Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chico River White Water Rafting Adventure

After our 12 hour bus ride from Manila to Tabuk in Kalinga, we are ready to take the adventure that Chico River has to offer. From Davidson Hotel, our hotel in Kalinga which is included in the rafting package we availed for PHP4000, we took a jeepney going to the drop off point where our rafting adventure will start. We had another group with us and they are friendly and we get along just fine.

As we go to the drop off point, we were awed by the beautiful scenery that we see as we pass by the side of the mountain. There is a nice view of the river and there are rice fields on top of the mountain. If it wasn't that cloudy that day, it would be a perfect view. The road is a bit narrow and we need to pass by some area where it seem like the mountain is carved just to hava a road there. There are few vehicles passing by there but the driver was cautious enough that we arrived at the drop off point safely.

Pretty scenery along the way 

rice fields on the mountain side
As we got to the drop off point, they quickly inflated the rafts that we will be using. They are also kind enough to lend us some warmer since it was raining and it is cold when the wind blows. They gave us a dry bag to put our valuables in and we left the rest of our stuff at the jeepney which will wait for us at the end of the rafting route. We were all ready and waiting for the rafts and we took the opportunity to take pictures.

The drop off point where the rafting begins 

Ready to brave the rapids 
After a while, they gave us short lessons on rafting. They taught us how to paddle and what to do if ever we fell in the water. They made sure each one of us understood them before finally, they gave a go signal and we boarded the rafts. Our raft was the bigger one sice we are 6 in a group while the other was a bit smaller and can accommodate 4. Each raft has two expert guides which will tell us how and what to do in each rapids. Each one of us has our own paddle so that we can properly stir the rafts. The guides dictated how we should paddle weather it be a front pr back paddle. They are also the one who sets the pace of our paddling. They also inform us what part of the river we're in and tell us whenever another river is merging with the Chico River. They tell a lot of stories and they are very kind to us. We are comfortable with them and we know that we are safe with them and we'll return to the hotel unharmed.

Facing the rapids 

Paddling through 

adrenaline filled adventure 
The rapids were good but since it was raining, there are parts where it was difficult and dangerous to cross. The guides were strong enough to keep us from those rapids and we stayed on the safer route. As compared with my CDO White Water Rafting adventure a few years back, the rapids here a bit smaller but the number of rapids is greater than that of CDO plus, the rafting hours is longer since the course is longer. They also let us swim in the river while there are few rapids.

Resting for a while 
Group photo while eating snacks 
What is nice about this is that we get to have a break. We parked in a nearby clearing and eat sandwiches and juice that they brought for us. we enjoyed the short meal and had fun taking photos of each other. After a while, we were back at the river and is facing the rapids for another hour. There was a moment that the other team had a member off the boat and he was quickly rescued. We also need to rescue the paddle that was trapped in the rapids. We stayed there for a while and waited until the paddle was retrieved.

rafting by the mountain side 
swimming in the river 
pretty landscape behind 
Along the ride, we had a nice view of nature around us. The mountain was very amazing and the flora was also beautiful. The birds were all around and some are following us. It was really nice to be this close to nature!
Yey! we survived Chico River! 

After hours of paddling, getting splashed with water, swimming in the cold waters and enjoying every moment, our journey ended and there waiting for us is our jeepney. We had our last picture taking while they deflated the rafts before we headed back to town for lunch. It was a tiring but fun adventure we all experienced that morning. We had a really nice time and our group bonded more considering that most of us just met that day. it was really a great adventure, being close to nature and with new friends. We hope to do this again next time, even if it will involve another 12 or more hours of bus ride just to be there and experience first hand that awesome adventure!

Chico River White Water Rafting
Contact Person: Mae Sugguiyao Shiu
Mobile # 63 920-2052680
PO Box Bulanao, Tabuk 3800
Kalinga Province, Philippines


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