Fast forward two years to January 2011.
My college soccer team was taking a trip to Costa Rica to tour the country and play their national team! (They killed us by the way😂).
I was so excited to be going back, even though I nearly died the first time. But going with an adult, and definitely learning my lesson the first time, I knew I'd be smarter this time.
One of the exciting parts of our trip was a white water rafting excursion! I had been once before on the Colorado River, so I felt pretty confident about this experience.
Oh how soon that feeling would change.
Booking our tour through Arenal Tours, we were set to white water raft on el Río Toro - if you haven't brushed up on your Spanish in a while, Toro means bull).
After going through some training and commands, we were introduced to the rescue kayak. His job was to help any of us who flipped overboard by grabbing onto the back of his kayak, "however, there will be times when I will be unable to help you because it is too dangerous for you to grab onto me. I will come for you as soon as I can."
"Well that's a bit unsettling" I said to my raft mates, but I was sure it wouldn't be our problem.
It was off to an exciting start, when our tour guide, nicknamed "Wild Boy" asked if anyone wanted to ride the bull. Obviously, brash confidence being one of my strongest attributes [see: faults] I quickly volunteered.
"Riding the Bull" consisted of sitting on the front of the raft, not inside of it, holding on to the rope that goes around the outside.
And then the raft dipped in a rapid and I went flying heels over head under the raft.
Thankfully, I was able to hold onto the rope and get myself (with the helping hands of my teammates) back inside the raft. Where I stayed for only a few minutes.
I climbed back into the raft a little a shook, but adrenaline was coursing! That's when Wild Boy announced we were about to raft through a common flipping point in the tour because of several back to back rapids. We were instructed to hit the deck and paddle as hard as we could.
Well, we flipped. But not only did we flip nose first, the raft flipped and trapped some of us under in one of the rockiest rapids of the tour.
I emerged from under the raft to the rescue kayak right next to me, I looked up at him only to see his eyes wild as he gave me the "no grab" command.
I was on my own, as were the rest of my teammates. Getting tossed between rocks, tumbled around, and beaten bloody, I quickly lost sight of everyone else.
I caught a glimpse of one girl grasping at a riverside branch for dear life only to be swept away, her hands slashed open.
Like my other #neardeathexperience, I was once again dependent on my strong swimming background.
But my background didn't involve rocks and rapids. The river was unpredictable and I couldn't figure out which direction was safety.
Thankfully, the secession of rapids came to an end just as I began to quit, and I washed up on a small pile of rocks in the middle of the river.
I looked around to see the other rafts pulled off to the side, looks of horror on their faces, my teammates scattered 50+ yards apart.
I wish I had pictures of our faces for the remainder of the trip,because they where ghost white and serious. No warrior, paddle above the head shouting. Just 6 shaken ladies waiting for it to be over.
Almost 9 years later, I still refuse to white water raft.
* I want to add that I still highly recommend Arenal Tours for white water rafting. They were amazing, and it was certainly not their fault. Flipping rafts happens in white water rafting. I also failed to mention they cut up the FRESHEST fruit during one of our breaks while howler monkeys screamed from the trees - seriously the best fruit I've ever had. *
#neardeathexperience #whitewaterrafting #rafting #costarica #arenal #fruit #fun #adventure #outdoors