Monday, December 07, 2009

Day 6: Reventazon

It didn't take too long to figure out how Josh was feeling in the morning. We could hear it from down the hallway. But he was determined to go with us, even if not riverboarding.

We found the road to the Florida section put-in. There was a raft exiting and a couple vans there. It would be a short, fast & furious three miles. The water was murky and brown and about 3 grand higher than when we'd run a longer section in January.

We geared up and launched into the muddy current. The river was pretty wide, and as I was trying to cut across to the main current, I ended up in a little unplanned surf that sent the others ahead of me. I was planning on leading Alicia and Peter since I'd done it before, however it didn't matter much because I didn't remember any of it. The water was higher by about 3000 cfs, and last January, by the time we got to this section, I was pretty spent.

I gave Alicia my GoPro so I could be in some footage rather than filming all the time. The first wave train might have been the biggest, but she wasn't anticipating it, so it went undocumented. We were told it was read and run, to stay off the walls. The walls weren't much of an issue; not sure if it was because of the high water but it was easy to stay away from them.

A couple rapids later the waves were big and there were rocks to either side, so the middle line looked good. After one particularly large wave I felt myself falling, and next thing I knew I was upside-down underwater hanging onto my board. I got recirculated and spit out, wrists sore from holding onto the hydrospeed. Ahead of me Peter was off his board, and I looked back to check on Alicia; she was hanging on by one arm. Breathless I headed to the side and took a breather.

This did get documented.

After a couple more turns in the river it was hard to see which way to go - looked like an island but it was hard to tell if the river went around both sides. We scouted and decided definitely left. The right appeared to go into a dead end, although the current was leading somewhat into it with a strong eddy in front of it. Peter cut it the closest to stay in the current; Alicia and I paddled like mad to stay river left.

Pretty soon we saw power lines and I knew we were near the end. A plastic container of Guaro awaited our intestines at the car. I saw Josh on the bank and a group of young people under the bridge with their bicycles. I had spied the take out and it looked impossibly shallow, so we stayed right of the bridge post. The kids were yelling something but I couldn't tell what. They may have been drunk. Or worse. We got out and walked across the rocks and shallow water, meanwhile the rowdies started throwing rocks at us.

I got in the car, fins, helmet, wetsuit and all, thinking maybe we'd go for another lap. We high tailed it as much as we could up the steep gravel road to the busier highway. Alicia didn't want to and Peter thought one good run was good for the day, so I cracked the Guaro. I wish I could have taken a picture of Alicia's face when she tasted it. It's a bit like vodka, just a tad sweeter. Peter and I finished off the bottle in the car for the windy drive back to the hostel.

We had dinner again at the fancy hotel. I mean, they had linen tablecloths! I had some kind of meat dish with onions, and flan for dessert. It was one of the best flans I've ever had. But the meat tasted a little old or something so I didn't finish it.

Peter and Josh were wearing their nonsensical tshirts. Something got messed up in translation and it read "Flaying Jet Departure" then a bunch of unintelligible words, like someone just hit the keyboard randomly.

We ended up at a bar that had 80s videos going with a DJ and smoke machine with laser lights. Kinda trippy. No one was dancing, but a few were smoking and once again I had to bail because of the second hand toxic waste.

The guys who were creating such a ruckus were again outside the hotel. Josh asked if they could not make so much noise tonight. It must have worked because it was a lot quieter, surprisingly, on a Friday night.


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