Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sledging is not so awesome

We were overdue for an adventure activity, so we decided to go sledging! We saw sledging on a leg of the Amazing Race in New Zealand, so we were eager to give it a try. We actually went with the same company that took the Amazing Race teams which was neat because they had stories about the teams :)

Route marker left from the Amazing Race, oooooo.

Sledging is basically like white water rafting, but you are in the water (with a wetsuit, flippers, lifejacket and helmet) and instead of a raft you have this plastic half-boat thing (a sledge) that the front of your body lays on. The sledge has handles for holding on, and it's purpose is to help you float and also protect you from rocks etc. It seemed like a unique and fun variation on rafting and we were pretty excited.

Unfortunately sledging did not live up to our expectations :( This was perhaps largely due to the disorganization of the company we went with. There was a lot of waiting around to leave the base, with little explanation about why we were waiting. Then once we were in the water it was the same: lots of waiting on the rafting group (why?) with no explanation . Except this time we were waiting while clinging by our fingertips to a rocky bank, trying not to get swept away by the fast current. The instructors seemed oblivious to the fact that many of us were struggling to hold on, and almost seemed annoyed at our inability to "group up". Even though their idea of grouping up seemed to involve having your sledge practically on top of the person in front of you. It was really claustrophobic and chaotic, and just made me even more uneasy about being in the river. 

Manoeuvring through the water is tricky because it's moving really fast. I found that even though I was wearing flippers I could barely get to where I needed to go. It was the pure terror of getting swept away or crashing into a rock face that propelled my legs as fast as they could go. The actual going over the rapids was maybe sort of fun. Though still bordering on terrifying as I got a face full of water and almost lost my sledge every time.

Also from the van drop off point we had to carry the sledges to the river, which was decently far away. And they may not look it, but those things are HEAVY!

Ok ok enough complaining. Like I said there were fun parts, but by they time the fun stuff started I was in such a bad mood from the lead-up that I just wanted it to be over. All in all it just wasn't a great experience.  But one of the first not-so-good experiences so far, so we are doing pretty well :)

Here I go!
So much water...
Here come's Scott, with perfect sledging form!
Ahh almost losing the sledge!
He recovers
I'm having so much fun...
(in retrospect I wish I had attempted a smile, lol)
Scott actually did enjoy parts of it

At the end there was a rapid we could "surf" by facing upstream and kind of balancing on the wave. Scott did a pretty good job, but on my try I got most of the river up my nose, ha.

Steady now... 
He got it!

My turn
Ok this is kind of fun (as she starts to dip the nose of her sledge...) 
The stream of water pouring out of my helmet should give you an idea of how much is also in my nose 

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