|San Gil from the hilltops.|
The main event, however, was a rafting 'sojourn' down the famed Río Suárez; rated by many as second only in South America to Chile’s Río Futaleufú for its wild rapids.
Added to this, the day we tackled Suárez coincided with it being, according to our guides, in one of its roughest moods so to speak.
Now, as oft mentioned here, our ability in water is about as good as a handicapped cat. Yet, this doesn’t translate into any big fear of doing various aqua sports, especially when we have the safety of a life-jacket tied tightly around us.
|'This will be easy.'|
We did though do some head-scratching when a luminous wristband containing an emergency services phone number was put around us before the off. We wager this was to be of help to some passerby in case they found our unconscious, battered body – ‘a one-step guide on what to do if you find human remains’, in a sense.
That aside, after a brief dry-run through the various call instructions by our skipper, the real action got off to a steady start. Although, the lads’ persistent criticism of our rowing ability was a little annoying at times – they were lucky they didn’t get an oar in the head at a few stages.
In any case, a little further on we all had greater things to concern ourselves with than getting hit in the head by somebody, accidentally or on purpose. That’s because Suárez began to show its teeth. And that meant us taking a dip – well, it was more like being in a washing machine on its final spin we imagine – on more than one occasion.
Having gone over a number of times, it was with a little trepidation that we approached the infamous La Fantasma*, The Ghost, section of the river.
|Steady as she goes...|
That our guides stopped to assess it before we went through and had the canoeist do a solo run also got us thinking: Should we pass on this one?
If there was any doubt in our minds about how rough this part was, the sight of one of the guides blessing himself before we got going put it firmly into focus. His plea to the gods worked anyway. Well, maybe it was more a case of lots of luck mixed in with us working a bit better as a team that saw us through in one, whole piece.
So a few minor bumps and bruises apart and conveniently overlooking our earlier mishaps, we like to think we ‘tamed’ Suárez.
We certainly survived it anyway. Alas, there’s a lack of a T-shirt proudly proclaiming so.
*For a look of us in action on 'La Fantasma', see
**More information on rafting and other activities in San Gil can be found from ‘Adrenalina’ at www.adrenalinasangil.com or by emailing email@example.com.
***One pleasant budget accommodation option in San Gil is Hostal Le Papillon, firstname.lastname@example.org. They also organise tours and various adventure sports.