Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Canyoning - A Dangerous Birthday Present

Early Morning Energy
Sunday morning we arrived in Jarabacoa early and ate a big Dominican breakfast, including mangú (mashed plantains and onions, similar to mashed potatoes), salchichas (baby hot dogs in a red hot sauce), potatoes, eggs, and more. 

{Starting to Panic}
After breakfast we put on dorky wet suits.  Which were ripped.  All I could think about was where could they be taking us for all these suits to be in such bad shape?

Then we rode up a mountain in an open tractor, trying not to get wiped out by tree branches.  What felt like a 90 degree incline was a bit much for our tractor and my already-pounding-heart, but somehow we managed.  

Then we did this:

Sort of the opposite of upward rock climbing, canyoning is basically making your way down a river, with lots of waterfalls in your way.  The waterfalls are done supporting your own body weight with a rope and harness. And in the DR, canyoning means no life jacket.  

I have never been more scared in my life.  

We tumbled 13 kilometers down the river until reaching the biggest waterfall and scariest part, Salto Baiguate.  For me, those 13 kilometers were spent: 

inhaling lots of water
slamming against rock walls (mostly while hanging mid air over a waterfall)
being dragged uncontrollably by the current
sliding down the river as if it were a Slip 'N Slide but without the slide part
"canyon ball" jumping into the deep parts
smashing my knees and shins against the big rocks in the water
floating, swimming, hiking, and tripping in the water
even zip lining - this is where I screamed the most

Our wet suits came out a little more ripped than they had started, and Elvin's shoes were completely destroyed, but in the end we all came out in one piece.

Still Alive
If you like adventure sports, canyoning is a must try.  But if you're like me and think parasailing and roller coasters are extreme enough, then think twice or pop a tranquilizer before doing this sport, especially if in the DR.


  1. Wow tiasters so adventurous of you! lol And plantains with onions? ew lol

  2. OMG THIS IS AMAZING! Steven would hate it but it has my name written all over it :p

    When I visit you someday can we go????