Activities To Do Before You Die – White Water Rafting
This is the first entry in the series of activities to do before you die. Well, or just before you become too frail and decrepit to do them. If you are scared of the unknown, have a phobia of heights, or just don’t like being injected with adrenaline (not literally), stop reading now! Well, please don’t stop reading, because this is a great read and I have poured my literary prowess into it. Maybe just don’t try these awesome activities. However, if you answered ‘No’ to the above questions, then get ready to feel a roller coaster of emotion in this thrill-ride of a series. Thinking about it though, it’s ironic how the top 5 activities to do before you die are the very things that could potentially kill you… Nevertheless, ONWARDS!
5. White Water Rafting
Let me set the scene. It’s early morning in Utah, the sun is just starting to peer over the vast canyon walls and the orange dirt is glowing in its harsh rays. It’s a perfect day for white water rafting. Everyone’s knees are weak and arms are heavy, but on the surface everyone looks calm and ready… to go rafting. Everyone is then issued with a life jacket and helmet, in an attempt to remind you that you cannot swim, and your heads are easily crushed. If this happens, the activity then becomes known as red water rafting, if you know what I mean.
It is then that you get your first glimpse of your ride. This isn’t helping since it looks like a Brighton beach inflatable boat jacked up with steroids. The overly jovial staff will attempt to liven things up with a light-hearted safety talk, the purpose of which is only to stop people suing. Now that you are sufficiently terrified, and dressed up like a goon, you will traipse one by one into the jaws of hell, I mean, your dinghy. The natural beauty of the canyons and river is enough to get you to entice you. An untouched world; only your boat and the river. As you float down the winding canyon, all you can hear is the whisper of the wind and soft sound of the river in the distance. The calm before the storm.
-JUMP CUT. PERSPECTIVE CHANGE-
“OK! We’re coming up to the first rapids! Everyone ready?” No. The mist of the raging torrent appears on the horizon as I turn the corner. My heartbeat increases 5 fold as we sail ever closer to our fate (Is it too late to remind everyone that it is not recommended to raft if you have a weak heart?). We all grab our oars and hold them over the sides of the boat. 3, 2, 1… and we hit the first wave. The adrenaline rushes through me uncontrollably, like an 11 year old boy, the first time he sees Pamela Anderson (this happens to everyone, right?). But before you have time to think, you hit the second one and the third and before you know it, it’s all over and your floating downstream with the raging torrents behind you, dripping with excitement and, um, water.
But fear not, the epic journey is not over. There are many more pockets of rapids before the day is up. There is also the choice of numerous excursions that take longer than the day, in which you camp over night, sleep under the stars and get a taste of the wilderness. I definitely recommend this if you don’t just want to see the edge of the river, but something further afield.
Even if you decide not to go as far a field as America, there are some stunning places a lot closer to home and at a fair price. Throughout Europe, there are some highly rated places, such as the Noce River in Italy, or the Coruh River in Turkey. However, if you’re looking very close to home, and for what is considered the most extreme, try the Rumba Rapids at Thorpe Park in Surrey. But the best places to go if you have the time and money are North or South America; you just can’t go wrong!
So in conclusion, you will experience everything from nervous laughter, to pure adrenaline, to a small tear trickling down your cheek as you realize you love life (be sure to wipe that off quickly). But one thing you will not feel is regret. Strong currents, jagged rocks, people crammed into an inflated piece of rubber, what’s not to like?
Apart from, you know, the strong current, and the jagged rocks.
Want more from this author? Try A review of Rage
Or for a related article, how about an article on gnoming
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