Friday, July 6, 2007

Braving the Rapids

I almost didn’t go. After almost three weeks of non-stop traveling, my energy level was fast approaching the warning point. I really didn’t think I could still handle an extreme adventure. Especially one I had to sign a waiver for.

But there was very little to do in Cagayan de Oro—well at least nothing much that excited me as a traveler. So if I didn’t take the bait of experiencing their most popular tourist attraction, I wouldn’t have anything else to write about the place.

We had to wake up early to meet up with the other white-water rafting tourists near McDonald’s in Divisoria. By this time, Ron knew well enough that I have such a dour mood in the morning—especially when I didn’t get enough sleep, and my energy seems to be in an all-time low—so he didn’t even bother talking to me or arguing with me when I made it very clear that I needed to take my breakfast and couldn’t care less if all the other tourists were already waiting.

I didn’t even try to feign enthusiasm for this new adventure, and sincerely, I was scared about how dangerous it could get. But thankfully, my mood started lightening up in the jeepney going to the mouth of the Cagayan River. The landscape along the way was really awesome. We also stopped by a tourist post to wait for the others and were invited to try out the canopy walk and the zip—a 20 minute adventure inside a rainforest. But I headed towards the souvenir stands instead. I got two trinkets for my friends and was good to go.

The river where we shall be braving the rapids clearly marks the boundary between Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon—the first one’s the left bank and the other’s the right. This was again emphasized to us when we were given precautionary measures just in case we fall off the raft. When the guide says swim to Cagayan, we should know that we should be waddling towards our left.

Because Ron sat in front, I had no choice at first but to sit beside him. But after almost falling during our battle with the first rapid, there was no other choice but to trade places with a braver soul. Fun starts picking up by this time, and sometimes our guide (who seems to be channeling Brownman Revival’s lead with his heairstyle and sunglasses) would make us stand as we approach a rapid just to heighten the excitement.

During breaks from the rapids, our guides would also allow us to take a dip in the river. I don’t really like swimming in deep water, but I had a life jacket on and the water’s really tempting, so I jumped out of the raft with the others. Ron had to make sure though that I always stay close to the raft, and would call my name everytime he fails to see where I was. Dad!

After several rapids, I knew I would have regretted it if I hadn’t joined Ron for this adventure. It was, to quote a dear friend, “heaps” of fun. And it was quite cheap too, especially with the crab and shrimp feast that greeted us after the ride. By this time, my only dilemma was how to go about my next ride: I knew I had to take my husband here, but this means going through the beginner’s stage again, which is not very tempting since I know I’m definitely ready and raring for a bigger challenge. Bring on the rapids!

(T)he Other Sputnik

1 comment:

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