We started off the week with a day of white water rafting. When we reached the river, all of us were given head to toe wetsuits to get us ready for the brisk waters of the Rio Baker (and helmets because safety first!). We split into three groups with a guide in each raft; Lucho and Gringo were two of our raft guides. The water was the perfect clear color of blue. We hopped into our rafts and immediately heard “adelante adelante adelante” (forward forward forward).
Within minutes, we approached our first rapid. I remember looking at it from a distance and thinking “oh we’re fine! We totally got this!” In reality, when we got closer, 3-4 foot waves were crashing all around us. We all screamed with joy and excitement. Each group partook in a game where we stood on the sides of our rafts and started squatting up and down (first one to fall over loses). Eventually, we all ended up in the water for a refreshing dip.
Once we finished the rapids, we had a strenuous paddle against the current, reaching a shore where a truck would pick up the rafts and a van for us. Two groups made it back with sheer endurance while the third was too far out, to the point they had to do an emergency exit and walk along the side of the river.
After rafting, we had about an hour drive to Parque Patagonia which will be our home for the next four days. We’ll be sleeping in tents and cooking all our own meals.
The first day here, we went on about a two hour walk around the park for some relaxation. Today, we began volunteering in the greenhouse and garden, harvesting plants, sifting compost, collecting rocks, and shoveling manure. The garden is made up of 14 sections with about six rows in each section. Every crop has its own place and is the gardens are intricately designed. Not only does the garden look beautiful, but we even got to try some of the deliciously fresh vegetables!