One of the members of the GoChile team descended on rafting one of the most popular rivers for this sport in the country, and this was her experience.
The Trancura river lives up to its name, it roars loud now as it roared in previous years, when the Mapuche people named it Trankura, which in Spanish means thunder of stones. Its wild waters are born in the southern area of the Araucanía region, in the Quillelhuese lake and now they drag me until a little before its mouth in Lake Villarica.
Descending it on a raft is something I never thought I would do. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Pucón but for me, this beautiful town in the south of Chile, has always been synonymous of forest. Coigües, araucarias, oaks and other millenary trees that rise majestically towards the sky in National Parks like the Huerquehue or the Villarica
We are five persons including the guide, all in tight suits, helmets and life preservers. With paddle in hand and a GoPro in the head, Carlos explains us what we have to do to avoid overturning or killing each other: "Never release the end of the oar!". Carlos is a big guy and he screams loudly. His enthusiasm adds an even more extreme touch to the experience.
The turquoise river produces white foam every time the water crashes with the stones, I guess that's why rafting is called a white water sport. A thick forest surrounds us and behind us a volcano accompanies us. It is the perfect postcard of southern Chile and I am stunned. I breathe deeply, I feel the air clean and when I'm about to relax the guide shouts at us: left! That means that the two of us that go on the right of the raft - my sister and I - have to move quickly to the opposite side to concentrate the weight and thus not overturn by the collision with the stones.
The screams do not stop: "To your places!" And finally I am on alert. I feel the adrenaline rush through my veins every time we defy the current. And I can not avoid it, a smile always appears on my face.
The rapids of the Trancura River are class IV and V, suitable for any adult with or without experience, but anyway you have to be prepared, so Carlos explains what to do if we fall. "Am I going to fall ?!" I think. "Stand with your back to the same direction as the river, raise your legs, never touch the ground to avoid smashing your legs with the stones" he says.
Now we are in the fastest part of the river and I see everything in slow motion. My mom is about to fall but the guide grabs her hand. When we pass through the fastest part, we are with a fit of laughter, some because of the jokes of Carlos others because of the euphoria of the moment. We crash our oars up and celebrate. We did it! We go down the river with the whole family. My mom, who only rides her bike, my dad who finds everything dangerous, the overprotective brother-in-law of my sister, my kayaker sister and me, we all together achieved our goal.
What to bring to rafting?
Remember you can fall into the water, so be careful with the sunglasses, your mobile phone and your camera. The ideal is not to bring many things in order to be relaxed and enjoy the experience.
Where else can you go rafting in Chile?
Rafting Cajón del Maipo
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