Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Ride of Lifetime on Barron River

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Ride of Lifetime on Barron River

Article excerpt

BRIGHT red and yellow aren't the most flattering of colours.

But add a splash of white and the colours can give the wearer a spirited hue.

At least that's the case when adrenalin junkies don the Capta Group's R'n'R White Water Rafting safety gear to tackle the Barron River rapids, 20 minutes from the heart of Cairns.

Under overcast skies on Lake Placid, our media group joined another two eight-man rafts of tourists.

Wearing our red helmets, yellow lifejackets, togs and lace-up shoes, we must have looked a sight as we carried our craft, named Freaky Fella, to the water's edge and took a leap of faith off the rocks and into the raft.

Our guide, Hosannah (or aHosa as he prefers), only made us a little nervous as he announced some of the aptly named rapids we would conquer: The Rooster's Tail, Lover's Leap, Kitchen Sink and Cheese Churn, as well as the moody and unpredictable Mother-in-Law.

Lucky for us, the natural watercourse is ideal for beginners and has only a few of the harder Grade 3 sections.

We started with baby steps a gliding along effortlessly, and meeting bubbling trickles of water head-on. Punch the air!

Soon we were used to sitting on the edge of the raft, bonding as a team, paddling in sync (well, almost!), and responding quickly to Hos's instructions.

This was no easy ride, though, with no room for slackers. We all had to put in the effort and keep our wits about us.

Most of the time, we were aon the joba a forward paddling to propel the craft onward, or back paddling to gain a better position.

Occasionally, we were churned around like a lone yellow sock in a washing machine a and loving every second.

From the rear of the raft, Hos expertly kept us on track for time and on course for fun.

On the job. Up and over. Easy does it.

On the job. …

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