Being a self-proclaimed adventure lover (ehem!), I had always wanted to do white water rafting be it in Sabah or here in the Peninsular of Malaysia – so when the opportunity of doing it came about recently, I was MORE THAN EAGER to do it! LOLz
It would be my first time doing white water-rafting so I was so damn excited. I was told that it wasn’t as challenging as the one on Padas River (soon baby, soon) in Beaufort, Sabah but still it was quite challenging especially for a first timer like me. I had never done Padas River before so I didn’t really know what to expect.
But I did expect that we’d go there and throw ourselves into a waiting boat right away but no. Instead, we had to get a little bit handy by choosing our paddle, safety jacket and helmet all of which I wished I didn’t have to wear. Barat ! :-D
Then we had to carry the boat down to the river. It was like carrying a coffin to a cemetery or something. It was so heavy and by the time we hit the river, we were all panting like a bunch of dogs who have just finished doing a long sprint.
Apparently, we were not alone. We were joined by a dozen others probably from other companies so it was quite likely that the river would get a little bit crowded which was why they had to arrange among themselves the rafting schedule for each of the participating boats or something.
Kampar River was without doubt one of the most beautiful rivers that I’ve ever seen. It is rocky hence the strong currents and flanked by beautiful forest on both sides.
Our rafting guide Joe taught us some basic movements in response to his commands. You better watch out when he says ‘Down!’. Seriously, you’ll never know what is coming. LOL.
He would throw us off the boat when we had least expected. If we didn’t get thrown off the boat naturally, he’d throw us off by force. Nobody was safe. Damn! Damn! Damn! LOL.
The water was so cold in the beginning but not quite after some time when our bodies had adapted to the temperature.
My favorite part of the whole adventure happened when the boat capsized, throwing us off into the river without mercy. It wouldn’t really capsize naturally or by force of nature as they call it but Joe really knew how to make it go tumbling down and breaking us away from whatever we were holding on to.
And you should see how he put it back into place. It looked so acrobatic which I really wish I could record on camera. He did it so fast so there was no way I could capture it all when I was struggling to stay afloat myself.
7 KM might not really be much of a distance if you run that long as a MARATHONER (:-P) but it actually felt far longer when you are covering it on a rafting boat. We did have one stop half way down the distance where the boats were anchored while we were left doing whatever we wanted to do. I had to get off the water when it was getting too cold.
So 70 meters before the finishing line, we were asked to get off the boat and finish the rest of the distance by floating along with the flow. By the time it was finally over, we were all so damn exhausted. And cold.
The boat stopped right in front of our lodge so we all scrambled to get off the river and dash for a dry towel and changed into a dry outfit before any of us caught up with cold.
Each of us was awarded with a finisher cert – a solid reminder that we’d been there, done that. Ahaks !
Later that evening, we drove up to Gopeng town to celebrate our little feat with a big dinner. All jaws dropped on the floor when we found out that for all the dishes that we ordered we only had to pay like – RM60. A’ha ! Another good thing about spending your weekend in a small town like Gopeng.
The celebration for such a wonderful weekend didn’t just end there. We stopped at a mini-market to buy whatever we thought we needed to buy to keep the night going. One of the best things about River Lodge was the availability of a barbeque set. Even better was the fact that Joe was there to do just about everything for us. He seemed to be somebody who has done it like hundreds of times.
What a beautiful night it had turned out to be. We chatted, swapped stories, joked around and our laughter reverberated through the night like there was no tomorrow. We only retreated when it was too cold to stay outside.
We returned to KL the next day feeling so much refreshed and alive. At least another thing has just been ticked off the list. Yippie !
So guys, if you’re in KL (anywhere else) and you want to be a little bit extra adventurous than just climbing up the Bukit Tabur and Broga Hill, please consider going wayyyyy down under at Gua Tempurung or riding the crests of Kampar River in Gopeng.