Friday, January 11, 2008

Mendoza River Rafting Trip

Argentina Rafting River TripPhoto By: Ryan Greenberg

Took my daughter on a full day rafting trip down the Mendoza river yesterday with Argentina Rafting Expediciones ( I highly recommend the outfit. We had fun despite a much more difficult trip than we bargained for.

I didn't realize the trip we took was rated moderate to difficult when we booked it. My daughter is only 13, and while she loves to do white water rafting, she is not the type who is into anything aproaching real exercise.

The Mendoza river runs fast. And when we showed up, the wind was blowing hard and fast upriver. On top of that, we only had four rowers on our boat—a couple from Spain, and my daughter and I.

The strong wind made it very difficult to maneuver our boat. A situation driven home by the fact that we were down two rowers. This river trip was the hardest one I have every done. By midday I was zapped.

Several points in the morning our guide was pleading, almost in tears, "Please, please paddle harder and faster... NOW!" as if we were going to die.

We broke for lunch and ate at the ruins of an old abandoned train depot. We regained our energy and reboarded our boats for the second leg. While getting in, I asked if it was going to be be easier or harder. I was told by our guide, "It is going to be more fun. The most dangerous part of the river was right around the corner."

I was worried at that point. But, luckily the wind died down to nothing and we no longer had to paddle 4 times harder than normal like we were in the morning.

The trip switched from hard to fun. We went through a class 4 section of the river with breeze. (We'll I almost fell out at one point, but my wife is not suppose to know that part. )

Near the end, we hit a small section of the river with a drop off. We handled it like pros. Our guide admitted after we passed it that he had flipped the boat over 3 of the last 4 times on that very same spot. Not very comforting. Though, I'm glad he waited till afterwards to tell us.

All in all, a challenging and fun trip. I was very proud of my daughter and how she stepped up to the plate. We even met some cool college kids on the bus trip back that helped my daughter realize what a great experience she getting by being here in Argentina.

That alone was worth the price of the trip.


Anonymous said...

Hey, fellow Texan!

I enjoy your blog. I lived in Austin for five years, before living in Latin America for the past three+. Been in Costa Rica (too dangerous), Panama (too hot) and now Bogota. (Too much traffic).

What's your opinion of Mendoza? Is there enough going on to make it a nice place to live, or is it "too pueblo"?

Longhorn Dave said...

I haven't formed a good opinion of Mendoza yet. I pictured Napa Valley of South America. What I found was one youth hostel after another and a city mainly geared for outdoor adventure.

It does seem a little "small". There are US, European, and Asian college kids everywhere. So the tourist stickout more here than in Buenos Aires.

I'll let you know more after I get a feel for it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. That's kind of what I suspected.

On Youtube, I saw somebody posted a video of the local mall, and also of an outdoor area lined with cafes... but it looked very touristy.

Might be better to live in or around Santiago and drive in to visit Mendoza periodically.

It would also probably be easier to fly out of Santiago. I read on Drudge this morning that people are destroying the ticket counters in anger, in BA, due to the strikes. Who needs those headaches?

- Costa Rica Jones.