Whitewater River Rafting on the Rio Balsa

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Of the three adrenaline-oriented adventures I tackled during my solo trip to Costa Rica with G Adventures, whitewater river rafting scared me the most. For the other two, rappelling and zip lining, I told myself that you can check and double-check your harness and carabiners. You can feel at least a smidge of safety as you put your trust in your guides and your equipment.

But you can’t control a river.

So as we headed in a minivan for the Rio Balsa, I heard a few more details about the trip that upped my anxiety. We would be rafting on Class IV rapids. My only other experience with rafting years earlier had been Class III, and that had scared the paddle off me. I blanched, and the rest of the group assured me I would be OK.

Whitewater river rapids

I was indeed OK, and the trip was thrilling–in a good way. The guides with Costa Rica Descents were skilled and professional, and they took our safety seriously. They also were very friendly and fun.

Whitewater river rapids

As we surged down the rapid river, the scenery was stunning. Jungles and waterfalls quickly passed us by. We paddled furiously through the rapids. Determined to stay in the raft, I jammed my free foot so far under the seat in front on me that I had a hard time getting it out, and it was bruised for days.

My heart pounded as we made it through each rapid. The guy in front of me would keep shouting things like, “Here comes a big one,” “Look out!” and “Uh oh!” which only made my heart pound a little harder.

Whitewater river rafting

Whitewater river rafting

Note: I probably would have put this on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list, if I hadn’t convinced myself that I would never do it again. I now have 43 things left on my list, many of them mundane. I want to keep pushing myself to have more adventures, and I don’t want to make another list filled with chores and perhaps less interesting goals. What to do? I introduce “Beyond 101 Things,” an addendum to my list for adventures that are list-worthy.

Beyond 101 Things: Go whitewater river rafting again (101 things in 1001 days).

101 things in 1001 days

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About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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