Jeffer's Odyssey

Great White Water Rafting Adventure in CDO: Seconds, Please

Here’s the thing about making plans: as much as I acknowledge how important it is and how it can make your life (or, OK, your schedule) marginally better, it gets really frustrating when things fall through and the plan does not happen. You see, today I was supposed to be attending a wedding somewhere warm and shining, but then migraine came attacking, and it’s just great timing~ (hey, that rhymed!). Not cool, M, not cool at all. So while nursing this unwelcome guest, I thought I’d just hit y’all up with this 3rd post about white water rafting.

If you ask me, this is definitely one of the best ways to beat the summer heat. Much better than, say, lazing around on a sandy beach somewhere (but that’s just my opinion).

I thought this post wasn’t gonna happen because, up until this morning, I thought the disc where the rafting company saved the photos was lost. But I was moving stuff around on my desk and I saw the white envelope, and…. moral lesson here: keep your desk clean.

Incidentally, this white water rafting adventure was something thatย almost didn’t happen. While planning our Camiguin trip, we threw the white water rafting idea around, since two others in our group haven’t tried it yet. But then a typhoon came and stranded us at the island of Camiguin, and we just got lucky catching a break in the weather and heading back to the mainland then making that long trip to CDO. We got to the hotel, made random calls, until, a couple of hours later, we were due to be picked up by the rafting company. XDDD

CDO will always have a soft spot in my heart because it gave me my first white water rafting experience (which I blogged about here). But you know how there are some experiences and adventures that you’d never tire of and won’t hesitate doing again and again? This was one of them.

This time, the rafting outfitter we went for wasย Great White Water Tours.

It was close to 1pm when they picked us up, then we went to their offices, stashed our stuff, suited up, met with the three other joiners (to complete the 7-people-per-group-and-save-some -money), then headed to the jump-off point.

As with the other two rafting adventures I went on, the photos were taken by boatmen on kayak. Granted, this time, there weren’t a lot of photos. Which was a bummer, but hey, I won’t dwell on that.

So, how was the second time in the Cagayan de Oro River for me?

Three words:ย Just as amaaaaaayzing.

I felt like I was on familiar territory…

…you know, considering this was only my third time. I suppose there is already a protocol among rafting outfitters, no matter where they are in the Philippines. They go through the same motions: the requisite introductions, the briefings and crash course on what to do and what not to do, but these are for your safety and to ensure that you have the most fun out of the experience and, at the same time, get the most bang for your buck, so you should definitely pay attention to them.

One thing that’s new for this second round: sharing the same raft with complete strangers. The two jolly young ladies also happened to have taken the long weekend off from their grueling work in Manila to visit Camiguin for just one morning, and then they headed back to CDO for this. There was another lone traveler who joined us. All three we met for the first time inside the pick-up shuttle of GWWT.

All 4 of us thought we were already more than capable of being pretty loud when we put our hearts and minds to it, but these three gave us that reality check we sorely needed because, maaaaan, their energy was no joke.

They laughed, they shrieked, they screamed, they bickered, they cussed and cursed, and they just all-out rolled with it. And we were right there with them. You wouldn’t think we met just an hour ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

And oh how we all screamed. Although, for my part, it was mostly laughing at these kids’ antics, and the stuff they come up with off the top of their heads. Keep in mind that the boatmen are also “programmed” to be talkative. It’s safe to say that we were able to give back as much as they threw at us.

Our adventure started pretty late (they already had a morning run earlier that day) so there was a sense of being a bit rushed while we did ours. But I gotta hand it over to the boatmen, because they still made sure that we got to experience the thrills and chills.

Oh, and if you notice, unlike the first time I was on this same adventure here in the Cagayan de Oro River, this time the water was clear~ Not the brown one that we had before. ๐Ÿ™‚

At some points during the run, the scenery felt strange to me, and that is because the River underwent some drastic changes, no thanks to the onslaught of two major super typhoons, less than a year from each other. I’m talking about Typhoons Sendong and Pablo, which claimed lots of lives and property in the area. And, yes, the River was not spared.

But the rapids were still there, although there were some shifts and changes in the “terrain”, according to our boatmen.

This run was anything but boring. The boatmen were entertaining (oh, and we were the only raft out there at the time, accompanied by the advance kayak), ready with their bag full of jokes and smartassery.

But I think we got the most kick out of being able to catch their jokes, much to their chagrin. Hey, those two previous rafting experiences with funny and entertaining boatmen paid off! And it also proved that my memory isn’t as rusty as I thought!

Unlike the first time, we were also able to spend more time on the water. (Well, if the water is brown, I don’t think anyone of us would’ve wanted to jump into the water.) Funny thing, whenever the boatmen went “JUMP!” I did so without thinking. Literally. Just, threw my oar to the bottom of the raft and jumped into the water. ๐Ÿ™‚

Probably not the best idea, but if you’re in the moment, you ARE in it.

There was even a point where they just told us to go facedown on the boat, then they steered it on an oncoming rapid… and I just felt the water rush at my head (we had helmets on, don’t worry, Ma. *sheepish*). I suppose when they realized we were up for anything, even though some of us were protesting way too much, they just made us do anything they can think of. ๐Ÿ™‚

YOLO, I say. YO-effin’-LO.

It felt like the time just sped past…

and it probably did. We docked at 6pm. Which meant we were in the River for a good three hours. Time flies so fast when you’re having fun, you see, and we were having a blast.

When you’re out there on the River, it feels like a time out of time. It’s perfect for those who want to clear their minds for a bit and not worry about anything real-life or adulting-related. This is one of those activities where you’re meant to just go out there, have fun, release some pent-up anger or frustration, relieve some stress, or just have some uncomplicated and chock-full of laughter fun time with friends or, if not with friends, with strangers who are probably thinking and feeling the same way as you.

Even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie (I’m not, I swear it), you should definitely try rafting at least once in your life. Honestly, I probably sustained more injuries walking somewhere more than in the 3 to 4 hours I am seated on a raft. But don’t take my word for it. Try it.

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