White Water Rafting in Maipo Valley (Brrr!)
Today, the other half of our team went white water rafting on the Maipo River at Cascada de las Animas. After putting on all of our gear and receiving some pre-rafting training, we were off! Seven of us formed the A-Team led by our tour guide, Benjamin.
All of us, with the exception of Dr. White and Logan, had never been white water rafting before and were nervous with anticipation (there is a fine line between adventurous and terrifying). Plus, there were so many commands (forward, high side right, back right, etc) we were scared to mess up and row the wrong way towards our peril!
The trip started off in relatively calm water and progressed along the 13-kilometer raft ride. It was the most exciting when we went through the sections of rapids where the water runs faster and large boulders stick out of the water because the raft was flying in all different directions, hitting not only rocks but other rafts! I have yet to mention, the water was freezing. I mean almost literally- the Maipo River water is the melted snow from the Andes Mountains. Some of our group was brave enough to voluntary jump in (immediately regretting it) while the others were tackled into the water (and are still bitter about it) but a teammate.
The biggest surprise was when we were going down a particularly large drop and Benjamin yelled “high side right!” Immediately, everyone lunged to the right side of the boat…and the whole thing flipped! We ended up underneath the over turned raft and eventually floating down the freezing cold river in our life jackets. After being rescued by our guide and a guide from another raft, we all made it back in the raft and continued on our rafting adventure. While it was unforgettably cold, we had so much fun navigating the currents of the Maipo River. In addition to the thrill of white water rafting, the picturesque scenery on either side of the riverbank further enhanced the experience. We could see the mountaintops of the Andes and tall forest trees all around us! It a surreal view we will never forget. Cascade de las Animas provided the most exciting adventures on our trip to Chile!