There is hiking, and there is HIKING!! We have been doing the later. I knew we would get some hikes on this trip, but I really did not think of the details. Most of our hiking has been during the ship part. We debark on the zodiacs, which is a pain because of the life jackets, gear, and the amount of clothes we haul because the weather here can change in minutes. It IS challenging! There is a little core group of hearty(or crazy) people who seem to go for every challenge. I joined this group and have been having a lot of fun with Steve, our guide(Silvana), and Ulricka. There are usually two hikes each day, returning to the ship for lunch and before dinner. Most of the hikes have been very much like hiking the Olympics on cool summer days..55 degrees, steep areas, but easy if one is in hiking shape............this was true, until yesterday.
Not sure exactly how to describe this adventure, except to say,if we were doing "Survivor", I would still be on the team! Right before lunch we had an "excursion briefing" with a short slide presentation of hike that the crew wanted to make sure you knew what was ahead, because there was absolutely NO dropping out or turning back. The ship would drop us off at a big waterfall, where we would climb a steep Muddy, Wet, Forested tangled slope with precarious ledges, rope tow holds, and YES..we would get wet...and very dirty. For my friends who did the mud run with me in Sept.....this was just as muddy, but that was the only similarity. It WAS STEEP! We crawled under logs, over logs, under big rock outcropping, hands and knees scrambling, and crossing rivers were the water was knee deep, and yes, we got wet. I did notice it was every man for him/her self and people were SO focused on the difficult route before them,that they could only concentrate on that! Out of 120 passenger, 23 attempted the climb. As a reward for making it to the top of the falls, we were asked if we wanted to be baptized in the falls. They held your arms and leaned you backwards into a torrent of rushing water.......Steve went for it. I did not. We were wet,muddy, cold, but exhilarated to have done it.
We only could take a few pics because of the precarious conditions, and the last one is our little team of hikers.