Huaxteca Potosina – Adventure day three. (3/3)

Today rafting at Tampaón River.

This river is a risk 3 in a scale of 6, which means moderate danger, but be very careful because the travel agency sells it as an easy ride and it really isn´t.

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Rafting.

To practice rafting you get into an inflatable boat with other 6 people, one of them is a certified guide. He or she stays in the back and uses their paddle to direct the ship.

First they tell all about safety and what to do if you fall into the water. Pay attention because you may need that information latter.

In those moments you are in a part of the river that´s very similar to a pool, no waves and no rocks all nice and easy. The water is so blue that it seams artificially painted. You start rowing and a while after you get to the first rapid of the river. This one is easy you get around and little bit shaken but soon enough is over. So far you think it´s going to be a nice ride along the river.

Then you get to the second one and it´s more intense, now you don´t see this as a pleasant ride and you start to be afraid of falling.

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You keep going and so is the intensity of the rapids. Here´s where the ability of your guide is crucial. In one of the strongest rapids the raft that went before us passed easily by, and then it´s our turn. We didn’t go easily, we flipped. Everything happens really fast so when you open your eyes again you´re under water looking for which direction is up. The vest takes you to float so when you get into the surface you try to swim to where the raft is but the current is stronger and you can´t get there.

When they explain you the safety rules they tell that if you fall you have to take a floating position facing the sky and with your feet into the current flow, so if you hit a rock you would do it with the lower part of your body.

So, as I couldn´t get to the boat I had to take the floating position and hope for the best.

I´m floating thanks to the vest and the current is taking me very fast, and then it submerges me into a whirlpool and spits me up a few seconds after. I don’t know where I´m going, then another whirlpool, I´m immerse for a little while and back floating again. I´m hopping someone rescue me, I don’t know if I could get lost in the river. Another whirl, I close my eyes and think of whom is going to tell my mother I disappeared in San Luis Potosí. All of the sudden the water velocity slows down and I hear a lot of people screaming I can see the raft that went before us. I grab strongly to the rope around it. I´m safe. A man is trying to help me get in it but suddenly stops and shouts: Careful! The other raft, the one I was in hits the first raft right where I´m hanging. I sank and come back up when there´s room for me between them. They help me get into the boat, all of my body is shaking uncontrollably, I´ve never been whiter, I´ve never thought I could die right there.

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So I was telling you, risk degree 3 – moderate, well depends on who you ask to. If you´re lucky enough to be on the first raft that didn´t flip then yeah it´s a moderate risk, but if you have to go through my experience then let me tell you that moderate it was not.

If you´re not a fan of extreme sports I would recommend to take rafting on Micos river (level 2 – low risk) because it´s a thrilling and entertaining activity as long as you don´t fear for your life. I would do it again only in a low risk river.

That was our last activity of the trip and without planning they were increasing risk and intensity. Now you have a real understanding of every practice we did and can choose accordingly to your degree of expertise and thrill thirst.

This is all about a trip that will always be in my memory, for its experiential richness, for my near-death experience and for the wonders of nature we got to see and enjoy. I hope you take the chance of visiting this wonderful place called Huaxteca Potosina.

 


 

 


 

Huaxteca Potosina – Adventure Day one and two. (2/3)

As I told you on the previous post (Huaxteca Potosina – Basic Info) we took the ETN bus on Thursday night and arrived to Ciudad Valles on Friday at 8:00 am. Right on time to take the first tour leaving at 9:00 am. We went directly to the Huaxteca.com office, change clothes there and left our luggage in their storage room while we went to Xilitla.

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We chose this activity for the first day because it doesn’t have much danger and medium physical requirement.

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Xilitla.

Here you visit the Surreal Castel of Edward James. It´s about a series of constructions in the middle of the jungle that has the only purpose of recreate the view and incentivize the imagination.

You go up the stairs, get into hallways that lead nowhere and come back down just to get more shapes and silhouettes that accompany the natural green foliage.

It´s a surreal experience that makes your senses and imaginations burst. While in there you can see yourself in a strange dream or a tale or maybe in the imagination inside Edward’s head.

It´s a must see.

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After having a typical dish for lunch in Xilitla (enchiladas potosinas). We went to San Isidro Tampaxal where we´ll get to see the night ritual of the local birds.

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Sótano de las Golondrinas.

To get to the Sótano, which is a huge cave hole, you have to walk for almost a mille through a series of steps in the middle of the rainforest, which represents no danger but can be very exhausting for some people for the aerobic exercise and the place´s height.

Close to sunset the birds start flying around and down like little kamikazes into the cave where they´ll spend the night. It´s a natural show that you don’t want to miss.


 

Second day started with a nice breakfast at the hotel and then heading to the next adventure.

