Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 5 - First day in the Canyon

Everyone's super excited as we set of into the canyon. 2 rafts, 7 kayaks. We are all well oiled kayaking machines, setting off into the relatively unknown, helming two 18 foot beast loaded with excessive supplies. 
Heading of into the unknown
As the canyon walls build so to do the smiles. Andy and Rob take on the first challenge of mastering the art of rafting and it isn't long until we reach our first rapid. Hovering high upstream the rafts wait as we scout the lines, find the best picture and video spots and prepare for our first team whitewater descents. The rapids grade 5. Absolutely terrified at first we approach it before realizing it is not the British grading system and 5 out of 6 but instead is the canyons own unique grade system 5 out of 10 and is actually closer in difficulty to a British grade 2+/3. Excited me, James and Scout head down and enjoy the big bouncy high volume gem of a rapid scooting around holes and flying over waves before punching the eddy lines and grabbing the cameras. Next up its the rafts, Rob first followed by Andy spinning his way down momentarily pausing at each hole! 
JB and Claireo dropping into the lead into to one of the first rapids
Styled it? Maybe not! But completed it? Yes! A successful descent for all. Once again everyone's buzzing! 
Andy figuring out how to control the 18 foot raft whilst been eaten by a big hole on one of the early grade 5 rapids
Not quite up to making the eddy the boys plough on into the sun filled canyon. The weathers hot (warm) about 20 C. I've ditched the dry suit for a short sleeve cagdeck and it's perfect. My new fun runner is awesome, loads of speed, easy to move around and the perfect size it's great.
We stop for lunch and tuck into a feast of food. Ceiba have provided us with kit including food and oh my god what a great job they have done. Everything has been thought about from condiments, to tables. I the planning stages we were each asked our food preferences and our eating amounts. Despite loving my food I opted for normal as the portion option as a posed to huge. All the lads had selected huge and at lunch we found out Rob had also changed mine to huge to make sure we would have enough food! We had forgotten its an American outfitter providing food for the appetites of American rafters. We have an insane amount of food. All fitted perfectly into daily boxes, snack pouches, bags and crates. Dinner tonight was lovely 2 chicken breast and 13 massive salmon fillets between 9 of us, marinated with spice, served with rice and broccoli followed by biscuits and fruit after a starter of Pringles.
Coffee break

Sat around burning embers, on a fire mat of course to collect the embers (park rules) we watch the sun set over the canyon walls, listen to the wind and water in the canyon and enjoy sharing story's and adventures. Accompanied by Antoine on the guitar. What a day!
Check out the amazin Canyon walls all around the campsite
Photos by Antoine Dupis, Anne Pimpanelle and Claire O'Hara