We were advised that we would not get wet when rafting, because we would be sitting on small seats that would keep our clothes from being wet. That was a joke!
We watched as the rafts were being created from poles of bamboo. The rafts are floated down river carrying the ‘dry’ tourists and dismantled at the end of the experience, only to be brought back up to the top and reassembled.
Didn’t matter how hard I looked I could not see a seat. Our mini-bus guide advised us to leave our cameras and anything else that we did not wish to get wet in the bus and he would look after everything. I left everything except the shorts & shirt that I was wearing, for once I could see in to the future . . . . .
Each raft could take four people and we had to sit down and balance the ‘raft’ so as not to be tipped in to the water. Of course as soon as we sat down, and all four of us were on board, the water came through the cracks between the poles. A local ‘boatman’ poled the raft in to the middle and guided it down the river.
Other rafts followed and a competition began between the ‘boatmen’ to see who could cause the largest splash by using their punting pole, to make sure that all the passengers were soaking wet.
It was all in good fun, and the passengers on each of the rafts joined in to create bigger and bigger splashes.
On the way down we realised that we were passing the same place where we’d crossed the river on the back of Jennifer the elephant. Fortunately she was not around.
Further down the river we could hear rushing water and realised that we were approaching rapids.
The water becomes choppier and any thought of keeping dry was forgotten. The experience was great and we all enjoyed ‘going over the top’.
At the end of the ‘run’ we climbed the riverbank to be met by our guide and driver. The hot sun was very pleasant as we attempted to dry our clothing and ourselves.
After seeing a number of elephant ‘eggs’ at Jennifer’s crossing point a cleansing ale or two was needed to make sure that we didn’t catch anything from the splashes etc . . . .
We managed to dry our shirts somewhat, but only until they were just damp, and we squeezed as much water as we could from our shorts, but the drive back to the hotel was uncomfortable because the mini-bus air-conditioning, which was very efficient.
Next time I’ll take a hotel towel, or two, and a change of clothes, or just raft in swimming trunks, regardless it was great fun.
Because my camera was not waterproof I didn’t take any photographs, so all of the above pictures, except for the last one, were downloaded from the internet, and the last one is thanks to a friend who was with us at the time.