Winter fun in Costa Rica pt 3
This was our third trip to Costa Rica. We went down the Pacuare and Balsa again, but did a new river called the Sarapiqui. The river was like a(big) Little Su, very steep and full of boulders, and probably the most intense class IV I have done rafting.
The water was a medium level, lots of carnage, lots of swimmers, got my second rescue in CR. A poor lady took a really bad swim and got pretty beat up going through a long boulder garden. She did everything wrong, swam downstream facefirst, tried to stand up, tried to cling onto boulders, and in a nutshell got pounded, really bad, possibly broken bones. We were the last raft in that section, the other three missed her, I yelled to get her attention then snagged her by the top of her vest and hauled her aboard, lucky for her... the rapid was another 100 yards long. She was with another company and was emotionally destroyed, crying, and pleading to leave the river. I consoled her the best I could, while the guide and my family navigated the rapid. Her family in the other raft was mortified, dad and teenagers, was kind of a bummer moment, nobody wants to see someone hurt while trying to have fun.
Later, I spoke to a guide about the river rating, it was class IV at that level, but he did say they call it class IV+ when it is higher, only because they cannot call it class V which is exactly what it would be at higher water. CR I have found is pretty tough with ratings, if they say class--- they mean it, then at higher water will still stick to that measurment.
Anyway, my newest (funnest) rafting river, my kids totally impressed the guide who at first did not want them in the front of the raft, but I reassured him they new how to paddle, and we nailed it. Our guide was actually laughing at his buddies who were struggling with less than adequate paddlers, he was yawning and acting like he was sleeping, a hilarious fun person.
I will post some pics asap, I have a few good ones.
Last edited by mark oathout; 01-11-2014 at 16:04.
A couple pics
Here is a couple pics, I will have to sort through them and will post more. The rapid with the kayak is the first rapid and is called "morning coffee" wakes you right up, and has alot bigger holes than the pic shows
For a small river this one has big waves and holes. Will post more later
Good work on your rescue!! That is why you have done all your training. My time spent in Costa Rica, is there is a lot of dam release and the rivers change from day to day - hour to hour depending on demand. We had to pick up folks from the trip ahead of us also years ago.
Have not been back in a while, We had the "WORLDS" there in 1991. Good thing you were there!
You are probably referring to the Reventazon, and or Balsa, most likely the R. Sadly it is is in the process of another dam, which will all but end boating. When I went down it a couple of years ago it was huge water. They are now trying to dam the Pacuare, but folks are fighting it like mad men, that would be a total drag, it is so beautiful, fun too.
CR has been doing very well in the world rafting championships.
We did the Pacuare, General, Revetazon with 56 other countries, Was trying to stop the dam there on the Pacurare a long time ago. Worked with my good friend, Rafael Gallo of "Rios Tropicales". Has a great book on Costa Rica rivers - "the rivers of costa rica" in 1988. Sure she is out of print-- Have the first printing if you would like to read her.
Our Work with "PROJECT RAFT" was able To stop the big paper-mill on lake BIKAL, in central Asia 2 years before 1989, as well as the dam on the CORUH River in Northern Turkey 1993. Look him up the next time down there. Easy to find- or I can forward their number. Good Man. And was their olympic kayaker at that time.
The river was alittle lower than the last time we did it, but the rapids were still fun and the scenary was excellent. We did stay one night in the jungle lodge , which is about halfway down the river, and is located right beside the water. Let me say this; I slept so good I am lucky to have awakened in the morning, wow, what a good 11 hour nap that was. Now as a dad I have to brag a bit here, notice my 15 year old daughter, Melissa's perfect paddle form in the front left of the boat, , which is the lead paddler. She can keep her spot in the future, what a beast with a paddle
Acouple more Pacuare pics
If you ever go to CR you should try this river, fun and scenic, and good for most healthy paddlers
Mark looks like you guys were with "RIOS"? That is Rafael's company. Hope you felt at home in that SOTAR!! They usually give free trips if you will bring one of our boats down with you for them as baggage.
Happy New Year- LUCKY YOU!!
Hey Goo, first off I would love to read the book, because I want to do a week long kayaking trip in the future, and second, for my family we still have a couple of trips we can do on different rivers. I am interested in the El Chorro.
I think I did meet Rafael, as is most CRicans, very friendly. Our guide with Rios this time was a guy named Eduardo Salazar, a class act and darn good. Cool Goo, nice to chat with a local who knows why I get excited about that place. I'll be in touch, MO