This weekend I got to do something I've been wanting to do my whole life--whitewater rafting!
I was invited by AH, an American girl that I know here in ZH, who was organizing a rafting trip to Lingenau with High5, an adventure sport company. AH, accompanied by her American boyfriend SP, T, L (from Finland), M (from Germany), F (from Switzerland), and B (from Denmark), and I drove round Lake Constance to cross the border at Bregenz (complete with a McD stop, as per American custom). After the border crossing, we stopped at the Rappenlochschlucht for a short walk thru a tiny gorge (see pics here). We then headed to Lingenau and High5, where a "Mundart" (literally, mouth type, meaning dialect) music festival was taking place (in Austria, as in Switzerland, every valley is extremely proud of their own dialect). After listening to some weird stuff and watching a few drunken guys strip to their underwear v e r y s l o w l y, we went to sleep in a cozy (yet slightly moldy) teepee warmed by a fire.
The next day, we got up bright and early to hit the river. We stretched on our neoprene suits and paired off into two-person canoes. After a quick introduction, we were off down the river. The first couple of hours were pretty tough--we got stuck in lots of rocks, and the canoes weren't all that easy to steer. We capsized a couple of times, and we had to jump out and pull the boat a couple of times, but mostly, it was pure excitement!
We took a break, where some people jumped into the water off a bridge about 25 feet/ 8 meters high. After the break, the water was a lot calmer, but the antics began. We sent one of the guides and another canoer after SP and M--they hadn't fallen out of their boat once. So they took revenge by storming our boat and throwing us out of it. By then I was super tired and ended up swimming in circles (due to the current in a bend in the river) for about 10 minutes until I was rescued. I got in the boat with M, but he's a bit stronger than I am so we ended up going in circles for about 10 minutes until we switched so I was paired with AH, and we could make it down the river. We managed the rest of the way pretty smoothly.
Afterwards, High5 fed us and showed us the photos that they took of us, and made it back to Züri. It was a great weekend, worth all the sore muscles!
The modern scrapbook: Follow the adventures of an American girl, living in Switzerland for almost three years, and her wild Swiss friends in her quest for the quintessential Swiss experience (and a few American ones).
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Posted by Whittner at 5:34 PM