Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Life's a river kid...ya gotta go where it takes you. - Doug Rich

Kayaking on the Mopan River near the Guatemalan border was a spur of the moment idea.  I took the bus to campus with Meredith and waited in the tiki hut with a burrito in hand.  I guess MerryAnn and Ryan finished early because they were ecstatic about going kayaking for the rest of the day.

Mr Owen hooked it up and took us to meet Henry, the man who would be our tour guide.  We drove to a remote location on a dirt road and were dropped off at a river bank.  Henry pulled out a bunch of inflatable somethings and told us to get to work.  After a few minutes of pumping (and by pumping, I mean Jackson and Henry did all the work..) and warding off fire ants, we had 6 blown up raft kayaks.  One by one we jumped into the river and were off on a 9 mile ride down.

I wont lie, with clothes on Henry looks like a scruffy mut.  Without a shirt on...HELLO.  That's beside the point...he was a great guide.  He knew everything about the river, the plants surrounding it, the wildlife living along the banks and most importantly, he made it all interesting.  I had no idea that plants had so many medicinal purposes and that so much remains unused and unexplored.  There was a plant that could cause a reaction to eat your face and a tree nearby that could cure you.  There were fruits and iguanas hanging out everywhere.

The lush tropical forest and the humidity escaping it and touching my skin was something I have never felt before.  It was so new to me.  The water was calm and occasionally splashed me with a cool mist or lost drips from my paddle.  At one point, I completely lost track of Henry and got lost in mesmerization.  Every so often, we'd hit a small rapids.  I'm proud to say I made it without falling in once.  I did get stuck on a rock though at on point.

It seemed forever till we reached the end, but I didn't mind at all.  I have never felt so at one with nature.  I highly recommend you kayak wherever you are.  You'll never no how it's going to make you feel and what you'll learn about yourself.

We got a really good deal.  Another recommendation...if you're going to be anywhere for a long period of time, talk to the locals.  Some are trying to rip you off, but most just want to help.  DO NOT GO WITH A TOUR GROUP.  Huge rip off.  More on this in a later entry.

Peace and Love


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