Half-Naked at 2300m

Trip Start Jul 05, 2006
Trip End Sep 18, 2007

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Flag of Venezuela  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ok, so why are we half naked at 2300m and not a swimming pool or beach in sight?! Well, this is canyoning! It can only be described as an exhilerating adrenaline rush and essentially involves ignoring the little voice in your head telling you that your body was not designed for this!

We had to hike uphill, from our drop off point at 2300m, for about half an hour to our starting point on the Rio Catherina in our swim wear, wearing a helmet and carrying a rucksack - an odd sight! There we donned our wet-suits and harnesses before heading off downhill in the river - walking where it was too shallow and basically going with the flow where we could, hoping that the next meeting between the backside and a big rock wouldnīt be too severe. We had to abseil down three waterfalls - sheer drops of 10m, 20m and 30m.

Abseiling isnīt so bad but when you are trying to contend with gallons of water continuously pounding your body its a different story. I got caught under the flow of the second waterfall for what felt like a few minutes and I found it extremely difficult to breath with the sheer volume of water around me and of course the cold. The water is cold enough on its own but when its flowing past you at a ferocious rate the body temperature drops quite quickly even with a wetsuit. We also had a few free-fall jumps in some areas of the river which were leaps of faith in every respect. In one particular jump we had to jump down 3m into the water flowing through a 1m wide crevice. We had no idea how deep it was, and it required a very controlled jump so that you didnīt hit the wall at either side. We just had to trust the knowledge of our guide completely. He said it was 2m deep, but at a guess I would have said no more than half a meter and not a safe jump. So off I went and Sinead followed. I stepped off the rock, plunged into the water, put my hands out after I hit the water to stop myself colliding with the wall and was spat out of the crevice by the water within seconds - a real adrenaline rush!

We both had big stupid smiles on our faces for the entire evening wondering if we really just did that. Canyoning has to be one of the best extreme sports and weīre looking forward to more!!

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