Rafting in the Rainforest

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Jun 11, 2009

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Where I stayed
Tarrah's Guesthouse

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, May 15, 2009

   Two days ago we went to Mossman Gorge which has a big river with a bunch of natural swimming holes.  Tarrah took me to a secret local spot that we had to clime through the rain forest to get to, but it was worth it.  The water was ice cold but refreshing and there was a rope swing.  I was a little hesitant at first of the stability of the rope and the safety of the whole situation but I survived.  Tarrah wimped out because the water was too cold so she didn't partake. 
   Probably the highlight of my trip so far was whitewater rafting on the Tully River.  Now I was rafting in the Ottawa River last summer but this actually put that to shame.  We went through grade 4 rapids (on a scale up to 6 with 6 being unraftable) right through the middle of the rain forest.  When we weren't paddling to avoid getting flipped the scenery was incredible and there all sort of these bright blue Ulysses butterflies which are beautiful.  I got tossed once before lunch, but that was in a spot they were trying to flip us because it was relatively safe.  After lunch thing were a little quicker pace going 10 km over 2.5 hours.  On the second last rapid, one of the longest and probably one of the most dangerous to flip our boat came over the top of a rock and the raft flipped.  At first I wasn't to worried, I got thrown a little further from everyone else and for the moment I was being held by a rock so I grabbed a bunch of floating paddles.  At this point I don't think anyone knew what kind of danger we were in so no one was that panicked, although it hard to judge as there head were still bobbing in the water .  I looked up and the guide looked to be pretty panicked as he raced to try to get everyone onto the still flipped raft.  Apparently at first Tarrah was stuck between the raft and a rock until the guide grabbed her from on top of the raft.  At this point I lost my hold and started drifting down to the side, so I thought I would slowly drift to the raft and I would jump on.  When this didn't happen and I saw that there was still a couple hundred feet of rapids in front of me I decided to ditch the paddles and try to save my limbs from some serious damage.  Luckily moments before I got sucked down a rope hit me and I grabbed onto it and I joined another raft.  The water as running to fast for us to help my old raft so we had to get down the rest of the rapids trying to grab paddles where we could.  I looked on from the bottom of the rapid while the rest of the guides tried to figure out how to flip this raft right way up in the middle of a rapid.  This process took about 15 minutes and apparently the other rafters had to be paddling hard the whole time to keep there boats in position to help my old raft, still flipped.  Eventually everyone got down safely without any real damage done.  To say the least it was pretty intense and a really amazing experience so i wouldn't want to put anyone off from rafting.  Unfortunately the camera guy was not filming at the time or I'm guess there would be some amazing footage.
   Right now we are preparing for Tarrah's big birthday party on the beach.  We just picked up a keg cooler and about $100 worth of meat so it looked to be a pretty good time.  Hopefully I'll update again when I'm at Magnetic Island in about 5 days.
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auntlisa on

My idea of rafting includes an inner tube with a 6 pack tied to it and maybe a little sunscreen. The pictures are amazing....and it looks like a lot of crazy fun. Have a blast a the big bash. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you all. Happy Birthday Tarrah! Love,Aunt Lisa

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