Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Donkoro Adventure

A group of Outdoor Life students and Ted had a weekend white water rafting trip planned with Donkoro Outdoor School. I wasn’t interested in going rafting in the cold (melted snow) water, but I did go along on the trip. The plan was to ride in the bus about 3 ½ hours Saturday morning, raft Saturday afternoon, stay overnight in a log cabin at Donkoro, and return on Sunday morning.

The group met the bus at the University Saturday morning and found out the water was too high to raft on Saturday because of the rain and melted snow, so the plan changed to rafting Sunday morning and returning later Sunday afternoon. Not a problem.  The students packed up the bus and we were off. Three of the students in this group are in my English class and I knew some of the others from other events, but this was the first time for me to meet the new first year students. The senpai - kouhai system is important with the outdoor life students. The older students help and watch out for the younger students.

We stopped at this road side park for a break and got a view of what the water levels were like. Everyone was excited.

It was Children's Day and we saw the carp flags flying along the way.

Later we stopped at the 7-11, where I got a bottle of milk tea – something I never drank before moving to Hokkaido.  Oishii desu. I don’t know what this trash can sign is about.

Our home for the weekend was this log cabin.

The toilet was an outhouse and there’s no real electricity.  This van houses a generator that can be used at night to feed two hanging light bulbs. A wood stove heats the cabin.

Downstairs was a kitchen and big area for sitting (on the floor) and upstairs were two rooms for sleeping (on the floor).

In the afternoon, we met with the owner of Donkoro.  He took us to see the river, introduced us to staff members, and gave a tour of the Donkoro facility.

The students cooked a delicious dinner and cleaned up. 

When a decision needs to be made, students always resort to this rock paper scissors game.

Some of the raft guides came to the cabin to hang out for the evening. Everyone was up until the wee hours of the morning.

We woke up to a sunny day and after breakfast in the morning, the group got ready to go rafting. The group got their gear and headed to the put in at the river.

There was a guide in each raft and each guide went over safety and instruction with his group.

I rode along with the Donkoro staff and took pictures of the group.

I think everyone had a good time.

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