Remember how I was saying I have a bit of a competitive streak? Sometimes … ok, most of the time … that streak gets me into all sorts of trouble. My first whitewater rafting experience is definitely one of those times.
You see, NIH and I celebrate our birthdays only a few days’ (and just over a decade) apart so we try to take time off and do something amazing for ‘birthday week’. In the past six years, we’ve celebrated our birthdays in Canada and Europe; patted a tiger at Dreamworld and walked the Brisbane Story Bridge (albeit belatedly). There’s only one birthday week where we didn’t do anything spectacular – pretty good record, I’d say.
So this year, we were lucky enough to already be in New Zealand so tick box for ‘away from home’. And NIH often talked about the couple of occasions he’d done whitewater rafting so I knew he was keen to try it out again here in the land that is king for such adventures.
Now, I had never previously experienced such pleasures, being a mother with three children who depended on me to not drown on some escapade such as rocketing down the face of a waterfall with a life jacket, helmet and obvious death wish. In short, I was a newbie and therefore terrified of trying a Level 5 course with a 7 metre drop – the largest drop in New Zealand apparently.
A summary of the conversation NIH and I had one afternoon when contemplating such an adventure went something like this:
Me: There’s a great one here that is a Level 3 – includes picnic lunch and lovely sites. Doesn’t that sound great? Honey?
NIH: Meh. That’s ok. I’ll wait until someone comes to visit and wants to go on the Level 5 with me.
Now, my brain heard that last sentence and translated it to “When someone who isn’t a COMPLETE AND UTTER PUSSY wants to go on the Level 5 with me”.
Challenge accepted. So basically what ensued over the next two days was me talking HIM into doing it. Crazy, right?
Meet my close acquaintances, everybody – Fear and Losing Control. They have governed my decision making since a wee small kiddie and until a few years ago, they made me a timid-on-the-outside-fair-boiling-mad-on-the-inside passive-aggressive crazy person.
Then my life went to hell and I discovered that despite all the shit, I actually could survive – thrive, in fact.
So when the unwitting gauntlet was laid down by NIH, I picked that bastard up. And even though my sinuses had a fair cleaning out during our rafting experience, it was an absolutely magical adventure. I totally loved it and will definitely do it again … when it gets warmer.
If you’re ever near Rotorua, I totally recommend Rotorua Rafting. The guides were fabulous and really knew the river. They were also great at making complete novices like me feel relatively safe! The river itself was just beautiful – no words can really describe it.
I’m so glad I took the plunge.
Yep, pun intended.