Just had a wonderful trip at LP, breathtaking and picturesque scenery.
I want to warn anyone interested in kayaking though. Despite assurances to the contrary, it is NOT for the inexperienced.
My friend who has not kayaked before (which i found out just before stepping into the river) and I had a private guide who kayaked with us to the waterfalls and beyond. For USD 50 and a projected itinerary from 8.30am to 3.00pm, we thought it was a good deal. Fortunately nothing bad happened to us and it was just days later when i realised how lucky we were. If something had gone wrong at any point, it could have been disastrous.
I can provide details later but i think i should get to the points now: (in no particular order)
1. The guide learnt to kayak on his own.
Since we had a 2 seater and a 1 seater kayak only, we decided that my friend and guide would share 1 and I would kayak on my own. i once had a crash course on learning to kayak and the first thing we were taught was how to overturn the kayak and survive it.
No such lesson here.
We got into the kayaks and after 5 min of getting used to the feel of them, started paddling downstream.
The River water was high so it was flowing faster than otherwise. Meaning currents were stronger and eddies plenty.
High chance either parties could overturn.
2. The guide paddled way ahead of me with my friend, rarely checking to see how i was faring.
I was fine throughout but he should not have stayed more than 20m away from me. I think at times i could have been 100m away.
Not safe. If i had overturned and panicked, quite likely, he may not have been able to help out before the currents got me, if he had heard or seen me in trouble at all.
3. I don't know if he knows CPR.
4. No first aid kit with him or me.
5. No lifeguards around, no emergency floats to use. We were wearing life vests and helmets but no whistles with us.
These are my main points, if there are more I will add them later.