river rafting in the white river (updated with pictures from trip!)

05/07/2013 § Leave a comment

hvítá

©Ingólfur Bjargmundsson

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ingolfurb/

A few days ago my dad and brother suddenly dragged me into a trip to Hvítá (White River) here in Iceland where we went river rafting for fun. My god, how nervous I was! The first thing that popped up into my head was how I endured this before in early spring 2011 when me and my class in 10th grade, elementary school, went rafting in the northern part of Iceland in the graduation trip we had. I was frozen to the bone afterwards then, how different would this be? But I was wrong!

After showing up at the main centre of the company Arctic Rafting (http://www.arcticrafting.com/RaftinginSouthIceland/) we signed a few papers were we confirmed we knew what we were getting ourselves into (basically we would most likely get wet and we knew the risk) and waited for the rest of the people to show up. I noticed they were selling waterproof disposable cameras at the price of 3.000 kr ( 3.000 kr is not 3 kr but 3000 kr because here in Iceland we use . instead of ,) which was a lot but then again I work at the company that ship the cameras to Iceland and we sell them around 2.350 kr. So I mentally kicked myself for not taking one from work, but then again I had no idea I would be river rafting in my short one week vacation from work!

Shortly after buying the camera the people in charge started introducing themselves and we went over a short security brief, we went over the gear, how things work and so on and we dressed properly into our wetsuits. In my old trip we were in these bulky drysuits while wearing wool underneath so this was different. We then got into these typical American school buses and drove up river for about 20 minutes. Then the fun began!

We were shown how to paddle and so on(I remembered everything from my first trip) and finally we got into the boat and my captain Jason from England, showed us the ropes and made us briefly do a practice row. I ended up in a boat with my dad, brother and four Americans, two couples that were enjoying a fun trip here as friends, they were from New Jersey and Florida I believe. Anyways, sadly I finished the camera way to early! Halfway on our trip down river we sailed in this beautiful canyon and stopped and went cliff-diving, the cliffs were 6 or 8 meters so you could choose between the two. Scratch that, everyone else went cliff-diving except for me and one woman from my boat. It seems that we were the only sane people there!

Then it was smooth sailing, well not really since it was a river but we began playing games, on one of the other two boats with a captain named Tom they took turns running on the edge of the boat to see who would fall first. On my boat we had two people get on each side of the boat while the others spinned to boat, first one to fall from either end loses, it ended with a eye-to-eye competition between my brother and me, and I was declared winner! That is… until Jason(my captain) decided to have one final battle between me and him,and of course he won! No surprise there… I also tried getting into the water while holding onto the boat and made myself float and relax, it wasn’t as cold as my last trip, but still I didn’t last long in the water.

We sailed towards a beach and put our oars into the bus and after the captains put everything away we drove off, it turned out we were only about less than 30 meters from the main centre. Then we showered and dressed and me and my dad and brother headed back to our summer-house by Álftavatn(Swan Lake) in Grímsnes where we were staying for the week (I just got back home a few hours ago). They even offer a hot meal when you get back but since we were staying close by we decided to just eat at the summer-house. I had a fantastic time and I really recommend this!

This entry will be updated with pictures when I develop the camera at work.

Update: Well, a few pictures were ok, but most of them were blurry. Sadly I can not control the shutter speed on a disposable camera. :/

 

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