After not quite a bit of a rest, the next part of our adventure was white water rafting. Since I had never done that before, I was super excited. Despite my throbbing legs, I knew it would be the time of my life. We were given instructions by our captain - I can't remember his name, but he was hilarious. Five women in a raft and he kept calling us guys. "More power, guys! Go forward, guys! More to the left, guys!" He sounded like some strange combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Principal Figgins from Glee.
We were heading down the gentle rapids quite easily, navigating the waters with relative expertise - only two of us hadn't done it before, and we quickly caught on. The rhythm of the strokes in the water, the shifting of body weight, the stop and grab on to the rope - all done well. Until we hit the bigger rapids. We got to an area that was full of large rocks and white water (finally). It was a rush. We hit some big water and got quite soaked several times. And then our companion from Germany - Silke - was tossed aside like a leaf to the wind. She just floated up and out of the raft and into the water. The guide and the other rafters were screaming at her - "Feet first! Feet first!" She kept her head above water and stayed right with the raft until we were able to pull her in. Scary stuff! And I hate to admit, I was glad it wasn't me for once.
So, down the river we went until we got to more rocks. A little gun shy this time, we were more cautious in the navigation. We ended up veering far to the right and getting stuck on the rocks. We sat there jumping up and down in the raft at the commands of the captain. It seemed like we were doing that forever. At the point that other rafters were sailing by (laughing), we finally dislodged our raft, and continued on down the river.
Awaiting us in much calmer waters, were bamboo rafts. We had to carefully get out of the raft and step on to wet and slimy bamboo. You guessed it, I fell again, and bruised my shin (I lost count of the number at this point). Since it was a minor fall and all that was left for us was floating in the water, I was able to just cruise. Such a peaceful experience... we were weightless on the raft and it looked like we were actually on the water. It was a nice way to end the adventure stuff for the day.
After reaching our destination, we were able to get out and clean up (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) in another muddy shack. We got back into the truck and headed up toward one of the Hill Tribe villages (one of the many villages with indigenous people). We bought bracelets and smiled at the children, and thanked our lucky stars that we were able to go on adventures and spend money and see the world for what it is - a beautiful and dangerous place full of all different people. At least I did...