Rafting the Apurimac

Trip Start Jun 20, 2003
Trip End Mar 01, 2004

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, July 5, 2003

We just got back from our four day rafting trip down the Apurimac River! Susan was very nervous about this trip since it would be our first camping experience. We were lucky to be in a very small group with only three other Americans (all proud New Yorkers): Jessica, Cameron, and Andy. We were led by two guides on two boats: Alan was on our boat and was great; Cali ran all the rapids by himself in a cargo boat. Rafting was AWESOME. We rafted about 4 hours each day, camped each night under a million stars, and ate some of the best food we've had since we arrived in Peru.

The best part of the trip was the second day, when our raft was pinned against an enormous boulder in the middle of a huge class four rapid. When that happens, the boat starts to climb onto the rock and the only way to prevent the boat from flipping over and dunking us all in the water is to put all the weight on the side of the raft that is trying to climb the rock. So as Alan was screaming "HIGH-SIDE" -- a rafting instruction for us all to get on the rising side of the boat to prevent a flip -- but half of the boat kept getting deeper in the water while rising side continued to climb the rock. The water was now starting to pour into the boat and we were all about to swim (never a good idea, especially in the size of these rapids). Then he yelled a command we have never heard of while rafting: "GET ON THE ROCK". Totally confused, we somehow all managed to climb onto this slimy, moss covered rock and out of this just-about-to-flip raft. It was amazing, with this huge rapid roaring all around us. We somehow eventually managed to flip the boat around the boulder, and each of us hurled ourselves back in.

Definitely the best moment of our trip, but there were lots of other great moments like that throughout the trip, including two class five rapids which were like mini waterfalls and Sharad riding a rapid upside down off the front of the boat (he volunteered). Aside from the hundred plus bites by mosquito and sandflies we each recieved, rafting the Apurimac was the best rafting we have ever done.
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