or: How rafting down the Thompson river puts a different spin on spending a “wet, wild-n-dirty weekend with your husband and a lot of rubber.
Lucky me, the Best Man of All is game whenever I am! I name the activity and under normal circumstances and within limitations, he is in!
Convincing my man to go on a 2 day White Water rafting trip with Hyak wasn’t the issue; figuring out what to do with our three boys at home was an issue for sure!!
Unfortunately we can’t ask any of our immediate family for the occasional nanny job, they live thousands of miles away! But that’s only an excuse, isn’t it? If you really want to do something in life you will find a solution for any dilemma.
We put our junior (11 years of age) up for weekend adoption among our neighbours and friends (thankfully he is big fun and low maintenance and the offers came in). We made our teenager (17) give us the pinkie swear not to host one of his crazy parties while we were gone (we already hosted three of them and it’s not a pretty sight) and bribed our middle son (14) to spy on him!
This, plus a tent was all we needed to arrange for the wet-n-wild rafting trip!
The price (apart from the monetary) we had to pay was getting up at 4.30 AM to make it in time to Hyak’s base in Lytton (Lytton is a 3 hour drive from our home and we didn’t want to miss the boat. Departure time was 9.30 am). We signed our disclaimer, stripped down and geared up with wetsuit, splash jacket, helmet and a paddle.
|Meeting our new friends!|
|Let’s see, what are we signing for?|
|All geared up and ready to paddle.|
We needed to board Hyak’s own luxury cruiser for another 45 minute bus ride up to Ashcroft. In Ashcroft we loaded up and boarded one of the two rafts waiting for us.
During this particular weekend trip we were a total of 15: 4 couples, 5 lovely ladies and our two rafting guides, Jim and Sebastian (Seb from now on). Jim, a veteran of all things rafting, paramedical, safe + rescue was our leader; a solid rock of knowledge, funny, charming, nevertheless the no-nonsense kind of rafter.
|In his 20 years of experience our charming rafting guide has never seen an umbrella on a rafting trip!|
Reaching our lunch stop was a a bit challenging as we were sucked into a whirlpool and couldn’t get out of it. However, never ever underestimate the power of six novice paddlers, their Australian guide and the will power and determination of the whole team. It took a while to get us where we needed to be, but we made it.
Why is it that a lunch buffet, presented on a rock and eaten out in the open tastes so much better than at home? Hmm! The huge white cool boxes strapped onto the rafts contained eatable treasures: Fresh fruit, veggies, tuna salad, sweeties, cookies, bread, mayonnaise, meats. You name it, the cool box contained it.
Afternoon paddling was easy peasy as well. How can you not enjoy yourself being surrounded by rubber, taking in the scenery and listening to funny stories from everybody about everything and nothing?
Well, Fantasy Island, here we come! Our domicile for the night!
|Our home away from home!|
|Fantasy island- surrounded by water and two train tracks…!|
We found our perfect spot and pitched the tent! In the meantime our two rafters extraordinaire, Jim and Seb, created magic -again. This time disguised as kitchen fairies in the Alfresco kitchen.
|Left: Aussie Seb, Right: Canadian Jim!|
Have you noticed the following peculiar socio- cultural phenomena: Everybody always gravitates towards to and congregates into the kitchen? The same happened here on the island! By the time I showed up to join pre-dinner drinks and snacks my fellow rafters already nibbled on barbecued chicken strips, tortilla chips and fresh vegetables.
|It is 5 o’clock on Fantasy Island.|
|Lots of hugging went on around here!|
Some of us decided to help prepare dinner, some us us decided not to. One way or another, the mood was good, the laughter loud, the conversations flowing! And what a feast these two multi-talented rafters prepared for us: Pork loin (!!!), chicken breasts, wild rice, Greek salad, and a freshly baked chocolate cake, baked in a sand oven (talk about genius creativity).
|We’re digging in!|
|The sand oven
And here are a few more blissful moments:
Here we are getting ready for a quick dip into the river for a cool down after dinner!
I would love to share with you the juicy details of our wet-n-wild night on Fantasy Island. However, we all agreed that “Whatever happens on Fantasy Island stays on the island.” So, my lips are sealed. Sorry! There is one thing I can reveal though: During the night heavy wind and rain set in. The wind uplifted our front tent pegs and we experienced the wild sensation of half a tent flapping into our faces. The Best Man of All somehow put his feelers out (no torch for us) to fix the problem.
Oh, did I mention earlier I am a light sleeper? Did I mention the midnight trains were running? And with this I leave it up to your own imagination how we spent our night on Fantasy Island.
Sunday was absolute bliss. Starting from the French Toast we were served, to the freshly barbecued breakfast sausages to our perfectly timed and well organized departure from the island.
Sunday was the time our wild-n- crazy rapids fun began! . It was the time we had to listen to and practise our commands. Seb could only work his magic if we helped him out. He steered and we did the rest. We needed to paddle, stop, crouch down or made sure we stayed on the boat.
Wet-n-wild it sure was. Each and every rapid we encountered grew bigger and more challenging. Huge sprays of water greeted each and every one of us as we went raft first into and through rapids with the names like “Jaws of Death”, “Cutting Board”, “Witch’s Cauldron”. Great rapids, huge laughs, fantastic teamwork!
|Photo: Courtesy of Hyak River Rafting|
So far this was one of the best trips I went on this year. Not only was it active, fun but also wet-n-wild. I made new friends, shared great laughs and enjoyed my time with the man of all men!
If you decide to spend the weekend on board one of the luxury rubber rafts with the Hyak folks, here are the pre-requisites:
– Open minded, fun, bubbly personalities preferred- not required! (You want to be an asset, not a burden, don’t you?)
– A good physical shape is not necessary. However, good ears to listen to commands is a must!
– A good sense of balance is helpful. If not, make sure you fall into the boat and not off the boat as soon as the rapids hit the raft.
– If you are a light sleeper take ear plugs. Fantasy island is surrounded by train tracks…and the trains aren’t stopping for no one!
– If you are on a diet stay at home! The food is simply too delicious, plentiful, fresh and too varied to ignore.
– If you go as a couple this is the perfect way to add another chapter to your happy life together. It also is the perfect opportunity you see your husband / partner in a totally different light!
Here are a few examples of what could happen:
– Your wife will bang you on the head with her paddle for no reason whatsoever!
– You could become jealous because another woman just told you: “Your husband just poked me!”
– Your wife lands 100% on top of the hunky, half your age, terribly
handsome rafting guide (after he pulled her up out of the water)!
– Your wife is telling the same story / joke again- and still doesn’t get it right!
– Your husband fills up and refills his plates every time. Do you let him- just because the food is included in the price?
Could you see yourself spending a weekend with the Best Man / Woman of All on a rubber raft? Please share your thoughts right here!
Or, have you ever been on a rafting adventure? If yes, how did you enjoy it?