Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Day 6 - It started with a splash...

7.30am I wake up, my best nights sleep yet especially as I was in bed by 8.30pm last night. By the time me and scout officially wake everyone else is already up and Chuck has made breakfast. We dive into sausage and egg sandwiches and juice before downing tents and loading the rafts. We are on the water by 10am a little later than hoped but not too bad for our first day. Antoine is already soaked after performing a spectacular life saving manovere diving out of the raft into the icy cold water to catch the sat phone charger as it was knocked of the raft during the pack up process. Had his dry suit been zipped up it would have been the perfect save but with it unzipped and round his waist he is now dripping. Luckily the sun is rising albeit a bit cloudier today than yesterday so not quite so hot and we are on our way.
Packing up for another day on the water
 Today's rapids are a lot bigger and there are a lot more of them. Again all are big and bouncy and provide loads of fun. The lads are now looking confident and strong on the paddles cursing lines and punching holes with very few spins. Me, Antonine, Anne and Scout stop for a surf on one of the best wave train sets I've ever seen. Antonine lets me jump in his 4fun for a bit of short boat action and for a moment I wish I had my little boat with me.
Andy dropping into one of the bigger rapids of the day
 Chucks on top of the kitchen and has made packed lunch so our refuel stop is short and sweet and we are quickly off again. Me and Anne jump into the rafts for the afternoon slog. Starting with a cheeky grade 5. Then it flattens of a lot. Antoine jumps aboard my raft and we take turns ploughing the beast into the head wind.
We pass caves, canyons, amazing house size boulders, birds, purple plants. It's just fascinating this place. Very calming, very enchanting. Just amazing. 
Learning to Oar Raft in the Canyon
The plan today was to do 20 miles and visit the red caves. We finish a little short but at an awesome camp spot. Just on the bend in the river above the cave. It's illegal to camp in the cave. We stop on a beautiful beach around 3.30pm. Above us is a bat cave in an old asbestos and tin mine and flowing into the river just upstream is a small canyon tributary. Downstream there is a beautiful fresh spring flowing out of the canyon wall, way up high. Once again we tuck into An amazing dinner this time faitas, dips, chips and cheesecake. Then It's chill, diary and bed. 
Gluten Free Faitas
Tomorrow we will explore the cave and push hard to do 18 miles. 
Today I also saw my first canyon spider !!! Yuck.