We like balanced meals and a balanced lifestyle, so going from heights to depths is just a natural progression.
Yesterday we were suspended in air today we are going to be matched against raging river called softly in a tourists’ language “white water rafting”.
A cold start
To arrive on time we set our alarms minutes after 6 am. Getting up wasn’t easy. Despite the middle of summer the thermometer did not want to budge above 8 degrees C and an addition of persistent gusty cold wind made us feel like middle of Antarctica instead. Double pants, double tops and a hoodie was today`s outfit for making breakfast under cloudy skies. Rain was a definite possibility.
Six penguins on a raft
Ottawa River has a few different choices for adventurous rafters. We chose Owl Rafting simply because of the type of services they provided. Besides popular large 12-person rafts they also had small sporty rafts for six penguins AKA cold loving aquatic animals. That was our choice for today. All six penguins were required to paddle on a small raft. That’s the plan. My mind was set to lose those burger-and-fries-calories from the day before.
Wet suits a must
After an interesting, funny, and useful introduction we gave in to our guide`s advice and rented full body wet suits. It was simply too cold for anything else. Before we knew we were appropriately equipped for wild water adventure: two paddles, two life vests and two helmets. We debated a bit about action camera (the one that took awesome videos yesterday), but due to a serious possibility of damage or loss we opted not to take it with us, sorry!
Penguin team “bacon”
A large school bus took our group from the parking lot and drove us towards the river where rafts awaited. After a few minutes we were all matched to a designated raft. Once on water we got some instructions on deciphering rafting commands and after a brief introductory bonding between the penguins we were ready for action. I named our penguin team “bacon”, because I was sure nobody else did.
It was NOT a boat ride
I do not like heights. I do not like water. I am not a climber. I am not a swimmer. I thought we were going for a fun boat ride, that’s why I signed up, but it turned out those who were in a sport rafts we were supposed to be ejected from the raft into the swirling current of the river for fun.
This is not a joke, people. Every single one of us in sport rafts ended up being involuntarily ricocheted into the rocky river at least once. Voluntarily we did it more often. Floating, water snorting, gasping for air, and cliff jumping was also part of the program. You can see it on the video.
Pork chops end the adventure
After five hours of constant action our rafts got attached to a motor boat which pulled them towards our temporary floating destination with BBQ pork chops. We were shivering with cold and excitement and some also from embarrassment.
There are no bathrooms on the river and as you may imagine it is not easy to hold it in for half a day when you bladder is shrinking from cold. The only problem is that while you are in a wet suit whatever comes out of you stays with you until you undress.
I heard that urine therapy can do health wonders. Many miracle cures have been reported. I just hope that these rented wet suits will help cure many people in the future.
Go to our Rafting action Video
Go to Bone Echo to Ottawa Part 5
Go to Bon Echo to Ottawa Part 1
Calm before the storm. Our raft is up front