Kids versus Wild - canyoning adventure

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
Trip End Dec 05, 2011

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Saturday, November 26, 2011

With the rain still coming down heavily, we started to wonder what to do next with the children.  Every activity suggested by our guide or the hotel involved either climbing Adam's Peak (the highest mountain in Sri Lanka with 5,000 steps to the summit), or driving 2 hours each way to visit a town called Nuwara Eliya.  Thankfully we didn't have to resort to either of these:  we met Wade, a Canadian who runs an adventure tourism business here and in Nepal, and who just happened to be up at the hotel advising them on how to improve the activities they offer to guests. 

Wade's company organises white water rafting, canyoning and hiking for groups of children from the International School in Colombo and also corporates, and so he kindly organised for us to have a day out at his base not too far from here. 

It could not have been more exciting for our 2 budding Bear Grylls disciples!  Despite the torrential rain, we donned our life jackets and helmets, and hiked up the Kelaniya Ganga river for about half an hour to do our own version of canyoning.  For those that don't know (as I didn't until I did it!) canyoning involves jumping, sliding and walking down rivers and waterfalls and can involve some quite hairy moments.  The first thing we had to do was jump off a slippery rock into a deep pool.  The children did really well, but I couldn't summon up the courage to do it.  Thankfully they didn't see that I had wimped out, already moving onto the next task which was sliding down some rocks into another pool.  This was much more my thing, although the video shows that I did it with far less grace and panache than the kids and Brad, rather more like a sack of potatoes.....!
We did some more sliding, jumping, swimming and negotiating rocks, then the river became too dangerous for the children, so we left Brad and one of the guides to do the extreme stuff, while we walked through the forest to our tea stop, negotiating yet more disgusting leaches.   Bear would have been proud of us....!

We had a great cup of local tea and palm sugar, watching another group rafting down the river, doing a good job of getting stuck on the rocks.  Then, more hiking for us, and the final part of the trip which was floating down the river, through some small rapids, and a canoe ride for the boys back to base camp.

The cheese sandwiches packed for us by the hotel never tasted so good and we quickly headed back up the very windy road to warm up by the fire and report back on our adrenaline-fuelled day.

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