|One of the villagers' homes|
After we put on our helmets and harness, we were ready to roll. On our first step of the hike we knew that we were in for pure adventure with no sugarcoating to the term adventure. We hiked through a river which meant that our feet were soaked right from the beginning. Not a problem though-- the husband and I were wearing our water shoes, which by the way were awesome and we loved it. Those water shoes were the best outdoor gear investment. They provided us with the very much needed grip and they were comfortable and fit to the contour of our feet. We traversed through shallow river streams with rocks beneath the water, hiked up steep rocks, and walked through trees. Due to the periodic rainfall on previous days, a lot of the rocks had moss on them but that wasn't the time for us to be dainty hikers. We had to lower our bodies and use our hands to hold on to the rocks for additional support and stability when climbing up the rocks (or hiking down the rocks towards the end of the excursion).
The water that flowed down from the waterfall was pure and safe to drink but I didn't try it although the husband T tried some of it by cupping it with his palms following after Alphonso. According to Alphonso, they had previously taken a sample of the water to a test lab in the city and the lab technicians couldn't believe that there were no impurities found in the water. This is also the water source for the villagers and our group were told beforehand by Alphonso and Andre not to put on sunscreen in order to protect and not pollute the water in the rainforest.
The highlight of our entire excursion was when we rappelled down 85 ft from a cliff and waterfall. When we got to the rappelling site, we watched Alphonso and Andre set up and anchor the ropes and carabiners and listened to them explain how the ropes and carabiners act as a support system for our bodyweight when rappelling. They also explained to us the set up of the backup and the backup for the backup. There were as many knots that were tied from ropes as there were carabiners that were used. After securing and locking the carabiners onto our harness, we started our descent one person at a time. To maintain the right posture for rappelling, we let our butts support our bodyweight while keeping our legs straight at a 90-degree angle from the body and used our feet as grip down the rocks while using our hand to feed the ropes to guide the descent. Since we were rappelling down a waterfall, naturally the rocks were slippery and we had water coming down onto our face and body and that made the rappelling experience more real for me. After I got to the bottom of the waterfall, I had an incredible moment. It was like one of those life-changing moments that went like Wow, if I could rappel 85 ft down a waterfall, I can do anything now.
I rappelled first so the husband T got some shots of me starting my descent. I, on the other hand, got to see him rappel down from the bottom.
|There he comes at the top of the waterfall|
|Starting his descent at the top|
|Making his way down|
|And there he comes|
The outdoor experience that day was challenging and amazing. Would we do it again? Yes. We spend a lot of time outdoors throughout the year for running but rainforests also have so much to offer and we are not getting out there enough. Here's hoping to more.