I have met people who are afraid to take risks and avoid what could have become the best experience of their lives. But I respect them. They want to live their lives as what they want to. I don’t have a problem with that. But I always believe in the acronym “YOLO”. You only live once. And I really commend those who are brave enough to conquer their fears. Those whose arms are open wide to the world. Those who are living their lives to the fullest. Knowing that we only live once. And I’ve started to become one.
Just recently, I experienced the most exciting adventure I had in my entire life. Water rafting. At first, it never sounded easy to me. I remember a thing in my past where I rode a boat, and I hardly look at the water. It felt like the sea was just so vast that I fear I might get drowned and get lost forever. Plus, I’m not good at swimming. So definitely, water rafting wasn’t so easy for me.
It was a bright early morning when we gathered at the expected assembly venue. My heartbeat’s on a normal pace. I wasn’t nervous that time until we were fetched by the hired jeepney taking us to the White Water Tours, Cagayan de Oro premise, together with some other adventure seekers. It took us about 20 minutes until we arrived at the premise where we signed our waivers and left our stuffs secured in locked huge bags. Some wore their rash guards for protection while I just wore my stretchable long-sleeved shirt enough to protect my skin from the scorching heat of the sun. We then applied thick touches of sun block lotion. You don’t have to do it unless you want to get tanned. Don’t bring with you your mobile phones. Only DSLR or digital cameras are allowed, where you can have it operated with skilled photographers that can join you while rafting. They’re the ones who’ll use the kayak and take beautiful shots of you and your group during the thrilling adventure.
We then boarded the jeepney for the second time bringing us to the first checkpoint of the water rafting. That time, I felt my heart pumping really fast. I wasn’t able to avoid thinking things that might happen, but at the same time, I was super excited. It took us, maybe another 20 minutes or less, until we arrived at the place. There, the river is flowing fast and I can hear the rushing sound of the water. Near is a souvenir shop with a lot of stuffs to choose from. Of course, pictorials went first before we we’re called to wear our safety vests and helmets. We were also given own paddles. Then everyone were gathered near the releasing point just beside the river for a brief discussion about the DO’s and DON’T’s during the ride. We were given instructions about some signals to obey, different ways of paddling, and a shout call whenever we get pass a rapid. And by the way, during the whole water rafting, since we chose the Basic Course, we’ll only pass through 14 rapids. Yes. 14 rapids. That’s already a lot!
White Water Rafting Proper
There were 6 of us in the group so we occupied a raft on ourselves joining with us 2 safety guides. After the other group’s raft was released, minutes, ours was next. Then our raft was released. Ahooh! I felt mixed emotions that time. Then unexpectedly, just after being released, we were on the first rapid. I felt a sudden adrenaline rush. It really felt good. But what challenged me that time was the sunblock lotion melting after we got wet in the splash from the rapid, it landed on both my eyes so it hurt a bit. But it was just nothing from the excitement that I felt during that time. What had me stunned during the whole ride were the views. How nature looked very healthy and beautiful. I was overwhelmed with what I’ve seen. There were also at some points in the ride where we were allowed to jump out of the raft and enjoy the coolness of the water. Then, whenever we are going to pass some of the rapids, photos and videos were being taken by the photographer who were asked to use the camera owned by a member in our group. The struggles of passing the rapids were being portrayed on the images. I felt proud whenever I view them. We were also given snacks and a bottled water to remain hydrated in the whole ride. With one of the safety guides giving us some trivia, interesting stories and humor, the whole ride was a lot of fun. And then, we we’re on our last rapid. It was the best 3 hours in my life.
As we went out of the river, we untied our safety vests and helmets. We had our last pictorials together with one of our safety guides and then boarded again inside the jeepney going back to the White Water Tours premise for a sumptuous lunch. Then, we took our own stuff. Thanking White Water Tours wasn’t enough for offering us a safe and super fun adventure.
If you are going to ask me whether I’d like to experience water rafting again, I’d probably say yes! So far, it was the most challenging ride I had in my life and since I survived it, a second try won’t be that difficult for me. Unless if it would be the Advanced Course. But what’s important is that I really had fun and also the people I spent the whole rafting ride with. No doubt, it’s the perfect outdoor activity to do when in Cagayan de Oro. Absolutely, it’s more fun in the Philippines!