You've read the stories. You've seen the photos. Now, you can watch the video of my three-day rafting trip on the Río Apurímac. Provided courtesy of the fine folks at Mayuc, who put together this amazing 35-minute collection of motion-picture clips of our time on the river (with cool music mixed in, as well!). Video cut into four parts, and reduced in size and quality, in order to work on YouTube. Enjoy, amigos.
For our third and final day of rafting on the Río Apurímac, we went out with a bang. Our final bit of rafting this morning was short, but boy was it sweet! And once it was all over, a refreshing cold shower, a nice farewell lunch, and a sleep-filled bus trip back to Cusco. If only every Friday was like this.
Our second day on the Río Apurímac was long, challenging, cold, and wild as hell. Today we spent about 5 hours on the river, and we did quite a few of the higher-level class IV rapids. We had a few accidents (no injuries, thankfully) — as well as a few suicidal class V and VI rapids, that we had to get out and walk past — but mostly, we just had a blast. And with everyone screaming "Y'Allah!", the day went by pretty fast, too.
At long last, today I finally embarked on my 3-day rafting trip on the Apurímac river, near Cusco. I've been itching to go rafting again, ever since my one-day trip on the Urubamba, which was almost six weeks ago. Once again, I've gone with Mayuc, the biggest and the best rafting agency in Cusco. Our first day on the Apurímac was just an introductory day: but already, it's been a blast, and it's been wild!
I did river rafting for the first time today, and it was fun. Very fun. A big group of us went down to the lower reaches of the Urubamba River, near Cusco, and spent about 2½ hours braving the cold, fierce rapids. Tumbling along the river, mounting and crashing into churning waves, dodging scary rocks, and being so cold you can't feel your hands, is an experience like no other.
Yesterday I went skiing at Grouse Mountain. But today I had another day to kill. And one day of skiing isn't enough, anyway. So today I tried Vancouver's other ridiculously-close-to-the-city ski park, Cypress Mountain. As with Grouse, this place has great snow (even at the end of the season), great terrain (and more of it than Grouse), and great convenience.
The people of Vancouver are ridiculously over-spoiled, as far as skiing goes. Today, I went over to Grouse Mountain, which is a fully-equipped ski park that's virtually inside the city! Apart from accommodation, Grouse has everything it needs in order to call itself a resort: runs for skiers and boarders of all levels; chairlifts; ski and board hire; and all the other usual facilities you'd expect to find on the slopes. And, although it's not a terribly big place, Grouse has enough challenging terrain to keep you busy for a full day.
This afternoon I finally did something that I've been meaning to do ever since I got to Mexico: I hired a bicycle, and went and explored the town on it. For just 25 pesos an hour, it's the best and most fun way to see San Cristóbal.
San Cristóbal is also perfectly suited for cycling, as:
- It's big but not huge.
- It has flat as well as fairly hilly bits.
- It has varying grades of road so you don't get bored (sealed, cobblestone, and unsealed).
- It has a nice variety of scenery (mountains, "colonial bits", slum bits, church bits).
Kyden, Steve, and myself caught a taxi over to the Grande Cenote this afternoon. This is one of several cenotes (rock pools) in the area, that I learned are actually all joined together, through a vast, subterranean network of water tunnels. We hired some snorkels and fins at the cenote, and jumped in for a dazzling underwater adventure.
I wasn't expecting much for Friday night in Valladolid, but it turns out that this sleepy little town knows how to party on the dance floor. Dave from NYC and I went to check out the local disco, and it ended up being a big, loud night. Music pumping. Ladies bumping. Cervezas coming.