Katie's Live and Unleashed 05/06 Worldwide Tour travel blog

Cameras not allowed near water!

Snorkelling group shot - in snorkels

Christmas lunch

Dada, dada...

Snorkelling group shot - sans snorkels

Paul, Shannon and Lezanne snorkelling complete

Clear water - but so much clearer upstream

Snorkelling Queen!

Snorkelling all done

Beautiful lunch

Christmas tree

Santa arrived!

Christmas Day tubing - not scared just a long blink!

This is what happens next...

Then hero rescues me and drags me to safety!

But recover immediately

The hush before the storm...

Lynne battling to stay upright - she succeeded! (unlike me!)

Shannon catching flies...

Huh, ho Alison, feet first and you're fine.

And Paul representing the males...

Janine, the perfect ballet toe point position.

Still in the tube...not for long!

Alison colliding into me just when I was relaxing!

Zanne concerned for my safety...

Easy does it

Clinging for dear life...again

I present the Kendrick backward somersault with tube and head plough...

The end and Christmas lunch awaited...

Christmas Day

Naked Santa Run!


A snorkeling trip down the Parata river was the only possible way to spend such a beautifully sunny day. The fresh water normally has visibility of 40m, but due to recent high rainfall levels this was reduced to 28m - still the clearest I've ever seen!!

We were kitted up in wet-suits, more as a precaution to protect our delicate bodies from the sun as sunscreen wasn't allowed (most people still managed to burn the backs of the legs that were exposed!!) and that gave us the floatation required to just lie face-down in the water and observe. Swimming wasn't really much of a requirement as the current took us down, and we were only allowed to use our arms anyway in an attempt to reduce our impact on the area, a subject they took very seriously. In certain places we picked up a fair amount of speed. The waterlife was amazing! The fish were all different shapes, sizes and colours and not timid to come close. In places there was bubbly sand which we could dive down and touch created by the springs underneath. Scarily enough one two occasions I came within 2m of a cayman - the second being about 2m long, while the guide prodded it with a stick so we could see it moving!!!

Christmas Eve evening we spent at the hostel testing the 'champagne' which cost less than 3 pounds....not surprisingly I discovered that mine was actually cider with a pop cork! Lots of music and singing got the owner a little worked-up as he thought we were too loud, but then another guest got out his guitar...Cam and Jo acted out a Nativity play for us which was hilarious and Santa filed the stockings beneath the tree!


While everyone in the UK was settling down to open the presents from under the tree and preparing an appetite for roast turkey and all the trimmings, we were exerting ourselves on tubes going down the river again! The exertion really came from climbing back onto the tubes having either been pushed off, or fallen off over the rapids (something I was Queen of!!) The first rapid we were warned that everyone would come off, and true to his word we did....but from there on I didn't really improve, even perfecting a backward summersault while still gripping on tightly...

Were dropped off in town on the way back to make the phone calls home, which took ages as there was only one phone!! Arrived back at the hostel at 1302 for our 1300 lunch, only to be told we were the only ones left to eat!!! (hence the sad photo of only 3 of us at Christmas dinner!!!). A swim in the pool was followed by Secret Santa present opening which revealed some very funny gifts - I got the best from Janine, of a T-shirt, photo holder and a bottle opening key-ring! Lovely too that home got presents to me for opening!

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