Trip Start May 20, 2008
73Trip End Sep 15, 2008
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Roman, Bianca and I were blown away by the magnificent scenery. We had lunch in a nice cabana by the side of the river while watching tubers squeal as their backsides landed in the cold water. We decided we would hike and get hot and sweaty, then try tubing. It turns out we stayed so long in the gorge that we didn't have time for tubing which was too bad
It was hard to capture the hike adequately in photos since the depth of the gorge and enjoyment of the adventure didn't translate well. You'll see that the hike starts out easily enough on a wooden walkway above the "river" (more like a stream) leading to some lounging and eating decks built on top of the water. From here you begin the actual hike by donning watershoes and having local boys assist you across the stream for a small tip. It's funny because people are trying not to get too wet but if they hike much further they are definitely going to get wet. I was just trying to keep my backpack and camera from getting wet.
Over the next couple of hours we hiked up the gorge crossing the stream often but trying to stay on the pebbled sides of the stream. The gorge is so narrow in points that you can touch both sides of the walls which rise hundreds of meters above. We had to climb over rocks, scale the short waterfalls and avoid the deeper pools along the way. The rocks had been worn smooth by the rushing water over the years making it more of a challenge.
The stream was usually just a foot or two deep so you just needed to avoid stepping in a hole or stepping on a loose rock
Roman often helped Bianca but she did great on her own. We each kept our eyes out for the others. My biggest issue was when we were climbing up a small waterfall and my right foot got stuck between rocks underwater. I couldn't see how it was stuck and the rushing water threatened to push me backwards while my foot was still stuck. I tried moving my leg every direction and tugging but no luck. I finally resorted to holding on with just one hand while the other explored underwater to see what was keeping my leg stuck. That did the trick as I finally freed my leg but my watershoe wasn't with it. One of the gorge guides went racing after my shoe that was floating downstream and was able to catch up with it and save the day.
We kept going upstream hoping to find the source of the water and went well beyond where everyone else turned around. It was pretty cool with just the three of us exploring the gorge. We eventually reached a point where we couldn't go any further though and turned around. The trip downstream was a lot quicker as we knew better which route to take. I really had a blast with this adventure since it is not your typical tourist excursion. I wish some of my friends had been along since I know they would have enjoyed it too!