Yesterday was a dream come true. When we went to sleep last night, the glow of being at Machu Picchu hadn't worn off. When we woke up this morning I was officially a year older and we were both completely exhausted. But as Jenn likes to say, no rest for the weary.
Today, we had an adventure ahead of us. One if I am being completely transparent I was dreading. A big part of me wanted to cancel today's adventure but we persevered and got ready and were down at breakfast at 7:30 AM. After a quick light breakfast, our tour guide for a white water rafting excursion was there to pick us up. We boarded their van and picked up two other couples before driving two-hours outside of Cusco to their point in the Urubamba river where the tour takes place.
The drive to the starting point was pretty easy, although we did go through some windy roads. Half way through the drive we did a pit stop at a small market who had two bathrooms that looked like it was designed for hobbits. I even had to duck to get into it.
When we arrived at the Urubamba river we were given all the gear we would need for the two hours of rafting. We started by getting changed to just our bathing suits and put on a full wet suit. After that, we were given shorts and a life preserver to put over the wet suit followed by a helmet. I brought my new action camera called a Yi 4K along for the journey and captured a lot of the rafting in beautiful 4K. The one downside is that I have a lot of content to edit now.
Once we were suited up we had a fifteen-minute safety discussion on proper techniques in the raft and on protocol if someone is to fall overboard. The safety demonstration was a ton of info, and unfortunately, most of it was probably a good refresher for the half of our tour that had been rafting before, but for Jenn and I we boarded the raft feeling slightly under prepared.
Luckily for the next two hours, we had a phenomenal time rafting down the Urubamba river. We got to practice some of the basic techniques and maneuvers on the very tame part of the river. This included me being thrown overboard (on purpose) and Jenn having to rescue me. To say the water was cold would be a giant understatement, it woke me up. Jenn was next to get thrown overboard (also on purpose) and I was there to rescue her. For some reason, Jenn and I were the guinea pigs of this adventure.
From there we spent the next two hours maneuvering through Level 2 & 3 rapids which are nothing crazy but had the blood pumping the entire time. At about the half way point we stopped at a rock ledge and climbed up and jumped off. Both Jenn and I did it and were once again wide awake from the freezing cold water. A little ways down the river our guide asked Jenn to sit in the very front of the raft with my Yi 4K to get some good video. She did for about ten minutes and at the end of the ten minutes we hit some pretty good rapids and it threw her back into the raft. She was laughing and screaming the whole time.
We continued down the river for the next two hours maneuvering between rocks and rapids and enjoying the beautiful Cusco landscape. It was quite the adventure and I will admit that I was completely wrong to not want to do it. There were so many moments throughout the two-hour rafting that we both were filled with pure joy and adrenaline. The whole thing was just a blast and something that I would totally do again.
When we reached our destination the bus was there to pick us up. They set out cups of hot tea for everyone, let us all change, and provided a delicious chicken, rice, and bread lunch that hit the spot. After two hours of rafting, we sure worked up an appetite. And there provided hot lunch was better than most tours we've taken.
After lunch, the gear was packed, and we drove the two hours back from Cusco straight to our hotel. By the time we reached the JW Marriott we were both absolutely exhausted. We had planned to celebrate my birthday at a fancy restaurant but both decided that having a nice light and easy dinner would be far better. So after lying around for a couple of hours we went down to the bar at the hotel and ordered two burgers and a lot of water. It wasn't anything fancy but it was exactly what we needed after a full day at Machu Picchu and a rafting adventure today. When we got back to our room the JW Marriott dropped off another Happy Birthday cake for me which was a nice touch.
After dinner we called it a day. At this point we were both tired and sore and in desperate want and need of sleep. Some vacations are for relaxing and some like this is for the adventure, and so far we've loved this amazing adventure.
*I have a ton of video from the rafting but I will have to post it seperetly because it will require some serious editing.