I was doubting Dave's ability to correctly book rafting tickets this morning, when we overheard the shuttle bus driver on the phone saying that there were 3 people from Reef Backpackers, not 1… luckily everything was fine though (as it should be since they took the money out of my bank account for 3 people!). All the minibuses took us to the office, where we paid our extra $30 on board levy, and could rent secure footwear, should we need them. Then we piled onto a bigger coach, which took us to the Tully River (I think most of the bus was asleep for this direction of the journey, as we got picked up at 6.30). We stopped at a hotel where you could pick up and pay for breakfast, if you had ordered it. I found it amusing as it had windows that looked like a bird watching station overlooking the main road.
We were put into groups by the guides, but some Japanese girls had booked separately and so had been assigned different groups to each other, so we swapped with another three girls so that they could be together. Our new group had two Irish men and a couple. We went over the basics, like forward paddle, backwards paddle, go left/right (where the whole boat piles onto one side), bouncing up and down (to try and wiggle ourselves over any rocks- this was a fun part as it was like a bouncy castle you didn't feel guilty for enjoying at this age; also comical watching other boats doing it), where to hold onto, and the safe position (where you kneel on the bottom as opposed to sitting on the side of the boat like we did when we were paddling). Originally I was on the back of the boat with Joss, the guide, and in comparison to when I went elsewhere on the boat, I preferred being on the side, despite the fact in theory it sounds more fun to be thrown about more like you did when you sat at the back. Everyone in our boat managed to stay in the boat, although it was a close call on occasions! Our boat went down one of the rapids in a sort of lying down human pyramid, which I think was more fun than just all sitting at the back like some of the other boats did on this one particular drop- especially as when one of them did it, they all fell out!
We stopped to have a barbeque for lunch, and me and Alice were happy to see a tortoise- it nibbled Alice's finger when she fed it some of her roll. The burgers weren't very nice- Hogs Breath has lulled me into a false sense of security when it comes to beef! - And they ran out of milk for the tea and coffee.
Towards the end of the trip, we all got out and jumped off a rock- this is the sort of thing that you do more of in the 'extreme rafting' trip.
We got back at about 6pm, and me and Alice went for dinner in a Mexican restaurant that I had walked past a couple of times on my way to work, and wanted to go to, more because I wanted to take photos of the Aztec style decorations than wanting to try the food! We shared a plate of tortilla chips with a cheesy dip, and a combination meal that contained a cheese enchilada, bean burrito, rice and beans. Despite the fact the restaurant was pretty much empty, she forgot to charge me for the Mexican date cake, with walnut syrup!
I brought one of the USB sticks with photos of our rafting day, at a considerably high price (in each group the first USB is priced at $100, and then every other one is charged at $10… Alice and Bex didn't want one, but luckily the rest of my group did so we could split the cost, so I paid $22) and it seems to be faulty as it's not recognised by my laptop which is a bit annoying!