We’ve just had yet another brilliant day. First thing this morning we rented some ATV buggies (or boogies, as the locals call them) and took off on “La Ruta de Las Cascadas” – The Waterfall Route. At 150cc, the little ATV’s didn’t go too fast, but made enough noise to make up for the lack of speed. We struggled up the hills and flew down the hills as fast as possibly while keeping one eye on the wobbling left wheel.
The first waterfall we came across had (yet another) zipline running from a viewpoint, across the top of the waterfall and over to the other side. We all decided to have a go, but as they strapped us in we realised that their version of safety harness was wrapping the rope around the piece of metal that sat on the line and then putting our feet through another rope at the back. No safety clip. Reassuring.
After safely making it to one side and back again, we took off on our little boogies / death traps to another waterfall, El Pailon De Diablo, about a 15 minute drive further up the road (well, about half an hours drive if the navigator doesn’t actually know where to stop… ahem). We hiked down the mountain for about 10 minutes or so and had an amazing view of the huge waterfall. I’m not sure if the fall was running a lot heavier because of all the recent rain, or if its always like that, but it was extremely impressive either way. We were able to walk / crawl right up and behind the fall with the thousands of liters of water rushing down a meter in front of us.
After making our way back into town (me driving, Nem giving “helpful pointers”) we skipped the guinea pig lunch in preference of some more Italian and then headed out to a bridge on the end of town to do some bungee jumping… as if we hadn’t risked our lives enough today already. Pete was first up and jumped on the count of one like a pro, having done a huge 135 meter jump in NZ before. Liam was next and jumped straight away as well, having sufficiently psyched himself up watching Pete. Both of them came walking back up the hill with big grins on their faces.
I was fairly sure I wasn’t going to jump thanks to a combination of 75% fear, 25% stomach bug – the last thing I wanted to do was literally sh*t myself. There was no chance I was going to get out of it once the boys had jumped and come back up with the adrenaline pumping. I harnesses up but wasn’t quite as confident as Nem and Pete – once I was up, over the fence and the dude had counted to three I took a look down and decided I would maybe take a moment and sit back down. After the very nice and patient dude assured me that jumping was “so safe”, I stood back up again and half jumped, half fell forward off the ledge.
Because of the way I fell I bent almost half over when I swung around – I didn’t feel it but apparently as soon as I swung back up I let out a blood-curdling scream that scared Liam half to death because he thought I’d broken my back or something. I was actually just screaming because I was swinging around in the air however many meters above a raging river suspended by only a rope. It was amazing fun though and I’m glad I’m such a sucker to peer pressure.
Tomorrow we’re off on a 6am bus back down to the coast where we’ll spend another week or so before making our way into Peru. Only nine-ish weeks until I’m off to Bali so will be hot footing it through Peru and Bolivia. Time flies.