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We are ok. August 22, 2006

Posted by Amanda in Travel Diary.

Overconfidence is not a good thing when dealing with fast flowing water. Chris and I decided to go rafting again yesterday in Cesky Krumlov. This time we wanted to go over more weirs because last time they were fun and easy. So we walked up river a bit to hire a raft from the place with the most weirs between it and town. This time we had a smaller inflatable canoe for two people. All week we had been watching people go over the weir outside our hostel with no problems other than falling out of the canoe so we didn’t listen to the guy at the rafting place who said don’t go over that weir, carry the boat instead. What he failed to tell us was that the water was much higher than on previous days and flowing faster. Nevertheless we should have listened to his instructions.

When we got close to the weir I started to have some doubts but it was too late to do anything about it. So we paddled as hard as we could and went down the weir. Unfortunately Chris was thrown from the raft and under the boat. He surfaced quickly but with a look of sheer panic on his face because I was stuck on the raft in the white water where the water was coming over the weir. The boat was stuck against the wall and in the churning water I was trying to stay upright on the raft. I tried to dislodge the raft but that risked me falling out and getting stuck under the raft. After about five-ten minutes of this, Chris and two other guys managed to get up close to the weir and tried to pull the raft away from the wall but they couldn’t get a hold of it. I had to crawl carefully up to the other end of the raft (all the time thinking “This is like a Reader’s Digest true life drama”) and grab the rope and attempt to throw it to Chris or one of the other ‘rescuers’. That didn’t work so they put a paddle out for me to wrap the rope around and pull me out that way. I couldn’t get the rope to stay on the paddle without tipping the boat so I had to go further up to the end of the raft, which by this time was partially deflating, and grab the oar so they could pull me in this way. I slipped out of the boat but managed to keep a hold of the paddle and the boat and they tried to pull me in but I couldn’t keep a hold of the raft and had to let it go. I managed to get to the side and up onto a ledge but the raft was now fully submerged under the water that was crashing on top of it so Chris and the two wonderful Czech or Italian(?) guys again hooked it with the paddle and managed eventually to pull it out. It was quite an ordeal.

So the results were- Chris has some cuts on his feet and arms and he lost one of his kmart thongs. I have a badly bruised hand and leg, some cuts from the rocks and sore shoulders from being pulled up but other than that we are fine. We won’t be ignoring the guides anymore though!

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