Monday, August 4, 2014

Rafting in Yeongwol

Over the weekend, a few friends and I went rafting in Yeongwol, a nearby town about 25 minutes away.  It's currently typhoon season, but luckily the rain stayed away Saturday and it couldn't have been a better day to go.  I was kind of expecting white-water, Colorado style rapids, but Korea didn't quite live up to those expectations.  But it was a great time nonetheless!

We were the only "foreigner" raft on the whole river, so of course many people stared at us and some even shouted some friendly "hellos" our way.  We quickly learned that it is Korean custom to splash the rafts that you pass or that pass you while you make your way down the river.  Koreans made the splashing bit look really easy, but I proved to be a terrible was definitely harder than it looked!!  You had to smack you paddle across the water to splash the raft alongside of you...or if you're me, you try to do it, fail, and then cover your head so you don't get water in your eyes.  I definitely let my raft team down in the splashing competitions.  Oh well, I made up for it by being a great paddler.  

About halfway down the river, we were able to anchor the raft and swim for a bit.  Many Koreans can't swim because they don't get a chance to take swimming lessons and their aren't any outdoor, recreational pools anywhere.  Because of this, I'm a little surprised that rafting and other swim-related activities are so popular.  Because Koreans can't really swim, everyone had to wear lifejackets and helmets the whole time on the raft...bummer.  But it was still a great time!

A friend on the trip had a GoPro and was able to get some great shots of us on our trip.  Here is a link to a video he made with the footage...check it out!

The rafting crew!

Snappin' a few during our swim break...

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