Saturday, November 29, 2003

Dart River (2 of ?)

There's 19 of us (plus guides).  They split us up into two jet boats, and we're off.  Our jet boat driver was really good, and we were darting all around the river.  The river is full of rocks and sandbars and stuff, so boating up it isn't a "drive straight" sort of proposition.  It reminded me much more of what a jetboat videogame would be like, all full of hairpin turns.  It was really fun.

(It was FREEZING.  In addition to the wetsuits and booties, they supplied fleece tops -- of which they made everyone take TWO -- jackets, life jackets, and little wool hats.  I was wearing all that, but what with the wind blowing in our faces and the spray of the water when we did a 360, I was just about adequately warm.  Although the wetness inside my boots still bothered me.)

After jetboating for about 50km (a good long time), we got out and were given our "funyaks."  These were inflatable boats loosely based on the shape of a kayak.  We also took off all that fleece and realized that (1) the sun had burned through the clouds and (2) when you're not tearing around in a jet boat, it was actually quite warm.  We got into the funyaks, two to a boat, and rowed/floated (mostly floated) back.  Since I was travelling alone, I got partnered with the guide.  (Advantages:  (1)  He knew what he was doing; (2) I hardly had to paddle at all; (3)  I heard all the good commentary.  I'm telling you people, travelling alone has its benefits.)  So, we funyak back for 8 km.

That was what we DID, but it wasn't at all the POINT of the trip.  ("Ooooo.  I paddled a funyak. How exciting.")  The point was the freakin' scenery around the Dart, which was amazing.  These gorgeous snow-capped mountains, dropping down to beautiful green treelines, all around a sun-dappled river.  (Yes, "dappled."  I thought that word about a billion times today.)  It was beautiful.  (I took a lot of pictures.  Hope they came out.)  Guide guy said that one of the mountains there was that amazing opening shot of "Two Towers."  Coulda been -- after awhile, all the breathtaking snow-capped moutains started to look alike.  They got them some serious scenery in these parts.

1 comment:

pegluh said...

The Remarkables are them jagged mountains. Aren't they beautiful? I stared at them until the sun reflecting off the snow caps burned a hole in my retina.