Conquering Yourself: White Water Rafting in Davao June 1, 2011Posted by pilibustero in Personal, Travel.
Tags: davao adventure, davao city, davao rafting, davao white water rafting, davao wild water, extreme sport, rafting philippines, river one adventure, river rafting, tourism, white water rafting
We don’t conquer the river, we conquer ourselves.
White water rafting or river rafting is previously considered to be an extreme sport or undertaking which requires specialized equipment and training. But this event has now become one of the booming attractions in strategic locations in the country that offers rafting as one of their newest activities. Although white water rafting activity has been in existence since the 1990s, this is mostly available in few areas in the country namely, Cagayan de Oro City and Kalinga Province. In recent years, Davao City and Quirino Province offer this attraction to thrill-seeker tourists for a minimal price and with safety guarantees.
So upon learning this activity, our group reserved for this who-knows once-in-a-lifetime experience. And even though were beginners in this kind of activity, we are nevertheless persistent to conquer our fears and the mighty river of Davao, not to mention, this is our first activity in our two-day itinerary. We woke up early for a scheduled pick up at 6:30 AM by our rafting organizer, the River One Adventure. Adding to the excitement is seeing two rafts on top of a multi cab that would ferry us to the jump off point, more than an hour away from Bajada District. We briefly passed by River One shop (a small studio-type office) to fill out the registration and waiver and get our protective head gears (Tribu) and life vest (Jansport). Seeing their office and knowing that most if not all of theme are trained rafters cum first aiders gave us some assurance of our safety, nonetheless the idea that this activity may cause untoward circumstances rendered some of us uncomfortable. We were told to leave our belongings in a safety cabinet, so all we had are our clothes (it is preferred to wear light clothing, if not wet suit).
It took less than two hours before we reached the jump-off point, beside the national highway (leading to Bukidnon). There, we were briefly oriented on the use of the gears, the conduct of the rafting and most importantly, the Do’s and Don’ts. After which, our guide led us to our respective rafts (we were eight in the raft, including the guide) and were briefed again on what to do on board the raft. Shortly after, we did a simulation in case any of us is thrown out of the boat or whenever the raft capsized. We were also told that it would take us around three hours to ply the rapids, 13 kilometers long. And so there, we started paddling through the mighty river. On our fleet were four rafts (our groups were in two rafts) and four single-rafts (looks like a kayak) paddled by the guides and a documentor. By the way, the water was a bit murky brought about by the rains the day before, although it is said that the higher the water, the more exciting.
Navigating the long and raging river was a test of endurance and focus. I set my mind to follow the instruction of our guide all the time, especially when negotiating the rapids, which are characterized by sudden fall, sharp curves and the dreaded washing machine spin that could render our boat to capsize. At one point, I was almost thrown out of the boat but my left foot was able to hold me off the water. But two of our companions in the other boat weren’t that lucky. In fact, one of them was caught briefly under the raft after she was pound out by the rapids. Halfway through the trip there was a stop-over for a water break and group picture. In between, a designated River One photographer-in-raft was taking photos and videos for the documentation of the trip. Later, a group (there were four rafts that time) of Japanese tourists behind us didn’t manage to negotiate successfully a spinning rapid and capsized right before us. Due to the raging waters, the guides declared a rescue, which means other boats have to salvage the soaked paddlers. Fortunately, we were able to take in into our raft three paddlers for safety and we go paddle again. After another hour or so, we were approaching the final stretch of the trip by passing under a bridge, where onlookers and passersby abound.
After almost three hours of exciting and fun-filled paddling, were were served with sumptuous heavy lunch (still part of the package; pancit, fried chicken, boiled egg, zest-o and water) which completed our first rafting experience. The 13 kilometers of adrenaline rush and 15 rapids is only the start, we still have three others to conquer. As to when, only money and weather can tell.
For those interested to avail of the rafting package in Davao, please consider Rafting Davao Adventure.
Php1, 500 per person for a group of six (6)
inclusive of transportation (pickup from City Proper-Davao River-City Proper), gears, guide, meals, documentation CD and souvenir shirt
Morning Batch: 7am to 2pm
Afternoon Batch: 11am to 6pm
For inquiries and reservations, contact:
John Oliver Valmoria
082 305 7624
Door 89-91 Madrazo Fruit Complex, C. Bangoy Street, Davao City
– They are newer as compared to the Davao Wild Water rafting organizer.
– Guides are all professionals and well-trained and accredited Red Cross first aiders.
– There route is longer than the Wild Water
– The guides are conversant and funny