After a short night, I got up and prepared myself with my bikini and a towel. Rafting was on my schedule. The shuttle picked me up and brought us to the headquarter of Kaitiaki, which means guardian in English. We were stuffed with wetsuits, shoes, jackets, helmets and of course life jackets.
Fully dressed we got on the shuttle which took us to the Kaituna River with the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. We were all looking forward to these seven meter high Tutea Falls. Before that we got a safety briefing and learned that if you fall out of the raft in the waterfall you have to make yourself a ball, if you fall out of the raft in the river, swim.
The men of our group carried the boats down to the river and we were split into two different groups. Each group had his own guide and together we pushed our raft into the river. The two girls of us were sitting at the front showing the rhythm which the two guys behind had to follow. Our guide sat at the end of the raft to give us orders and steer the raft to where it was supposed to be. The orders we were given were: Hold on, get down, paddle forwards and paddle backwards. Pretty easy to understand. It was so much fun to raft down the little falls, bump into the other boat, splashing each other and we could also swim in the river for a little while before we were pulled back into the boat. The most exciting part however was the seven meter falls. Before we rafted them our guide told us about the three possible endings of rafting down the falls. 1. We make it down there and have great fun. 2. The raft will turn upside down and we have to get back in afterwards. 3. Someone falls out of the raft and we have to pull him back in while he or she has to form a ball.
Luckily, I didn’t fall out of the raft completely. I was just hanging over the side of the raft so I was quickly pulled back in. It was so thrilling and fun that I would have loved to do it again. Unfortunately, we soon arrived at the end of the rafting track and had to carry our equipment back to the cars waiting for us to get us back to the headquarter. Compared to the beginning of the tour, you could see a smile on every face. The fear that determined the atmosphere on our way to the river, was replaced by pride and joy.
Back at the headquarter our sopping wetsuits were ripped of our bodies and we took off our shoes which reminded me of the waterfalls when I turned them upside down. After we were all back in our normal clothes we had a look at the pictures that were taken by a professional photographer at certain spots along the river. The photos could be bought as a package on CD.
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