Today rafting at Tampaón River.
This river is a risk 3 in a scale of 6, which means moderate danger, but be very careful because the travel agency sells it as an easy ride and it really isn´t.
To practice rafting you get into an inflatable boat with other 6 people, one of them is a certified guide. He or she stays in the back and uses their paddle to direct the ship.
First they tell all about safety and what to do if you fall into the water. Pay attention because you may need that information latter.
In those moments you are in a part of the river that´s very similar to a pool, no waves and no rocks all nice and easy. The water is so blue that it seams artificially painted. You start rowing and a while after you get to the first rapid of the river. This one is easy you get around and little bit shaken but soon enough is over. So far you think it´s going to be a nice ride along the river.
Then you get to the second one and it´s more intense, now you don´t see this as a pleasant ride and you start to be afraid of falling.
You keep going and so is the intensity of the rapids. Here´s where the ability of your guide is crucial. In one of the strongest rapids the raft that went before us passed easily by, and then it´s our turn. We didn’t go easily, we flipped. Everything happens really fast so when you open your eyes again you´re under water looking for which direction is up. The vest takes you to float so when you get into the surface you try to swim to where the raft is but the current is stronger and you can´t get there.
When they explain you the safety rules they tell that if you fall you have to take a floating position facing the sky and with your feet into the current flow, so if you hit a rock you would do it with the lower part of your body.
So, as I couldn´t get to the boat I had to take the floating position and hope for the best.
I´m floating thanks to the vest and the current is taking me very fast, and then it submerges me into a whirlpool and spits me up a few seconds after. I don’t know where I´m going, then another whirlpool, I´m immerse for a little while and back floating again. I´m hopping someone rescue me, I don’t know if I could get lost in the river. Another whirl, I close my eyes and think of whom is going to tell my mother I disappeared in San Luis Potosí. All of the sudden the water velocity slows down and I hear a lot of people screaming I can see the raft that went before us. I grab strongly to the rope around it. I´m safe. A man is trying to help me get in it but suddenly stops and shouts: Careful! The other raft, the one I was in hits the first raft right where I´m hanging. I sank and come back up when there´s room for me between them. They help me get into the boat, all of my body is shaking uncontrollably, I´ve never been whiter, I´ve never thought I could die right there.
So I was telling you, risk degree 3 – moderate, well depends on who you ask to. If you´re lucky enough to be on the first raft that didn´t flip then yeah it´s a moderate risk, but if you have to go through my experience then let me tell you that moderate it was not.
If you´re not a fan of extreme sports I would recommend to take rafting on Micos river (level 2 – low risk) because it´s a thrilling and entertaining activity as long as you don´t fear for your life. I would do it again only in a low risk river.
That was our last activity of the trip and without planning they were increasing risk and intensity. Now you have a real understanding of every practice we did and can choose accordingly to your degree of expertise and thrill thirst.
This is all about a trip that will always be in my memory, for its experiential richness, for my near-death experience and for the wonders of nature we got to see and enjoy. I hope you take the chance of visiting this wonderful place called Huaxteca Potosina.