Quite an adventure!!!
Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
60Trip End Jun 10, 2007
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The day after however we were ready for adventure and we found it! We took a local bus up to Grande Atuel (a big canyon which is compared to the Grand Canyon) and tried some white water rafting, 9km actually - scary enough for me. After a big lunch of steak and wine (we eat steak every day, sometimes twice a day) we decided to go down the same white water on an inflatable (a bit like body boarding). I'm not quite sure how that happened but we were the only people doing it. We were guided down by an instructor in a kayak who gave us some flippers, a quick two minute explanation in broken English and a float to hold onto. As soon as we got in a big storm with lightening and thunder decided to accompany us! We were hoping it wouldn't hail as a few weeks ago a hail storm with orange-sized pellets destroyed trees and even cars. After the first big rapid, followed by several enormous waves I started to wonder what I was doing. This thought didn't leave me for the entire 9km. Our instructor had a panicked look on his face most of the time, especially guiding us around rocks, and was constantly screaming paddle left or paddle right, quite exhausting. Never again...
On dry land the boss offered us a lift to San Rafael which turned out to be the second part of the adventure! Due to the rain part of the road home now had a river running across it. People had got out of their vehicles and were standing around watching. Our driver tried to drive through but got stuck, followed by two more vans that also got bogged in. Everyone was cheering and clapping and laughing every time someone tried, it was like a big party! A truck towed the vehicles out but our driver's van wasn't going anywhere. Eventually after an hour or so the water subsided enough and the build up of traffic slowly made it across with each vehicles attempts accompanied by cheers and claps. Having abandoned our original lift, we grabbed a passing bus rammed with people and just about fitted on the steps. There was quite a party atmosphere on the bus which was good as we had to drive about 8km per hour with more rivers to drive through. Every time we made it through one, there was a big round of applause. Just as we got to a main road where we could go a bit faster a vehicle on the other side of the road clipped the wing mirror and bits of broken mirror flew through the window cutting the bus driverīs hand. He pulled over and everyone surrounded him with tissues, advice, sugar etc. Just when we thought we could get going again the driver then fainted, drawing in more people to help with smelling salts, water, massages, head rubs etc. A passenger then took the wheel and drove us back!!! The driver then took a phone call, presumably informing him that it wasnīt company policy to allow passengers to drive the bus, so we then had to pull over and wait for another driver. When we finally made it there was an enormous cheer, more clapping and congratulations to the original driver who was now looking even more embarrassed.
In San Rafael it had hailed again, all the electricity had gone and bits of trees were everywhere. Itīs summer here by the way.
Finally after two Pisco Sours we just about made our 11 hour night bus journey, followed by a three hour wait then the whole of the next day travelling...Phew!
Emma and Iain.