directly next to me. If he falls out of the boat, I am the chosen one to rescue him. I hope I will be able to and not be his Kate Winslet, who left the poor Leonardo freez to death in the cold water. And the water is cold, oh my god is this water cold. One should think after all the way from the Sierra Nevada it heated a little bit up, it does not though. At the place where we start our tour, the water almost does not move and we have to use our paddles to advance…and the river stays calm…and calm…and calm. Maybe it is just to make ourselfs accustomed to the boat, the paddles, the cold water, the instructions of the guide, etc. But it stays calm…and calm…and hui, one second of rapids…how amazing…then again calm..and calm…(hope I do not bore you but that’s how I feel). Luckily, the nature is really impressive. To our left are steep walls of rocks with smale caves at the high of the water. To our right the landscape changes from a wide and open steppe into jungle like vegetation and eventualy also steep walls of rocks. Anyway, I am boooored. Could be a nice idea to throw my buddy into the cold water and try to rescue him. I am sure Kate would have done the same with Leo after spending 2 hours boringly drifitng in the ocean. I get David by suprise and he falls backwards into the river. “Atras Atras” shouts our guide, which, I guess, means backwards, backwards. Now it is my turn to rescue him. Both feet at the edge of the boat, grab his life-saving jacket, 1, 2, 3…pull! Hey, it works. The instructions where proper and the both of us land inside the boat. That was fun. “No more voluntarily jumping into the water” the guid says, “we are reaching the dangerous parts of the river!” – no the fun begins, fasten your seatbells guys…I thought…but what he calls the dangerous parts is slightly faster than the rerst of our journey. 3 seconds of rapids instead of 1, then again calm..and calm. It’s like saying to kindergarten children: all pay attention, today we do a totally crazy thing, we do not cross the street at the traffic lights but at the pedestrian crossing. WooopWooop! One day you will tell your own children of this event!
The dangerous part is at the same time the last part of our trip. Puh, all alive, all save, nobody hurt (it is actually our first trip without an accident!). Only the mother seems to be relieved. The rest of us expected a little bit more action. But we are alive and have been enjoying the nature for two hours. In conclusion, it wasn´t exactly what we were looking for and I won’t be crazy about the Rafting tour when talking about it in future. It wasn’t a waste of time though and a good last trip together with my friends.