We chose the worst day ever to go white water rafting in Salta, Argentina. It was the first time that it had snowed there in 3 years!
While staying in Salta, my dad and I, and 3 of our other tour group members decided that we wanted to go white water rafting as an optional excursion. On the day of the rafting, I woke up early and got all of my stuff together. As I stepped outside of our cabin to get breakfast, I noticed just how cold it was outside. My bare hands instantly were numb with cold. It was snowing lightly, and the ground was covered with frost.
Before we knew it, the van came to pick us up and drive us to the river. The drive took around 2 hours and the farther we drove, the more snow there was.
At the rafting place, we filled out some forms and then walked over to a different building to get our equipment. We were all provided with wet suits, shoes, fleeces, jackets, helmets, and oars. The equipment was really nice, and we all went to the locker rooms to change. While changing into my wet suit, I was so cold that my entire body was numb. After I got everything on, it was a little bit warmer.
Our group was assigned a tour guide that spoke English, and a generic blue raft. He was really helpful and informative during the rafting. We were still shivering when our guide told us to lift the blue raft, and walk it to the riverbank where our journey would begin.
For the first part of the rafting the guide showed us how to use our oars, and other information that we would need. The rafting was 2 hours in total with the first 20 minutes of practicing rowing. The rapids were considered Grade 3 rapids, meaning that it wasn’t extreme, but it wasn’t a leisure ride either.
While we were going down the rapids, we had to paddle as hard as possible to control the raft. At several points, we all got soaked, but the wet suits kept us warm. The water was surprisingly a lot warmer than the air was. About 20 minutes into the rafting, it stopped snowing, and it got a bit warmer. In total we went through about 7 rapids. Between the rapids there were calmer parts of the river.
While going through one of the roughest rapids, our raft hit a rock and one of the group members fell out of the raft. Fortunately we pulled him back on the raft right away, and he wasn’t hurt.
Once we were about to finish the entire rafting trip our guide allowed us to jump out of the raft and let the water carry us down stream. At first it was really cold, but then the wetsuit warmed me up. I was surprised by how shallow the water was because as I was being carried down stream, my butt hit some rocks at the bottom of the river. Overall I really enjoyed the thrill of rafting. I think next time I should try an even higher grade rapid.
After we pulled the raft ashore, we went on a remodeled school bus, which took us up, back to the top of the river, where we began. The ride took about 20 minutes, and we were provided with alfajores, coffee and orange juice. Once we were back at the main area, we had to take our gear off.
After I had all of my gear off, I was in just my swim shorts and dripping while out in 40 degree F weather. I was absolutely freezing, and ran to the locker room to get a hot shower. I felt like I was defrosting while in the shower and didn’t want to get out. The facilities in the rafting place were really clean and professional.
Lunch was included in our rafting tour. There was a salad bar and a guy who walked around serving Argentinian beef and sausages. The food was good, but it seemed really rushed because I wasn’t completely done eating when the meat guy stopped going around, and the workers put the salad bar away.
In total the rafting tour cost a little more than 400 Argentinian Pesos, which is equal to about USD $50. It included the transport, rafting, and lunch. I was a bit nervous about how the day would turn out because of the weather, but I ended up having a great time.
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