It all started when I was 12 years all, my whole family decided to do something out of the ordinary and took us all rafting for the weekend, who would have thought then that weekend shape the rest of my life so far. We arrive to this little town about three hours away form Chosica, the town I grow up in at the foothills of the Andes in Peru, it all look different to me. Those big boats floating on the rapids crashing the waves as we went trough, the trees on the side of the river blowing with the wind creating funny shadows along the way, the birds flying in the blue sky, things that I have never seen before in the city, it was kind of a different universe in there, there were no buildings, no traffic lights or lines of cars waiting and honking as they move slow throw the traffic of the city jungle, I kind of discovered a side of me that weekend the side that will never again want to go back to the noise and the concrete, the side who wanted to ride the waves and be with the river.
I never really stopped rafting after that trip, learn how to kayak by age 16 and I started guiding for that very same company I went rafting with my family few years earlier, as I move throw my university career I was traveling three hours south every Friday night after school to get to guide for the weekend, be on the river was such a relive from the heavy study loads I was trying to take every opportunity I had to be back on the nature, with the river, the threes, the birds and the excitement that my passengers express on his happy faces every time we hit a big wave.
Happiness facilitator, that is how I like to see my job often times. People come rafting to have a good time, to get away from the routine, some how to come back to they roots with the river, the threes and the birds. Seeing their smiley faces, the trill that provokes to step out of your comfort zone and be wild, on a beautiful pristine corner of the world, away from the noise and in contact with your self.
After I finish my journalism degree in University I decided to travel the world and visit the best rivers on the planet, rafting is a great way to travel, there is always something special about the communities that get created along the banks of the rivers where people practice whitewater rafting, I have been a whitewater rafting and kayaking guide on the holy Ganges in India, On the Karnali in western Nepal, on the Futalefu on the south of Chile, in the Pacuare river in Costa Rica, the Contas river in Bahia – Brazil, in the Quijos and Papayacta in Ecuador in several rivers in the United States and Canada. On this search is how I got to the Kicking Horse River in Golden British Columbia; it was me looking for the best on the best.
What it makes the kicking horse special is the overall picture of a perfect rafting trip, we start our day at the warehouse where we meet with the guides, we normally have in staff about 6 or 7 nationalities, guides that like me, are looking to find the best rivers on the world to raft, with jokes and good humour we get everything ready for the day, then some of us drive to the river to get things ready and some others go a pick up our clients at the office.
When our guess arrive to the river show is on, we the first bit of the trip takes floating throw Glacier National Park, pristine waters and phenomenal views, as we move down we have the chance to overlook Mountain Chancellor the biggest peak on the park , this is the section of the river where we allowed children to come alone, rapids II and III make it possible, as we get closer to the bigger rapids we stop for a delicious barbeque at our lunch side, we have the time to relax and get ready for the next sections of the river, what we call the middle section and the Canon of the Kicking Horse.
After lunch GAME IS ON, much faster and furious rapids, excitement at its max, the characteristic of the river drastically change it becomes narrower and much more stepper, faster, wetter and funnier, this is why we are here. some of this wave can cover your raft entirely is whitewater rafting at is best, very technical moves. As the red army floats down (In Alpine we use red rafts) the teams in each boat synchronize to make the perfect trip, the mission is to get to the take out and have as much fun as possible on the way.