Adventures and Sports
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Not Gently through Rapids at the Mighty Davao River
Ida Damo | May 02, 2013
Davao White Water Adventure
I’m a water person and the chance to go whitewater rafting is something I won’t miss. Here’s my one day white water rafting chronicle.
On rafting day, I had a hearty breakfast before heading to the Davao Crocodile Park. Call time was at 8am. While waiting for the ride to the rafting site, I and my team watched a video of other people who have tried the wild water rafting as part of our briefing, we signed the release form and then tried on our life jacket and helmet.
At 9:30, we head out 30 kilometers away from the park where the river runs. By 10:30am, we arrived at the Put-In area in Tamugan. Here, we had a quick but important white water rafting training. Our team leader and river guide showed us how to upload the raft, practice basic strokes with the paddle, familiarized us on the hand signals that he would be using to guide us while on the water and then, down to the river we go for training on swimming in the water and how to get a swimmer back to the boat. Note: A swimmer is a person who has fallen out of the boat.
He asked us to please pay close attention to what’s being said and done because you just don’t hop in the raft and glide away. You are part of a team who would work together to stay afloat amidst the swirling rough wild white water through boulders. In as much as all safety precautions have been met, the risks are always present.
He adds, don’t worry… you’re here to have fun and enjoy one great day of adventure. So when you’re ready, its raft time!
Rapids are everywhere. There is no dull moment from all the swirling. You would enjoy the washing machine as I did. Aptly named, because your raft would go in circles over wild water. Once you navigate this one, you all deserve a high five! You do this with your paddles….. You all raise your paddles and do the high five!
We had our packed lunch taken along the river. This is where the flotilla of boats would compare notes. Stories and laughter were shared as we ate. The loudest laughter came from those whose boat capsized. I don’t know why this is so, but its always the case.
As the laughter died down, we all gathered our trash and off to another round of rafting as the ride is long. We passed through limestone cliffs with vegetation, waterfalls and took shelter in a cave and experienced being trickled on by water from the cave roof.
It was one wet wild ride yet you will be sad to see it end. The exhilaration and adrenaline is just way too high. But it was Take-Out time already when we reached Purok 8 in Lacson. That’s when I realized, that we have travelled down the river for 5 hours and yet it didn’t seem that long. I was still raring to go at it one more time!
But its 3:30pm and the day is almost done and so I said, maybe for another day… So I changed clothes and went back to the big jeep and off to Crocodile Park again.
At the park, I got my souvenir shirt, a disc of the ride both in still and moving pictures and complimentary tickets to yet another adventure. This time, in the air, as one ziplines at Zip City.
Its been one whole day of adventure. My body aches from the exercise. But my mind and heart is full of good memories of one thrilling, awesome, wet and wild day.
What to Expect and Bring:
Its going to be one wet ride. Bring extra clothes to change into after the ride. Best to wear rash guard or light weight long sleeved shirt (any comfortable clothes would do). Sunblock/Sunscreen SPF100. Sunglasses or prescription glasses with a string or strap. The river doesn’t need any more glasses. River shoes or sandals or any footwear that would not easily come off. Bottled water and or energy drink. Towel or towels.
The P2,000 rafting fee includes transportation to and from Crocodile Park, packed lunch and bottled water, use of gears and equipment, raft guide, souvenir shirt, documentation (2 discs/group of six), free entrance to the Crocodile Park, Butterfly House and Tribu K’Mindanawan or entrance to Zip City or Maxima Aquafun.
For inquiries and reservation, call (082)221-7823, email: [email protected] or visit www.waterrafting.psdgroupph.com.
Their website would answer your frequently asked questions (FAQs) even a lesson on water rafting, the rafters’ lingo and even a paper on the Davao River.
How To Get There:
From Manila, Davao City is and hour and 40 minutes by plane and 3 days and 2 nights by land and sea. Davao Crocodile Park is just 15 minutes ride by taxi from the airport or from any point from downtown Davao. Taxi Flag down rate is Php40. Jeepney fare starts at Php8.