 

Waterfall jump.

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They pick you up at the hotel and take you to Micos river, but as this is a extreme sport the transportation doesn´t even get close to the waterfall. You have to walk for about 20 minutes on the hill thought a very narrow slippery path. Until you get to a point where the guide says: Up to this point there´s no turning back waking, the only way down is through the water. And the nervousness starts to pile up.

But that´s what we came here to do, so we go on. And all of the sudden we are in the river and the first waterfall is in front of us. It´s quite tall, about 6 feet tall and I´m nervous and thrill to start jumping. Of course, we already have a safe jacket and helmet on.

I took some courage and jumped. ¡Wow, it´s so cool! And fun, specially the ones with a medium height. They go from half foot to 26 feet tall (that one was kind of scary to me), but overall it was a fun a pleasant experience.

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The most important thing to have in mind is to make a perfect diving posture. You´ll go with your feet first but have to be very straight because if you fall sitting into the water you will have a tremendous hit, like hitting concrete floor. (I know from experience) So practice your diving posture.

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Around noon we were finishing this activity and after a snack we went to Minas Viejas to rappel. On our way there we stopped for lunch on a very cozy place, it was a country house with farm animals on the yard. They made for us a very simple Mexican meal: picadillo (meat with tomato sauce, rice and tortillas. Agua de jamaica to drink) The hosts were really kind and this was a stop included in the tour.

 

Rappel.

Some day I will tell my kids that I went down 164 feet hanging from a rope on a mountain wall.

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This is rappel and the less you fear the fastest you go down. We all have seen Tom Cruise doing it on a building wall on Mission Impossible; so it´s just like that but surrounded with nature and green.

When you´re up there the only thing you can see is the light blue water beneath you. As you start going down there´s a wonderful waterfall going down with you to your right.

You push with your legs the wall of the mountain and loose some of the rope. Simple and fun. There´re some holes in the rock that are trickier to pass, you only have to loose more rope and get over them.

At the end you get to a freezing pond of water. Some people stay and swim for a while, I got out as fast as I could to change for dry clothes.

On our way to the bus there was a man selling corn that tasted like heaven! They´re boiled dressed with mayo, cheese and some chili powder. After that we headed back to Ciudad Valles and got there around 6:00 pm.

 

So, that´s the recap of our first and second day. Arriving to the hotel we went for tacos nearby because we were starving after all the going up and down. Took a warm shower and off to bed because the next day expected us with a lot more adrenaline.

 

Huaxteca Potosina – Adventure day three.

 


 

 


 

Huaxteca Potosina – Basic Info. (1/3)

 

I want to tell you about an unforgettable trip to Huaxteca Potosina. The natural marvels of the region are amazing, crystal water rivers and waterfalls, where you can practice extreme sports or relaxing strolls, bird watching in Sótano de las Golondrinas; cultural seeing in Xilitla and many options that adapt from the adrenaline junkies to the relaxed nature landscape tourist.

I´m going to tell you how we arranged our travel:

 

How to get there?

From Mexico City the driving distance is 8 hours. To me the best alternative is to take the ETN bus leaving at 9:45 pm you will get to Ciudad Valles at 8:00 am. Yes, the bus takes longer but you would be sleeping most of the journey. The return has the same schedule.

Cost: U$D 80 round trip.

You can also take a flight to Tampico, Tamaulipas and then take a 2:30 hour road trip to Ciudad Valles.

Accommodations

Ciudad Valles is a very small town so therefore has many affordable options to stay in. We stayed at the Hotel Valles ( www.hotelvalles.mx ) here is the link to check on pictures and location. The price includes breakfast and you can book it directly with the hotel or via www.huaxteca.com booking an excursion package. That´s what we did because the hotel was fully booked when approached directly.

Activities

www.huaxteca.com has different choices on activities and excursions, depending on how many days you´re going to stay. But be careful because in some cases the activities are more dangerous than they appear to be.

3 day package with hotel and tours cost: U$D 350 per person. (Some activities include snack or lunch)

We did:

Rafting

Visit the Surreal Castel of Edward James.

Waterfall jump

Visit Sótano de las Golondrinas

Rappel

We also got our pictures taken by a member of the travel agency, this is specially important on the risky activities where you can´t take pictures yourself such as Rafting, Waterfall jump and Rappel.

So far you know how to get there, where to stay and where to hire travel services; but the most interesting part is yet to come. In the next two posts I will tell you about my experience during the activities and how for the first time I was afraid for my life (no kidding). So you can chose wisely according to your level of expertise and trill thirst.

Huaxteca Potosina – Adventure Day one and two.

Huaxteca Potosina – Adventure Day three.

 

 

Video: http://www.repsodia.com