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The next activity on our Action Adventure tour through the Tirol region of Austria? Whitewater rafting with Wiggi Rafting!
I had never been whitewater rafting in my life, though I had always been intrigued. We would be rafting on Level III rapids (most people are allowed to raft levels I-V, with V being the most extreme, and VI and above are for professionals only and have a significantly higher risk of death).
And I won’t lie — I was scared. Mostly of falling out and getting trapped underwater.
Then I took one look at our guide, Kevin, and any worries I had promptly dissipated.
Big, beefy Australian rugby player? Long-haired, bearded, looking like he could kill anything with his bare hands? HELL YES, I FELT SAFE WITH THIS GUY. Kevin was the archetype of what a guide should look like!
Still, though, I was nervous as Kevin told us what to do if we fell out, if the boat flipped over, if the boat flipped over and we were trapped underwater.
I got in, wedged my toes into the boat tightly, and did everything I could to stay on board.
And then I COMPLETELY LET GO.
I used to go sailing at summer camp when I was a kid, and I was always afraid of “capsizing” (what we referred to as falling out of the boat). Soon, it became clear that “capsizing” was the best part, and I would throw myself overboard, trying to swim after the boat, laughing hysterically as the counselors yelled at me.
It was just like that.
Getting wet and nearly falling overboard is the FUN part of rafting, even if the water is glacier-fed and cold enough to freeze your nips clean off!
We stopped at a tall rock and I jumped off it into the river. We did “tequilas” — leaning backward over one side as a wave rolled in, soaking us and giving us the worst brain freezes ever! I got splashed like crazy, pulled my friends back into the boat, and screamed theatrically the entire way.
Whitewater rafting in Austria isn’t scary — it’s AWESOME.
I can’t wait to go rafting again. In fact, my friends and I agreed that we’re ready to try even more intense rapids next time! Perhaps Level V on the Zambezi?
I’ll be game, that’s for sure.
And for the rest of you, if you visit Innsbruck or Tirol during the warmer months, this is an activity that you MUST put on your itinerary!
All of these fantastic images are by Matt Stockman Photography.