Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{once when I was very brave in Argentina}

Sir Thomas, Nolan, and Keaton are all very brave.  All the time. Me? Not so much.  I'm the kind of girl that even used to get scared on Disney's Tower of Terror.  I'm serious. 

I have been adding a little adventure to my life over the past few years.  I'm rather proud of my adventuresomeness in Argentina.

I apologize for indulging in this little flashback but I never added this post and I totally needed to blog this adventure. 

The time frame: end of September / beginning of October last fall {2011}
Place: Northern Argentina in the jungle {little side trip after picking up Nolan}

Beware: Picture intensive post ahead but totally worth it {to me}.  

The first adventure involved miles of hiking to see Iguazu Falls.  The falls were breathtaking!  Yes, we got soaking wet . . .

We walked down a long, muddy trail . . .
I was totally expecting that scaly fellow knew the rope meant for him to stay off our path.  Super safe don't ya think?!

The trail led us past dozens of gorgeous falls and beautiful views until we reached this very safe and secure looking floating room.

To get on a little boat like this . . .

. . . to ride INTO the falls!!  We actually got to ride into the falls four times and it was exhilarating every time.  I couldn't see and I couldn't breathe {I was busy drowning in the deluge} but I could hear very clearly and the falls were LOUD.  Lovely.  I love waterfalls.  Always have and always will.

Before we got on the boat:


There were so many falls and I couldn't get enough of them.  It was super sad to not have Landon and India with us.  This was Keaton's big adventure with his older brother but it was still so hard and I missed my other kids.

Perhaps a little less crazy but monumental none the less . . . we were in Argentina and could see Brazil {right side in the picture} and Paraguay {left side}.  The ferry to Paraguay doesn't run on the weekend and it was Saturday.  Bummer.  We didn't get to go.

We stayed in THE coolest place ever!  In the jungle!  Our room is on the right, up in the trees and all lit up.  I still have to pinch myself. I don't know why I'm so lucky.

Keaton spent every possible moment on the screened porch in the hammock.

The bananas growing just outside our room were really cool but they aren't particularly visible here.

The final adventure started in this large truck and I was already a little scared because I knew what I had just signed up for and it began with a trip deep into the jungle.

I was constantly humbled as we drove {actually mostly slid} down the red roads. I loved everything we saw and everyone we met!

We drove and drove until we came to a military checkpoint.  No cameras were allowed, I had no idea where we were and I couldn't understand anything they said - it didn't help my nerves. When I was sure we were lost deep in the jungle and far from any civilization the truck stopped, we got out and then to my horror the truck drove away.

The only thing left to do was walk into the jungle, right?  Such a welcoming site!  I don't know if it was a funnel web spider's web or not but it was creepy enough.

I tried to forget about the spiders and enjoy the first activity in our adventure-of-the-day: "canopying" or "zip-lining" in my lingo.  During our hike into the jungle I looked up and saw this:
The canopying had three stops along the way and we were going to "land" on the lower level then climb up a few boards nailed into the tree to reach the top level before taking off again.  Sweet!  Not at that moment. I was terrified and had to pretend I wasn't.

Nerves don't even begin to describe it.  That did not look safe to me and I couldn't even speak enough Spanish to ask questions.  Nolan's Spanish was working very well but I don't think he was worried about a thing.  This was tame compared to his previous two years.

Then we "got" to climb up this!  You know I was excited!
Does it look like it would wobble?  I hope so because IT DID!

No nerves. All pro . . .

I am SO glad I didn't chicken out!  It was SOOOOOO much fun.  It was serene, beautiful and surreal.
I could not and still cannot believe I did it.  As you can see below, there was just enough room through the canopy to glide through and Keaton made it look good.

As we reached each station along the trail and stopped at our checkpoints I was never convinced that the tire wrapped around the tree would soften the impact very much if we hit it . . . that really nice guy in the bottom left corner of the picture below was very helpful in stopping us.

We survived!  It's crazy but I totally want to do it again. Scared for nothing.

My nerves returned when we arrived at our last adventure-of-the-day . . . rappelling down a waterfall!!

Nolan has always been a participator!  He loves life and jumps in with both feet into everything he does. He not only volunteered to go first out of our family but out of the entire group of 20.  He was brave and I was happy he would be waiting at the bottom to recover my body because at that point I was pretty sure I was going to die.

As a mother, I was so proud of him . . . and scared.  Sir Thomas and Keaton were just as brave, excited and willing to go over the edge but I needed someone at the top with me.

I still can't believe I did this!  It was fun and I would totally do it again.  I would probably also be just as scared.

Fortunately, Nolan was not left below to recover my body because I survived.  He was also a great photographer and took all these pictures.

Keaton was a total pro with zero nerves.

My boys obviously got their adventuresomeness and nerves of steel from their incredible father.

My heart was beating fast because I was totally in love with this brave guy.  No need to go back up to view my pictures, we all know I was clinging to that rope with both hands.  Sir Thomas made it look so cool when he came sliding down with one hand.  {If I go back, I'm still using two hands!}

 I miss Argentina and all the lovely people we met.  I also miss the adventures!
{P.S. Why am I the only one that looks like a drowned rat?? Hmmm.}