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Running the Lower Jalacingo / Running from our doubts

By Rafa Ortiz

There’s a special feeling when you leave the car and start hiking towards the water. It’s mostly nerves, anxiety: you know it’s THAT river that requires your maximum performance. Maybe it’s time to run that drop again. Your friends are with you, and you can only project through the look in their eyes that they are nervous too. A big day is about to start.

It was late February, and for some reason Veracruz held way higher water than usual. The planet is changing. All we could do then was ride the flow. Isidro, Daniel and I were in the right place and the right time to put on one of the best rivers you’d ever kayak if looking for the ultimate challenge.

The Lower Jalacingo is a river section like no other. At the put-in, you question how navigable can such a small creek be. But as soon as you stand at the edge of the perfect big waterfalls, you praise Nature and thank the chance of being there.

But that feeling you had leaving the car has evolved. After warming up with two 20 footers, the sixty-foot drop in front of you is calling for a match. The nerves push you towards the ease of walking, avoiding risk. But there is something about whitewater that sometimes pushes us harder. Or maybe its something about our human mind that is captivated by challenge. You decide to go for it. What a better chance than then, now, when water levels look perfect.

I’ve never known for sure if the highest moment is that when you start falling and accelerating, or when you come out and look back at the conquered beast, but if you haven’t experienced it you should. It’s not the sixty-feet, it’s the personal challenge. It’s also sharing it with your friends. It’s running from your doubts and then keep going downstream.