This past Friday went on the tour of the 27 Charcos near Puerto Plata and it was amazing! First, we had to climb to the top of this chain of 27 waterfalls which meant holding onto a rope and trying to climb up rediculously strong water falls as guides assisted in hoisting us up. We were all equiped with shoes, life jackets, and helmets while the guides were barefood and without life jackets and vests and hopping up those waterfalls with incredible ease. When we got to the top, the journey down was a series of high jumps and slides down waterfalls. It's so difficult to describe and there's no way I can do it justice by simply typing it.
17 of us from the CIEE group went on this tour and in general, though we all made it out alive, we were pretty beat up. On one of the first jumps down, Amanda landed wrong on a rock and her ankle swelled up pretty quickly. Unfortunately, the only way down was to continue jumping and sliding. She grinned and beared it and said she still had a lot of fun. Erin hurt her foot on the way up, but kept going and then at the end was in a lot of pain and her food was also swollen. I only have a couple scrapes and blisters. Most everyone has a couple scrapes and blisters from the weekend.
Like I said, it's incredibly difficult to describe. The image that I had in my head was completely different than what actually happened. Check out the website www.27charcos.com to see a video of it and learn more about the tour itself. It was set up as a Peace Corps project to help build the local economy and give jobs to people in the area. It has been really successful. :)