Fortunately, Kristin and I were able to find someone to rent us a couple of kayaks. Yesterday, we picked up two, contracted a truck to take us upstream to the Puente Pescados, and hit the Rio Antigua. One really cool thing about this paddling location is that town is the take-out for the most popular stretch, called the Pescados run. It is Class III-IV, with loads of action. There are very few (and very short) sections of flatwater between really fun rapids.
Unfortunately, in the third rapid of the day, I was trying to do a wave wheel (that is a trick, mom) and the breakdown paddle I was using cracked at the ferrell. So, the paddle came apart and I was floating through the rest of the rapid with two halves of a paddle. Eventually I flipped over, and lost half the paddle when I used my hands to roll up. The half I let go of apparently sank, because we never saw it again.
But, feeling confident, we continued on, and I used the remaining half like a canoe paddle… until I flipped again, had to hand roll, and that half sank as well! The good news was that I was in a kayak that was too small for me to start with, so it was pretty much the ideal situation to be in. From there, Kristin stayed really close (in case I had any problems) and I just used my hands to make it down the rest of the run. A little unnerving, to say the least, since this was the first time we paddled in Mexico.
But, at lunch in town, we borrowed a new paddle, I switched into a boat that fit me, and we hit the stretches of river below town. These were slightly easier than the upper stretch, but still had really big waves and fun rapids. Needless to say, it was a long day of paddling, as we did a lot of miles.
Today we were not on the river, but instead hiked up a small side canyon just outside of town. We also traced the shuttle from yesterday, so that we would be able to drive it if we bring students here. And, surprisingly, we had a lot of fun looking for houses and chatting with local business owners. It should have been work, but everyone was so friendly (and complimentary–they all think Kristin is gorgeous).
Tomorrow we are going to a new river, which is close by… we are pretty excited!