The three most scary experiences of my life!
Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
22Trip End Nov 27, 2008
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Where I stayed
Jalcomulco is a small town which seems to be dominated by Esprit whilst still maintaining it´s own character. Almost everyone knows Jim and quite a lot seem to work for Esprit in one way or another. not many people speak English, so my Spanish is going to have to improve fast. I´m staying in the house of some Esprit employees and one other student is staying with me. We had a very quiet lunch of beans and lentils and chicken and tortillas whilst everyone tried to find something to say. We ended up discussing religion (it´s not easy to explain my views even in English) and washing our clothes. I somehow managed to offer to do the washing up after lunch and was shown to a large stone basin full of water which is scooped out in a bowl to rinse the plates. It was an interesting experience.
So, back to the scary stuff....
Yesterday we ran the Actopan river, which starts with a 15ft waterfall. I knew about this before we got there and, due to my huge fear of throwing myself of high things (crazy, eh?) had decided not to run it. Jim had other ideas and, during a morning shotgun shift on the bus (we all take turns in the fold up shotgun chair so that we can poke the driver and keep them awake), he set about persuading me. Jim is very good at getting people to do things and, by the end of the bus ride, I had half-heartedly agreed to run the falls. The second most scary experience in my life was getting to the falls. The drop that we run is half way down a series of falls and the only way to get there is to climb down the first. There was a rope but we were not attached to it - we just hsd to hold on and climb down whilst the water poured all around and over me. Once we got to the bottom of the first fall and the top of the other I climbed down some rocks and sat at the bottom to watch, helping out with some safety whilst I was there.
So, Jim found me a boat and set it up for me at the top of the fall. There was a very complex persuasion method which is far too strange to explain here, but finally I got into the boat and Jim more or less pushed me off the edge. There was some setting up of paddle, some shutting of eyes, some falling and then I was upside down at the bottom. I got out and somehow Jim was already at the bottom ready to pull me out and give me a congratulatory hug. I just hope there are some good pictures of the most terrifying experience of my life so far.