I went canyoning yesterday, and it was INCREDIBLE! I don’t even begin to know how to describe the activity, so it might be best if you Google it. Even a day after, my mind is still jumbled trying to process everything we did. In a nutshell, it is an extreme “sport” of sorts where you use various methods to get down the canyon. In the water. In the ice cold (oh, wait… we were’t allowed to use the “c” word…) absolutely freezing water! Freezing water. Like the kind of water that is made from melting snow. Let that sink in.
We started our adventure with a zip line. And if anyone remembers my last episode in Panama, you would remember that I forgot to brake and smashed into a tree. Ouch. So needless to say, it was quite a relief that we didn’t have to manually brake either time. Next, we got to absail down the side of a mountain. I figured since I had repelled down the side of a building in Norfolk before, I would be quite graceful at this, but it didn’t exactly end like so. There was a grove into the cliff towards the bottom, and as I heard the guide tell me to look over my shoulder, I kind of forgot what I was doing and smashed into the rocks. Oops. Oh well, if a bruise on my shoulder is the only injury I sustained throughout the day, I would call that complete success.
I could hear the water roaring, and knew we had made it into the canyon. We shimmied our way in the water and hugged the rocks to keep from slipping. Then we found ourselves where the sidewalk ends, so to speak. Hello, waterfall! And that, my friends, would be our only way down. I don’t exactly know how high 5 meters is (roughly 15 feet I think?) and I had no idea what to expect, or what I had gotten myself into really, but there was no turning back now! The guide helped position myself, and off I went! Since I literally could not see the bottom of the fall from where I started, I somehow got it in my head that I would be sliding on rocks the whole time, but no. That was not the case. There was quite a drop off where I essentially free fell into the fathoms below. Surprise!
Honestly, the worst part was how freezing the water was. Even though we were dressed in wet suits, between the adrenaline rush and the temperature shock, I thought I was having a slight asthma attack I was struggling so hard to breathe. It was incredible. We climbed up another rock on the opposite side of the pool and got to cliff jump back into the same waters that literally took my breath away. We then carried on and floated a bit down the river. This is not the peaceful kind of “river” you might have pictured in your mind. Remember, I had just turned a waterfall into a huge slide. There are still unstable rocks everywhere and unpredictable rushing waters surrounding us. Before we got back out to the serene calm waters, we encountered a few smaller jumps and dives and one final absail, much less intense than the first. The entire day was very overwhelming, but incredibly rewarding. Thank you to the guides for keeping my nerves in check and being so wonderful. It was certainly an experience I will never forget. If you would like more information, please feel free to visit http://www.canyoning.co.nz.
Here’s the link to the video clip of the head Kiwi sending me over a waterfall…